Rangers FC take on Malmo in their Champions League qualifier, the first leg of which will be played at the Swedbank Stadion in Sweden on Tuesday.
The Gers kicked off their SPFL campaign with a 3-0 win against Livingston but according to ex-England defender Danny Mills, Malmo have a key advantage in this tie since their respective domestic league is well underway.
Mills told Football Insider: “It’s not the easiest of ties. Malmo have got a good pedigree in the competition in the past and will be desperate to beat Rangers. They’ll see that as a big scalp.
“You think they should go through but it’s not an easy tie. Rangers are going to have to be at it. It’s still very, very early in the season.
“Swedish teams start their season a little bit earlier, they’ve played 13 games. This is why a lot of teams go to Sweden for pre-season. Although they’re seen as inferior opposition they’re fit and strong so you’ve got to take that into consideration.
“They’re coming up for halfway through their season. They’ll have their tactics sorted, they’ve got a settled side. It’s huge, a massive difference. It’s going to be a tricky tie for Rangers.”
Currently, Malmo are second in the Allsvenskan, one point behind the league leaders and they have won nine out of their first 13 league games.
Also, the Swedish side have already played in two Champions League qualifying rounds meaning they are expected to come off the blocks really quickly.
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Rangers FC, on the other hand, have played only one match in the Scottish Premiership along with a couple of pre-season games.
Steven Gerrard will also be without Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos both of whom are unavailable for selection. Ianis Hagi is another doubt for the first leg after picking up a knock on Saturday vs Livi.
Rangers FC, by no means, are the underdogs in this clash but Malmo have already gone through the paces so there will be no margin for error for the SPFL side.
To make matters worse, Malmo have netted 31 goals in 13 league games this season so the Gers will have to tread cautiously, particularly away from home.