Malmo boss expects Rangers to progress
Malmo head coach Rikard Norling has heaped pressure on Rangers by branding them favourites to come out on top in their UEFA Champions League qualifier.
Rangers will head into the first leg of the third qualifying round at Ibrox tomorrow night hoping for a home win that will swing the tie in their favour ahead of next week's trip to Sweden. But, although claiming the Scottish champions should be able to take a step closer to booking their place in the group stages, Norling warned that his side will not go down without a fight.
"We are a big club in Sweden, in Scandinavia, but if we try to compare ourselves with Rangers, I think we are not being fair to ourselves," Norling said. "But we have a lot of good players, we have a professional attitude to everything that we do. We are not apologising for being here but I think it would be a big disappointment for them if they don't go through.
"We look upon it as two games where we will do everything we can to go through. It will be an interesting task," he went on. "I could continue to put the pressure on to their side, they are the favourites, but we look upon ourselves as a good team as well."
Malmo overcame Faroe Islands outfit Torshavn in the last round and Norling added: "We are going to play a game that we have been looking forward to since we got the draw. We are really looking forward to taking on the challenge of playing Rangers. We have done our preparations and hopefully we will have a good performance tomorrow."
Rangers have just one competitive game under their belts this season, Saturday's 1-1 draw against Hearts in their Scottish Premier League opener. In contrast, Malmo's own domestic campaign is well underway, but Norling believes it is impossible to tell whether his side will be able to take advantage of what should be superior match-sharpness.
"When Rangers were in the running at the end of the season, when they were competing with Celtic, they were at the top," he said. "Now they are just starting their league campaign. You can always look at advantages and disadvantages but you never know until afterwards."