Former Swedish star Marcus Allback insists Malmo are under just as much pressure as Rangers to get their hands on the Champions League riches.

The Allsvenskan winners haven’t reached the lucrative group stage since they eliminated Celtic in their play-off round clash five years ago.

Malmo landed a glamour group alongside PSG, Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk but have since failed to negotiate the qualifiers.

Rangers now stand in their way as the Light Blues return to the competition for the first time in a decade, having lost to Malmo 10 years ago in their bid to reach the group stage.

But while Steven Gerrard’s men are favourites to progress, ex-Aston Villa frontman Allback says the Swedes are also under pressure.

The 48-year-old - speaking to rekatochklart.com - said: “There is a lot of pressure on Malmo as well, especially playing at home first. Rangers is a bigger name in history and a bigger club.

“Everything is about results and performances so pressure doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what has been before, all that matters is what happens now.

“It's massive for Malmo to qualify. They didn't qualify last season and the season before and the financial aspect of getting through is massive.

“In qualifying, Malmo have built something, but if you don't qualify for a few years the money goes out.

“There's not a huge amount of money coming in because in Sweden there isn't anything like what they UK has with Sky.

“It's vital for Malmo to continue their journey to be in the Champions League or Europa League every year.”

Malmo FF's Nikola Djurdjic (L) and Markus Rosenberg celebrate after Rosenberg scored the opening goal against Celtic their Champions League play-off second leg soccer match at Malmo New Stadium in Malmo, Sweden

Allback pinpointed Danish dynamo Anders Christiansen as the main man for Malmo. He said: “Anders Christiansen is vital for their game.

“He's experienced and has been their engine in midfield for some time. He's been their best player for the last two years and is really vital for them. It's going to be a tight game, it will be very tough.

“I've been following the Scottish league and in Scotland, you have two giants, but you don't have that in Sweden; Malmo aren't walking through the league.

“There are about five teams in Sweden that are fighting for the title, where in comparison Celtic and Rangers always fight for the title.

“Malmo are towards the top of the table and they're a good team with a good mix of youth and experience.

“Malmo as a club has been the giant in Sweden for the last eight years when it comes to going to the Champions League and doing well there, which has given then a financial foundation, which is so important today.”

“That gives them a massive advantage in Sweden. If there is a player on his way back to Sweden or might go to Sweden they are the team where they start looking, they have the muscle to bring home some players.

“It started when Markus Rosenberg came back to Malmo and he performed really well for them over a few years and they build a foundation, financially and it gave them a lot of experience. He and a few others showed that it is possible for a Swedish club to go to the Champions League and do well after many years."