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.
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.
“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.”
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world.
But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.
You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to newsletter.co.uk
With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.