Malmö FF vs Rangers FC Preview 03/08/2021

Cosmin Iftode /

Rangers will face Malmo at the Eleda Stadium in Sweden on Tuesday to kick off the clubs’ Champions League third qualifying round tie.

Steven Gerrard’s team enter the competition at the third qualifying round stage and fresh off of a Scottish Premiership matchday 1 win versus Livingston.

Mot Europa! 👉

— Malmö FF (@Malmo_FF) July 28, 2021

Malmo are in the midst of the Allsvenskan season in Sweden. Despite winning their last three league matches, Malmo are in second place and one point behind league leaders Djurgaarden. Malmo are fresh off a 2-0 league win versus Mjaellby in the league.

Unlike Rangers, Jon Dahl Tomasson’s team joined the Champions League at the first qualifying stage. Malmo defeated Latvia’s Riga FC 2-1 on aggregate to start the competition. They followed up the win in the second qualifying round with a 4-3 aggregate win over Finland’s HJK.

Malmo and Rangers last met during the 2011-12 Champions League qualifying campaign. Malmo won the tie 2-1 on aggregate. The last time the teams met was 10 seasons ago and things have changed plenty for both clubs.

Rangers got their Scottish Premiership title defence off to a great start on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Livingston. The Blues won thanks to goals from Ianis Hagi, Scott Wright, and Kemar Roofe. Their last two goals came in the final 11 minutes as the defence played brilliantly.

Both clubs will be taken a step up in competition compared to who and what they have played previously. Rangers may be the better overall team going into the Tuesday’s first leg, but Malmo have fitness on their side.

Hagi went off injured against Livingston at the weekend following his goal. The Romanian is unlikely to return to the side for the game. Gerrard has a large squad to choose players from, however.

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos will continue his quarantine due to COVID-19 regulations following a return from Colombia. Morelos’ quarantine will end this week and he could be involved for the second leg.

Unfortunately, Gerrard is also without striker Roofe and Glen Kamara, as both players are on the sidelines serving European suspensions. Summer signing Fashion Sakala should start in attack. Ryan Jack is in training and could feature for the team following a calf strain.

Malmo’s Anders Christiansen scored in both legs of the team’s Champions League second qualifying round tie win over HJK. Christiansen was a part of Denmark’s semifinal campaign at the Euros.

Long-term injury victim Ola Toivonen is ruled out of the game versus Rangers while Jo Inge Berget is in contention for a starting berth following a return from injury. With both teams in form going into the match, it should be a close affair.

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