Jackie McNamara has suggested that big-name Rangers duo Scott Arfield and Alfredo Morelos are facing starting Sunday’s clash against Hearts on the bench after their international exploits.
The former Scotland international, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that Gers boss Steven Gerrard will have to run the rule over their fitness after seeing the pair return to training just two days before the game at Tynecastle.
Gerrard confirmed that both Morelos and Arfield had only returned to first-team training in Glasgow on Friday after playing for Colombia and Canada respectively.
🎙️ SG: Today is the first day we will get all the international players back with the group. It was a great result for Scott (Arfield) as Canada defeated the USA for the first time in over 30 years and for Alfredo and Joe Aribo getting game time.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) October 18, 2019
McNamara says that Gerrard might be forced into making a late decision over whether the pair start on Sunday, suggesting that Jermain Defoe could retain his place in the side after his hat trick against Hamilton.
McNamara told Football Insider: “Defoe got a hat trick in his last game so I think he’ll be glad to have both of them as options there.
“(Could Arfield and Morelos be benched?) Yeah, I think Gerrard will check how they’re both faring if they’re tired, if they’ve got enough rest or not. It’s about picking the right team and he’ll have options, it’s why you need options, especially with the internationals.”
Arfield started the win against Hamilton but Morelos only came off the bench after seeing Defoe chosen ahead of him, the Light Blues’ 5-0 win putting them top of the Premiership before the international break.
Hearts sit second from bottom heading into Sunday’s game, having suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Kilmarnock in their last outing.
In other Rangers news, McNamara claims the Gers have wrapped up a “great addition” after an official announcement.