Rangers’ Champions League qualifier with Swedish Champions Malmo FF is on a knife-edge after the first leg – and so is the tie between potential Playoff opponents Olympiakos and Ludogorets.

The Gers went into the clash with Malmo favourites to win the tie but fell to a 2-1 defeat to the Scandinavians, Steven Davis’ last-minute goal handing the Gers a late reprieve.

That hands the Ibrox club a major opportunity in Glasgow next week with Steven Gerrard calling on the Ibrox support to make the difference.

Similarly, Greek Champions Olympiakos are the favourites to overcome Bulgarian counterparts Ludogorets but the Greeks needed a late goal to rescue a 1-1 draw on home soil.

With the abandonment of the away goals rule, that game is very neatly poised heading into the return in Razgrad next week.


Olympiakos striker Aguibou Camara netted with three minutes to go after Kiril Despodov had given Ludogorets the lead.

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Given how neatly poised both ties are all four sides won’t be looking too far ahead next week and will be fully focused on the task at hand.

Rangers’ £40m Champions League status for this season now hangs in the balance and the Gers will be hoping home advantage plays its part next week.

Similarly, Ludogorets will be hoping home advantage works in their favour with the Bulgarians probably the more preferable of the two sides when it comes to any potential Rangers Playoff.


Rangers boss Steven Gerrard will face Olympiakos or Ludogorets in the Champions League Playoff if the Gers can overcome Malmo. (Photo by ANDREAS HILLERGREN/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

But as the defeat in Sweden proves, there are no easy opponents at this level and – most pertinently – the clash with Malmo FF is anything but done.

Here’s how the Rangers fans reacted to the Playoff draw when it was made as Rangers hope to reach the Champions League group stages 11 years on from when they last qualified.

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