Rangers v Malmo: Key clashes

The players to watch out for as Rangers open their European qualifying campaign against the Swedish champiions at Ibrox.

Nikica Jelavic v Daniel Andersson

Croatian hitman Jelavic will fancy his chances against the ageing Andersson tonight. The experienced Swede can draw on years of experience in Italian football, but at 33, his pace is starting to slow and he was exposed a few times against Helsingborgs on Saturday. If Jelavic finds some form then he can exploit him.

Steve Davis v Markus Halsti

The Finnish left back managed to score against Swedish League leaders Helsingborgs, but that masked a woeful performance. He was skinned on countless occasions down his wing and while Davis isn't renowned for ghosting past opponents, he should be more than confident about getting plenty of joy out of the hapless Halsti and will take heart from his second half performance against Hearts at the weekend.

Madjid Bougherra v Dardan Rexhepi

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Bougherra will find Rexhepi a handful. Big, strong and powerful, he is also fast and can finish, as he proved at the weekend. Could be a real physical battle between the striker and the Algerian stopper and a bruising encounter may be on the cards.


Rangers will face a Swedish club for only the second time in their 55-year European history tonight. And they will be hoping for a better show against Malmo at Ibrox this evening than when they faced IFK Gothenburg in the 1997 Champions League second qualifying round. Walter Smith's side were destroyed 3-0 in Gothenburg when IFK netted three second-half goals. Rangers could only draw the second leg 1-1 at Ibrox, thanks to a Charlie Miller goal, but the aggregate loss was a bitter disappointment to Smith, who had forked out 15 million in the summer in a bid to make an impact in Europe.

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