History against Rangers in Malmo challenge

Rangers will need to rewrite the history books if they are to progress in their UEFA Champions League third round qualifier against Malmo in Sweden on Wednesday.

Daniel Larsson scored a vital away goal at Ibrox last week as Rangers went down to a 1-0 defeat which leaves their 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.

And the Old Firm side will be without the support of their fans in Malmo after UEFA banned them for one match for discriminatory chanting at their UEFA Europa League match against PSV Eindhoven last season.

Sasa Papac was part of the Rangers team which crashed out of the competition at the same stage to Lithuanian minnows Kaunas in 2008, just months after the Glasgow giants had made the final of the UEFA Cup. 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 Malmo.

"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," Papac said.

We've only had four weeks training behind us which isn't a lot of time. That is why we've started a little bit slowly this season.
Rangers defender Sasa Papac

"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. For the club it's also a great benefit and I really hope we can pull it off on Wednesday. If you're put out then it's hard to take but I can't even think that we'll go out - I'm only preparing for the next stage.

"As a team we were a bit sharper against St Johnstone, the level is going up. It's a little bit better and I hope we're even sharper in the next match. We've only had four weeks training behind us which isn't a lot of time. That is why we've started a little bit slowly this season and we need more time together to improve.

"I could see signs in the first leg that we can do it and we can improve on that performance. We can take our level higher and definitely get a good result on Wednesday.

"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 challenge. Malmo didn't really surprise me in the first match because on the video I could see great things, especially in an attacking sense.

"They have a couple of great, talented players - especially up front. I'm not surprised but everything is in our hands because if we play better then it's no problem for us."

Rangers 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.

Malmo's preparation for Wednesday's game were disrupted when their match against Djurdgardens 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.