Europa League Preview: Chelsea - Rubin Kazan
Rafa Benitez's side faces the Russian outfit at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of its Europa League quarterfinal in a heavily congested fixture schedule.
By Husmukh Kerai
Azpilicueta, Terry, Luiz, Bertrand
Oscar, Mata, Moses
Navas, Kuzmin, Kaleshin, Ansaldi
Sharonov, Orbaiz, Eremenko, Karadeniz
Rafa Benitez is set to make a number of changes to the side which knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup on Monday.
Defender Ashley Cole (hamstring) was forced off in the first half of that match and will be out for at least two weeks, so Ryan Bertrand is set to replace him again. Gary Cahill (knee) is a doubt so John Terry is likely to return in defense alongside Luiz.
Fernando Torres should return in attack with Demba Ba cup-tied in the Europa League. The attacking trio of Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard could be rotated.
Rubin Kazan boss Kurban Berdyev has a full squad to choose from. The Russian is likely to recall Bribas Natkho back to the starting lineup after the Israel international impressed for his nation last week.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition.
Chelsea has won all four of their previous games against Russian sides, conceding just one goal.
The Blues are unbeaten in 11 European games at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea could become the first side to win UEFA's two top club competitions in reverse order in successive seasons.
Making its debut in the quarterfinals of a European tournament, Rubin Kazan is visiting London for a second time, having lost 1-0 at Tottenham in the 2011-12 Europa League group stage.
Jose Rondon (pictured) is the second highest scorer left in the competition with five goals since the start of the group stage.
Rafa Benitez and Andre Villas-Boas are the only coaches left in the competition who have won the trophy previously.
- Rubin has not lost in five European away games this season.
- Rubin winger Gokhan Tore was at Chelsea (2009–11). He helped the club's reserve team to win the English reserves title, but never made a senior competitive appearance.
Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea 3-0 Rubin
- 20.17 %
Chelsea 2-0 Rubin
- 19.86 %
Chelsea 3-1 Rubin
- 12.59 %
|Europa League (EL)||Apr 11, 2013||Rubin 3 - Chelsea 2|
|Europa League (EL)||Apr 4, 2013||Chelsea 3 - Rubin 1|
|Mar 8, 2014||Chelsea 4 - Tottenham 0||EPL|
|Mar 1, 2014||Fulham 1 - Chelsea 3||EPL|
|Feb 26, 2014||Galatasaray 1 - Chelsea 1||UCL|
|Feb 22, 2014||Chelsea 1 - Everton 0||EPL|
|Feb 15, 2014||Manchester City 2 - Chelsea 0||FA|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|