Rubin Kazan v Chelsea: Europa League Match Preview, Line-Up's and Prediction

11 April 2013 04:58

Chelsea hold a commanding lead heading into the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie with Rubin Kazan.

The Blues ran out 3-1 winners at Stamford Bridge last week, meaning they have one foot in the last four.

Trips to Russia are never easy, though, and Rafa Benitez will know that there is still work to be done if Chelsea are to prolong their European adventure.

This will be the sixth occasion that Chelsea have played a Russian side in Europe (excl. quals), with the Blues winning each of the previous five, conceding just two goals overall.

Rubin have kept a joint-competition-high seven clean sheets; alongside Newcastle United. There have been four red cards given in Rubin Kazan’s last five games in the competition; three of which have been handed to the Russian side. Salomón Rondón has netted five goals for Rubin in the Europa League this season and has attempted more shots (30) than any other player in the competition. Rubin Kazan have scored the first goal of the game in seven of their 11 matches in the competition this season.

Thursday's fixture will see them return to the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, the setting for their UEFA Champions League final defeat to Manchester United in 2008.Rubin will be hoping to inflict more continental heartache on the Blues in midweek, with it important for them to burst out of the blocks and strike early.Two goals would be enough to see them through, with an away goal already in the bag, and their defensive record bodes well in their quest to claim a clean sheet./p>

Possible starting lineups:

Rubin: Ryzhikov; Navas, Kuzmin, Kaleshin, Ansaldi; Sharonov, Orbaiz, Eremenko, Natcho; Dyadyun, Rondon

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Bertrand; Mikel, Lampard; Moses, Oscar, Mata; Torres

Prediction: 2-1

Source: DSG

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 14:57