By Noel Whelan

1st Jan, 2021 | 1:54pm

Pundit Exclusive: Morelos tipped for axe v Celtic, 27-yr-old to start after update via BBC

Noel Whelan has tipped Steven Gerrard to axe Alfredo Morelos from the Rangers starting XI against Celtic despite his goal earlier this week.

The former Aberdeen and Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, has insisted the Gers boss will instead select 27-year-old Kemar Roofe to spearhead the attack.

Speaking to the BBC after the win over St Mirren, Gerrard revealed Morelos’ goal and performances had given him “some big decisions to make” over his team selection ahead of Celtic’s visit to Ibrox.

It was the Colombian’s first league goal since he netted against Hibernian in September, although Gerrard told the Scottish Sun he was happy with the striker’s performances both on the pitch and in training.

However, Whelan believes the Gers boss will still be concerned about both Morelos’ disciplinary record and his lack of goals when it comes to facing their Glasgow rivals.

“It’s one of these games where you worry – you know he’s got the talent but has he got the mentality because you know Celtic will be trying to wind him up,” Whelan told Football Insider.

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“They’ll try to get a reaction and he’s already proved against Dundee United you can’t trust him at times, he’s still got that petulance inside of him. Then again, is his goalscoring record that good against Celtic? It’s not. Kemar Roofe, he’s the one right now that seems to be leading the line and doing that job.

“It is a headache for Steven Gerrard, isn’t it? You’ve got to leave out one of your best players you’ve had for years and years now, that has always been the difference and natural goalscorer in probably the biggest game of both teams’ season right now and could define everything and the way this Premiership season pans out.

“In my opinion, I would go with Kemar Roofe on this occasion, I would start him, have Morelos on the bench, see how the game’s going.

“If you need to bring him on, bring him on. The good thing is, he’s in good form, he should be in good spirit because he’s got a goal behind him as well.”

In other news, a top pundit has claimed the Rangers XI for Saturday’s Old Firm clash has already been decided.