Rafeal Benitez’ men are favourites to beat Kurban Berdyev’s team to step up their chance of claiming the Europa League trophy at first attempt
In continuation of Chelsea’s tortuous congested fixtures in the first week of April as they seek a finish in the Premiership top four, chase FA Cup success, they welcome Rubin Kazan in the first leg quarter finals of the Europa League on Thursday evening in what will be the first meeting of both club sides.
Rafa Benitez will shuffle his side that thwarted Manchester United’s quest for a double and Ladbrokes makes the Roman Army ½ (1.50) favourites to send the visitors back to Russia empty handed.
Goals from Salomon Rondon and Vladimir Dyadyun in extra time was all the Russian outfit needed to qualify for this stage ahead of Levante last month, but this battle will be a tough one for the Berdyev’s wards because of the quality of their hosts.
Ladbrokes make the Tatars who made their first trip to London last season against Tottenham in the same competition 11/2 (6.50) to win in 90 minutes and continue their amazing away form in the tournament. The draw is a 3/1 (4.00) play.
Chelsea so far, has made the Stamford Bridge a fortress staying unbeaten in last eleven home games but will face a real threat from Rubin who boast of an enviable unbeaten streak away from home winning three and drawing two this term.
The Blues have all four of their previous meetings with Russian clubs, conceding just a goal in the process so backing them to take a big leap towards another European trophy by booking a place in the semis at 1/3 (1.33) is a solid bet against their visitor backed at 9/4 (3.25).
For the value bet consider the trend of goals between these two sides and factor this into the possibility of a Chelsea win. A home win with over 2.5 goals in the game is priced at 11/8 (2.37) by the same bookmaker looks a good option for those in search of a bigger priced bet for this game.
Jose Rondon is the second highest scorer left in the competition with five goals since the start of the group stage and the Venezuelan forward is available at 8/1 (9.00) to bag an hat trick and 8/1 (9.00) to score and Rubin Kazan to win. While Fernando Torres who is expected to trouble the Russian backline in the absence of cup tied Demba Ba is a 9/2 (5.50) bet to get the curtain raiser on Thursday night.