Philippe Clement has four-man Rangers dilemma on Sunday

Philippe Clement has four-man Rangers dilemma on Sunday
Rangers Belgian manager Philippe Clement looks on prior the UEFA Europa League last 16 first leg football match between SL Benfica and Glasgow Rangers at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on March 7, 2024. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

With Abdallah Sima, Fabio Silva, Rabbi Matondo, Ross McCausland, Scott Wright, Kemar Roofe and Cyriel Dessers all fit, who will get the nod to start up front on Sunday?

So, looking at the recent records, the most reliable scorer of course is Dessers. Two in his last three matches for club and country is a man regaining the scoring touch after a five-match barren spell at Ibrox.

Prior to that it was four in 3 so Dessers is definitely showing signs of overall form.

But then we have Silva, who had a great shift with his country on the break – 2 goals and 2 assists in 2 matches, but whose return to club action was a bit sluggish and he had a quiet at best match v Hibs.

Abdallah Sima is the next possibility, he’s short on match fitness but he’s a surprisingly clinical goal scorer, and a scorer of great goals, even if the rest of his game is a habitual mess. His record this season is good, very good – 15 goals and 2 assists in 34 – an exact one in two rate.

And then there’s the similarly-returning Kemar Roofe – he has the distinction of being the only Rangers attacker of the current squad to EVER score against Celtic, 2 goals in 9 appearances (albeit a brace in 2021).

Some might argue Todd Cantwell but he’s a playmaker and the match was technically meaningless.

Which means there’s basically four strikers at Philippe Clement’s disposal, and that’s good resources.

So who starts?

We can’t really see past the Nigerian, he’s been the reliable striker of recent months, even if some fans think he’s anything but, but the big feather in Roofe’s cap is he’s the only forward at Ibrox, aside Cantwell, to ever have scored against Celtic.

He is clinical, he’s quick, he’s a superb reader of lines and he’s easily the most all-round impressive of Rangers’ strikers.

But those fitness issues killed the bulk of his Rangers career.

And we know from February 2022 at Parkhead that he isn’t a lone striker, he can’t be a target man, he can’t run the centre alone, he needs support and backup.

So starting him up front is counter productive unless he has a big support network around him.


He can’t hold the ball up, his movement isn’t good enough, and he’s used specifically as a winger because his runs into the box don’t get marked the same way, leaving him free in the area to batter the ball home.

And then Silva…works hard, and has had a week ‘off’ to recover from his international break and the subsequent Hibs match, and he has been in better form of late. Aside said Hibs match.

But we suspect Clement won’t pick him to be the starting striker.

He may well be in the XI though.

What we will say is there’s lots of options now, a lot more than Clement is used to. Only Danilo remains unavailable in that area, and that’s superbly useful for the manager.

So there’s a dilemma, the kind of dilemma Big Phil likes.

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