Malmö sets sights on Champions League

Malmö sets sights on Champions League
Malmö celebrates winning the 2010 Allsvenskan title
Swedish champions Malmö FF hosts Glasgow Rangers on Wednesday evening hoping to preserve their lead from the first leg and take a huge step to becoming the first Swedish team to qualify for the Champions League in 14 years.

Rangers will however need to rewrite the history books if they are to progress in the third round qualifier at Swedbank Stadium in Malmö on Wednesday.

Daniel Larsson scored a vital away goal at Ibrox last week as Rangers went

down to a 1-0 defeat which leaves the Scottish champions hopes of making the lucrative group stages of the competition hanging by a thread.

History is against the Scottish champions as they have never triumphed in a European tie after losing the first leg at home in 55 years of competing with

the continental elite.

Malmö are hoping to become the first Swedish team since Stockholm’s AIK in 1997 to qualify for the Champions League “proper”.

The “Sky Blues” have an illustrious European history, losing a European Cup final to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest in 1979.

In their favour in Wednesday’s clash is the fact that the Old Firm side will be without the support of their fans in Malmö after UEFA banned them for one match for discriminatory chanting at their Europa League match against PSV Eindhoven last season.

But after picking up their first win of the season with a 2-0 victory away to St Johnstone on Saturday the Bosnian defender says Ally McCoist’s side can upset the odds and progress against the Swedes.

“All I can say is sorry for the result against Malmo at Ibrox but we still have the chance to go through. Why not? We know we can play better and if we take our game to a higher level then we definitely have a chance,” Rangers player Sasa Papac said.

“It’s important to make the Champions League proper because it’s the best stage in the world for a footballer and everyone in our team likes to play in it.”

“We must keep a clean sheet in Malmo if we want to go to the next stage.

I’ve never played in Sweden before, this will be a first but I’m ready for the


Malmö’s preparation for Wednesday’s game were disrupted when their match

against Djurdgården on Saturday was abandoned after just 11 minutes due to

fan disorder.

Fireworks were lobbed on to the pitch at the Swedbank Stadium causing referee Martin Hansson to call the teams off on safety grounds.

Rangers meanwhile have no injury worries going into the game and are hopeful they will be successful in their appeal to have defender Dorin Goian available for the

match, despite a delay in the defender’s registration papers being submitted.

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