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Lafferty and Defoe both doubts as Rangers face striking crisis for St Johnstone match

Kyle Lafferty and Jermain Defoe are both injury doubts for Rangers.
Kyle Lafferty and Jermain Defoe are both injury doubts for Rangers.

Kyle Lafferty's opportunity to kick-start his second Rangers spell could be spoiled by injury.

Last weekend, boss Steven Gerrard hinted that the Northern Irish forward, who has made just eight starts since he summer transfer, could be handed the opportunity to partner Jermain Defoe in the absence of the suspended Alfredo Morelos.

However, Gerrard revealed on Friday that both Lafferty and Defoe are injury doubts ahead of St Johnstone's Scottish Premiership visit on Saturday afternoon.

Lafferty is struggling with a calf issue while Defoe is battling a hamstring problem. Both will play a bit-part in Friday's training as they bid to be passed fit.

Rangers have brought Scottish U17 striker Dapo Mebude back from international duty to cover the potential striking crisis.

"It's a concern losing strikers but we have good attacking players, we will see how the next few hours go and hope they both pull through. I'll give them both every chance. I won't take a gamble if it means putting their bodies at risk," Gerrard said.

"I think young Dapo has a huge future, he has big potential, he is probably not ready to be thrown into the deep end just yet but I think he will be ready for a cameo. There is no doubt about it he will play for Rangers at some point."

Saturday's opponents St Johnstone were beaten 5-0 by Celtic last time out but Gerrard is expected Tommy Wright's men to be much improved.

"I think there will be a reaction from St Johnstone, we are expecting a tight St Johnstone team who won't give much away," he said. "It's nice to be back at Ibrox on a Saturday at 3pm in front of a full house."

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