Stefan Schwarz is confident his hometown club Malmo can finish off Celtic in tonight’s crucial Champions League qualifier, with the Swedish legend praising his former manager Age Hareide ahead of the tie.

The two worked together at Helsingborgs back in 2012 when Celtic dumped the Swedish side out of the same competition, but Schwarz says Hareide’s managerial credentials could ensure Malmo’s path to the lucrative group stages.

The Norwegian has won championships at four Scandinavian clubs – Rosenborg, Brondby, Helsingborgs and now Malmo – and Schwarz feels his experience could be the clincher against Celtic.

He said: “I worked with Age Hareide and he is a good manager. He’s won a few titles at various clubs and I hope he’ll stay at Malmo, as he is attracting a lot of interest.

“To score twice in a European tie at Celtic Park is not easy but Age organised the team well and they got crucial away goals in Glasgow.

“For Malmo to go there and do that, at such a great stadium with a lot of history and many big European nights, was impressive.

“Celtic took the advantage in the first half in Glasgow, playing aggressively and with a good tempo but Malmo proved they can be a very dangerous team.

“Age has changed a lot of players in a short time and they have done well. It will be a very interesting game on Tuesday as both teams are capable of scoring goals.

“Malmo still have to chase the game but they will be stronger with Markus Rosenberg back up front after missing out last week.

“Malmo’s stadium may not be as big as Celtic Park but the fans get behind the team and the players respond well to it.”

A self-confessed Malmo fan, 69-times capped Schwarz began his career there in 1987 – including a spell under current England boss Roy Hodgson – and earned a move to German giants Bayer Leverkusen four seasons later.

The 46-year-old went on to star for Benfica, Arsenal, Fiorentina, Valencia and Sunderland but still keenly remembers his roots.

And he warned Malmo their Champions League hopes could be dashed if Celtic are allowed too much space at crosses and set pieces.

He added: “Malmo is my hometown team. I played there under Roy Hodgson and it is club with great European tradition having played Nottingham Forest in the European Cup Final in 1979.

“Going into this massive game I think, fitness-wise, Malmo will be stronger but Celtic were dangerous from cross balls in the first game and they will be a threat again from set pieces.

“Both teams need to be at their best. Celtic are in front of course, but Malmo’s two away goals mean it is very close to call.”