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UEFA Europa League

  • April 4, 2013
  • • 20:05
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: G. Rocchi
  • • Attendance: 32994
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Chelsea - Rubin Kazan Preview: Blues remain in the hunt for a cup double

Chelsea - Rubin Kazan Preview: Blues remain in the hunt for a cup double

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Rafa Benitez's side face the Russian outfit at Stamford Bridge in the first-leg of their Europa League quarter-final in amongst a heavily congested fixture schedule

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

CHELSEA
Porto
Cech
Azpilicueta, Terry, Luiz, Bertrand
Mikel, Ramires
Oscar, Mata, Moses
Torres
RUBIN KAZAN
 
Ryzhikov
Navas, Kuzmin, Kaleshin, Ansaldi
Sharonov, Orbaiz, Eremenko, Karadeniz
Natkho,
 Dyadyun

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 defence 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 line-up 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 have 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 their debut in the quarter-finals of a European tournament, Rubin Kazan are 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 have 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 title, but never made a senior competitive appearance.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
UEFA Europa League ‎(EL)‎ Apr 11, 2013 Rubin Kazan 3 - Chelsea FC 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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UEFA Europa League ‎(EL)‎ Apr 4, 2013 Chelsea FC 3 - Rubin Kazan 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
23David LuizDefender
26John TerryDefender
28César AzpilicuetaDefender
-Ryan BertrandDefender
7RamiresMidfielder
8Frank LampardMidfielder
-Victor MosesMidfielder
30Yossi BenayounMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
8Juan MataStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
20Paulo FerreiraDefender
11OscarMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
17Eden HazardMidfielder
21Marko MarinMidfielder
1Sergey RyzhikovGoalkeeper
2Oleg KuzminDefender
3Cristian AnsaldiDefender
4César NavasDefender
19Vitaliy KaleshinDefender
76Roman SharonovDefender
-OrbaizMidfielder
23Roman EremenkoMidfielder
61Gökdeniz KaradenizStriker
66Bibras NatchoMidfielder
54Vladimir DyadunStriker
44Giedruis ArlauskisGoalkeeper
-MarcanoDefender
-Alexander RyazantsevMidfielder
14Alan KasaevMidfielder
-Sergei KislyakMidfielder
17Gökhan TöreMidfielder
23RondónStriker
Players to Watch
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
With Chelsea fixture congestion and Demba Ba's ineligibility, the Spaniard is certain to start the game for the Blues. It's been another frustrating season for the £50 million striker despite his 17 goals in all competitions. He did manage to get on the scoresheet in the last round against Steaua Bucharest, though, but later went to miss a penalty in the same game.

If the Blues are to progress and later go on to win the tournament, they are going to need their striker in some sort of goalscoring form.
Rondón
Rondón
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 23
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Rubin Kazan forward is the Russian side's danger-man having proven his pedigree in the Europa League this season. The former Malaga striker is the competition's second highest scorer with five goals. The 23-year-old Venezuelan plays with pace and power and will also pose an aerial threat throughout the tie. The striker's combination with Bribas Natkho will be the visitor's best chance of creating a goal.
Prediction
Rubin Kazan haven't lost any of their last five Europa League away games but come up against a Chelsea side who haven't lost at Stamford Bridge in Europe all season. The Russians have proven they can match the best teams in Europe with a series of impressive displays over the past couple of seasons, but you have to fancy the attacking talents of Rafa Benitez's side to get the better of the visitors.

Chelsea will definitely need some sort of result before flying out to Moscow for the return leg of the fixture.
Editor's Prediction
Rubin 1

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