JOHN HARTSON has examined the qualities of rival strikers Odsonne Edouard, the French attack-leader of Celtic, and Alfredo Morelos, Rangers’ Colombian hitman.
And the Welsh international hero, who starred for Arsenal, West Ham, Wimbledon, Coventry City, Celtic and West Brom in a goal-laden career, admitted he is a fan of both players.
Hartson reckons they have different strengths and both are crucial to their clubs in the quest for silverware this season.
Edouard’s languid style is easy on the eye and the one-time Paris Saint-Germain prospect, who cost the Hoops a record £9million when he arrived on a permanent deal last summer, has perfected the art of close control.
Morelos, on the other hand, is an up and at ’em action man who does his best work in packed penalty areas.
Hartson, a former prolific attack-leader, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “I don’t want to say who is better. Edouard is more proven. He’s done it on a more consistent basis.
“He’s scored in Old Firm games, you look at his goals at Ibrox when he popped up and cut inside to score a brilliant winner. For now, look at Edouard and he seems to have done it in the bigger games.
“But you look at Morelos and consistently he’s banging them in for fun and you can’t deny him.
IN THE GREEN CORNER…Odsonne Edouard threatens the Livingston goal.
“They’re both in good form. If you look at it, if you’re Rangers you say Morelos and Celtic you say Edouard. He might not get the volume of goals Morelos does, but he still gets the big goals.
“I don’t know if Morelos has more to prove. He got 30 goals last season, which is a good return. There’s no doubt the boy can score goals.
“Steven Gerrard says he has no interest in selling him in January and why would you? He is young enough that if he doesn’t go in January, he could go in the summer.
“I’m sure Steven is desperate to keep him because he knows how much of a threat he is. Whether you like him or loathe him, he is back in amongst the goals again this season.
“He is a pest, he doesn’t give you an inch. Both teams have good attacking options.”
Hartson, who is now a media pundit, also reckons his old Parkhead outfit should be wary of Morelos in the Betfred League Cup Final on Sunday, December 8 and the remaining Glasgow derbies this season. He believes the Gers forward has a point to prove.
IN THE BLUE CORNER…Alfredo Morelos puts the pressure on Hearts defender Christophe Berra.
He added: “It’s an opportunity to stay hungry and to want to face Celtic all the time.
“Kris Boyd had a similar record. He was a fantastic scorer in the SPL, but I think he only got one against Celtic. But sometimes you can play against a team and you have good joy against them for whatever reason.
“I remember Juninho coming up and not doing particularly well, but he played Rangers one day and he was absolutely brilliant.
“Roy Keane came to Ibrox once and absolutely dominated. He looked the best player on the pitch and I’m sure Rangers players have done that, too.
“It’s the ones who deal with the pressure, the crowd, the expectancy, the nerves. All the things these games bring. It’s the ones who turn up, get on the ball when you go a goal down, they’re brave and willing to make things happen. Not the ones who hide.
“I was blessed, I played in many Old Firm games. Lots of joy but one or two heartache moments, too.”