Chelsea Vs Rubin Kazan
Apr 11, 2013 at 5pm (UK)
The Blues make a long trip to Russia in a hope to finish off things and book their tickets to the semi-finals of the Europa league. With a 3-1 advantage over the first leg, it should be an easy job for Rafa Benitez’ men but the one away goal scored by Bibras Natkho can be a tricky one as the Russians can still damage the party with a 2-0 win at home. However to do that, Kazan has to overcome a very strong odd – No Russian outfit have ever managed to beat the Blues and have only managed to score 2 goals.
A win today means that Chelsea are still in with a chance of winning two silverware this season, not so bad for a team who has sacked their manager midway through the season and are playing with a boss who is clearly hated by their fans.
Rubin Kazan are missing two of their key players Yann M’Vila and Alexei Eremenko in the midfield which will have a major impact in the game and with the likes of Hazard, Mata and Lampard the English team can dominate Rubin in their home ground. Kurban Berdyev, Rubin Kazan’s head coach has to be careful with his picking, but with the rest of his squad available he certainly has options to pick from.
Knowing Rafa Benitez, he is certain to rotate his squad. With Demba Ba cup tied, it is expected Fernando Torres to start at front with the likes of Moses, Mata and Oscar accompanying him. Lampard and Mikel are the other likely candidates involved in the midfield. Injuries to Cahill (knee) and Cole (hamstring) alongside long-term absentee Romeu means that Ivanovic, Terry and Luiz should start at the back. It is still a doubt whether or not Bertrand will start at the full back position.
Talking to the press ahead of the match, Benitez said:
“David Luiz has played at left-back so maybe he can be an option. I have an idea, but we will train today, see how everything is and after that we will decide. I don’t think it would be a big problem for Aké if he has to play.”
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.
Chelsea have won three successive games in all competitions and will be looking to secure four wins in a row for the first time in 2013 (last won four successive games in Dec 2012).
After failing to score with any of his first 15 shots at goal (excl. blocked) in the Europa League this season, Fernando Torres has scored with three of his last seven (43%).
Rubin Kazan have conceded only three goals in their last eight European home matches (excl. quals). However, two of these goals contributed to two 0-1 defeats.
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