It might sound obvious to suggest that Kemar Roofe – the man who fired Rangers to the League Cup Final – can be the difference maker against Celtic at Hampden.

After all, the potent forward is a lethal option for Rangers and proved so again against Aberdeen in the club’s most recent visit to Hampden, coming off the bench to score in extra time in an eventual 2-1 victory.

Rangers v Aberdeen - Viaplay Cup Semi-final
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But that game also highlighted precisely why it is such a monumental boost to have the 30-year-old Jamaican international striker fit for the clash with Celtic.

It’s never been about ability with Kemar Roofe, it’s always been about availability.

The ex-Leeds United and Anderlecht striker has a superb scoring record with Rangers – the striker averages a goal around every 114 minutes for the club – and is, arguably, the best natural striker in the country.

But ever since signing for Rangers injuries have been a big problem for Kemar Roofe and his extensive absences this season are part of the reason why the Ibrox side tail Celtic by nine points in the Premiership.

Rangers boosted by Kemar Roofe return for Celtic clash

Roofe has struggled with injuries and even against Aberdeen – in an ironic twist of fate – the striker suffered a fresh shoulder injury which set him back in his recovery.

But coming off the bench to score the final goal in the 3-0 win over Livingston, Kemar Roofe looked sharp and hungry and if the Rangers striker can carry this into the clash with Celtic what an option the Gers will have.

Pouncing on a rebounding ball, Kemar Roofe finished with aplomb and this was after Shamal George appeared to get the faintest of touches on a driven goal-bound effort moments after coming on the pitch.

Often over-looked because of his injury problems, there is not a more understated footballer playing in Scotland than Roofe and if – as we all hope and pray – the worst if behind Kemar perhaps he can begin to prove the Ibrox support right.

There are few better places in Scotland to begin doing this than at the national stadium and if Kemar Roofe is fit, firing and with the bit between his teeth, the stage is set for him to steal the headlines v Celtic.

Meanwhile, Davie Martindale has been goading Celtic fans after the clash with Livingston.

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