By Alan Hutton

28th Jul, 2021 | 4:00pm

Itten tipped to start for Rangers v Livingston after 'outstanding' transformation - Hutton

Alan Hutton has tipped Cedric Itten to start for Rangers against Livingston after looking transformed in pre-season.

The former Gers defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted it would be “really harsh” if the 24-year-old does not lead the line on Saturday in their Scottish Premiership opener.

Itten scored his third goal of pre-season in the 2-1 win over Real Madrid.

The Switzerland international often found himself behind Alfredo Morelos, Kemar Roofe and Jermain Defoe in the pecking order last season and struggled for starts.

Rangers have since signed Fashion Sakala to add to their striking options.

However, Hutton insisted the Swiss hitman’s pre-season form should give him a starting berth for the season opener.

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Asked if he saw a difference in Itten’s game compared to last season, the Rangers TV pundit Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Yeah, definitely. Really, Cedric Itten should be at the forefront of the manager’s mind for a starting place.

“I think it would be really harsh on him if he didn’t start. He has scored three goals now in the pre-season games. His finish was outstanding.

“I think it was Steven Davis who clipped a ball to the back of the box, it was headed down and the finish was top drawer. It looked like a striker who looked at the top of his game, in form.

“He didn’t even think about it, it was very difficult to take. He’s taken it first time into the side netting and it was a fantastic finish. I think we’re going to see the best of him this season.

“It was obviously difficult coming in a year with the pandemic, not being able to leave his house. There’s a lot of stipulations on everybody in the country so it was difficult for him.

“Now things have begun to open up the game, he’s getting more familiar with his surroundings. Getting out and about, probably becoming a better lifestyle for him at the moment.

“You can see that in his performance, he looks full of confidence. I just think we’re going to see the best of him if given the opportunity and I think there is an opportunity at the moment.”

In other news, Hutton wowed by what he saw and heard after John Lundstram “screamed” at Rangers teammate.