Why Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is wary of Malmo and away goals rule change

Steven Gerrard has warned of the dangers Rangers face in tonight’s Champions League meeting with Malmo.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 6:00 am

The Ibrox men travel to Sweden for their third qualifying round first leg clash in what will be Gerrard’s first management foray into UEFA’s premier competition after two impressive campaigns in the Europa League.

Rangers must overcome their Scandinavian opponents before negotiating the play-off round against either Olympiacos or Ludogorets to reach the lucrative group stages, and the Gers boss is wary of the threat posed by Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side.

“I think Malmo are an impressive team, very fit and work hard for the manager. It will be a big challenge for us but one that we are very excited about,” Gerrard said.

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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. Pic by Getty.

“I have watched a lot of them in the last ten days and have been impressed with the fitness levels and work ethic, they can play with a four but also change to a back five so we have to be prepared for this. They can be very aggressive and press high at home.

“We want to try and be the best version of ourselves over the course of the season, all of our focus is on Malmo and dealing with the first 90 minutes to set it up for Ibrox. We go over in a good place.

“The away goals rule being removed will make a difference, it is something we have discussed as a staff. Decisions within games may change slightly.”

Rangers will be without suspended trio Kemar Roofe, Glen Kamara and Leon Balogun for the first leg while Alfredo Morelos is in quarantine after his return from the Copa America but Gerrard is confident his squad can handle the key absences.

“We are used to this sort of schedule, it is the reason why I have built a strong squad as is impossible to ask the same 11 players to go every match. We have a few suspensions and injuries for this match but we have more than enough to put a good team out,” he said.

“Every player has a big motivation in Europe to test themselves against the best players. We have been on some exciting European journeys so far and we hope for another one this year.

“It is a challenge the staff and players are all excited about.”

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