So now we know. Rangers will face either Filip Helander’s old stomping ground in Malmö FF, or Alfredo’s in HJK.
Both are current champions of Sweden and Finland respectively, and we’re sure fans will be keeping a keen eye on Wednesday’s second round first leg to see how these sides measure up.
The smart money would be on Malmö FF by some distance – Sweden’s Allsvenskan is a pretty strong league compared with the Veikkausliiga, but either way one of them is going to come to Ibrox for the third round and it isn’t going to be easy.
We’re facing sides of the level of the Europa group stage now, so while Rangers fans might consider their club strong favourites to get to the playoff round, well, the same thinking preceded our tie with Slavia Praha and that definitely ended up a lesson.
We will show the Swedes or Fins the absolute respect they deserve by being at this level, both being fellow champions, and neither of them will be a walkover.
There’s no point doing factfiles on the ins and outs of either side, so we’ll await to see who we get, but of course there’s that small suplot of facing Helander’s former team, or Alfie’s – and of course, albeit a friendly, we’ve faced Helsinki in recent times so they’re not unfamiliar.
Naturally neither are Malmo but 2011 was a long time ago.
We are excited to finally be back in the CL after 10 years, and we’ll have a piece on that later today.