Rangers without two key players for Betfred Cup semi final with Aberdeen

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Rangers will have to face Aberdeen in the last four of the Betfred Cup semi final without top scorer Alfredo Morelos and fellow striker Kyle Lafferty.

Morelos was booked for dissent in the Ibrox side’s 4-0 win over Ayr United in the quarter finals of the competition, earning him a suspension and ruling him out of the last four meeting with the Dons.

Rangers will be without Alfredo Morelos (left) and Kyle Lafferty for the Betfred Cup semi final against Aberdeen. Picture: SNS Group

Rangers will be without Alfredo Morelos (left) and Kyle Lafferty for the Betfred Cup semi final against Aberdeen. Picture: SNS Group

The 22-year-old was sent off in the first Scottish Premiership game of the season against semi final opponents Aberdeen at Pittodrie, but the red card was rescinded.

He was then ordered off after picking up two bookings in quick succession in Rangers’ 1-1 draw with FC Ufa in Russia, forcing him to miss the Europa League group opener against Villarreal at El Madrigal.

Lafferty is cup-tied after appearing for former club Hearts earlier in the competition.

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The absence of the key duo leaves Steven Gerrard with on-loan Roma striker Umar Sadiq as his main attacking option, but the Gers boss refused to point the finger at Morelos, and defended the Colombian forward’s latest bout of indiscipline.

“I can understand him getting frustrated as I thought it was a foul on him,” said Gerrard.

“The referee said that their player got the ball cleanly but I disagree. So I can understand Alfredo’s frustration tonight.

“He’s got it wrong at some points in the season and I’ve told him about that but I get his frustration here.

“But we suffer as a club and that’s the disappointing thing. It’s the only thing that disappoints me tonight.”

Speaking after the 4-0 win over Ayr, Gerrard suggested that Sadiq would only feature in the semi final if he “comes to the party and improves an awful lot” in the lead-up to the game.