AUGUST 3: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

IT’S do or die for Rangers in Sweden as they try to save their Champions League skins on Wednesday.

Ally McCoist’s side need to make history to reach the next round because they have never lost a European tie at home and gone on to qualify.

On current form it’s a stat that is unlikely to change as without keeper Allan McGregor’s heroics in the first leg they would have lost more than 1-0.

Rangers have brought in centre-half Gorin Doian from Palermo in a bid to steady the ship but he’s been ruled ineligible while veteran Davie Weir is injured so it will be a makeshift pairing that has to cope with the pace of Daniel Larsson and Wilton Figueiredo.

Coisty’s side improved to win at St Johnstone on Saturday so you can’t write them off totally but it’s a tall order and they’ll have a mountain to climb if Malmo score.

Surprisingly, bookies make the Scots favourites to win on the night with McBookie.com and Ladbrokes offering 11-8

Malmo are 2-1 with firms such as Stan James but just 1-2 at Hills, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power to progress.

Rangers are a biggest 13-8 at bet365 to make the next round and 6-1 with William Hill to qualify on away goals. Gers are 16-1 to win after extra time with Malmo 20-1 while both sides are 25-1 with Hills to win on penalties.

Celtic fans profited from backing Daniel Larsson to score first at Ibrox and the Swedish No.7 is 7-1 with McBookie.com and Paddy Power to break the deadlock again and 16-5 with Hills to hit the target in a Malmo win.

Wilton Figueiredo also looked dangerous and the pacy Brazilian is 11-1 at Ladbrokes to score first.

Coisty’s men certainly need a goal but might struggle to keep a clean sheet so look at both teams to score at 10-11 with Hills.

There are 13 ties in all being played on Wednesday and in only three are the teams separated by more than a goal so it’s not the easiest of nights for punters.

Sides on the front foot after good results include Zurich (6-5, Blue Square) against Standard Liege and Sturm Graz (1-2, Chandler) at home to Georgians Zestafoni.

I was impressed by Wisla Krakow in their first leg against Litex Lovech and they should extend their lead. The Poles are 4-5 with bet365.

Rubin Kazan stunned Dynamo Kiev 2-0 in the Ukraine but knowing the Russians they will settle for a home draw.

Twente look home and hosed after beating Vaslui 2-0 at home as do Benfica who take an identical lead to Trabzonspor.

Other teams who look in good shape but don’t have to win include Czechs Plzen at home to Rosenborg, Slovan Bratislava at home to APOEL, Maccabi Haifa at Maribor and Dinamo Zagreb at home to HJK Helsinki.

Recommendations

Both teams to score Malmo v Rangers

(10-11, William Hill)

Wislaw Krakow

(4-5, bet365)

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