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This is the third of Chelsea's four games in nine days and the second quarter-final in four. How might the Blues maintain the gruelling challenge on three fronts?

Key battles
Freshness and fatigue in the most hectic period of Chelsea's busiest ever season will no doubt be on the mind of Rafael Benitez.

Some selection decisions are already made for him. Demba Ba is ineligible in this competition and Ashley Cole's hamstring injury against Manchester United added to the injury list of Gary Cahill and Oriol Romeu.

With three Premier League points an absolute necessity on Sunday against Sunderland the Spaniard has difficult selection decisions to make. Ryan Bertrand will surely not make it three games in quick succession, so Paulo Ferreira - who used to play left back for Portugal - may see some involvement. Widemen Victor Moses and Marko Marin could return for one or more of the 'three amigos' Oscar, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata.

With a relatively free calendar and few fitness concerns, 60-year-old Rubin coach Kurban Berdyev can afford to focus all his thoughts on this tie.


The Tatars have battled their way doughtily to this stage. The pace and muscle of Venezuelan José Rondón have helped make the lone striker his side's top scorer in this competition with five goals.

Two strikes behind him is another danger man, 33-year-old Turkish midfielder Gökdeniz Karadeniz. Like Chelsea's Eden Hazard he disrupts opponents with surging runs down the flank or through the middle, as Inter found to their cost. Chelsea will need to be at our best tracking the diagonal runs and passes the Tatars like to make to find space behind defences.

Rubin have some fire power, but scored six fewer in their Europa League group than the Blues' 16 in the Champions League equivalent. Their main strength, though, lies in a very well-organised defence including two Spaniards, Iván Marcano and César Navas, that conceded seven fewer than the Pensioners in their respective group stages.

Navas began his career with Real Madrid B and almost joined Ipswich in 2007, playing a friendly trial in Crawley. Last year he broke an opponent's jaw by kneeing him in the face.

Discipline could be a factor for a Russian side with less experience of the high pressure end of UEFA competitions. Eight of their players will be suspended for the second leg if they are booked tonight (the same applies to four Chelsea men).

Welcome back to Chelsea old boy Gökhan Töre who played for our youth and reserve sides between 2009 and 2011. He made two sub appearances for Rubin in this season's group stage.

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Chelsea were the only team in the last 16 to advance to the quarter-finals after losing the first leg

The Blues are unbeaten in 11 home European games (nine wins, two draws) since losing to Manchester United in the 2010/11 Champions League quarter-finals.

The Blues are looking to become the only English club to win all three major UEFA competitions having won the Champions League last season and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1971 and 1998. The three clubs who have achieved it are Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich.

This is the 31st successive midweek that our players have either played for the club or been away on international duty. The last clear week all the players were at Cobham training was the last week of August leading up to the Super Cup against Atlético Madrid.

Rafael Benitez has been in charge of 134 UEFA competition games - more than any other coach in this season's quarter-finals.

Chelsea's home record against Russian teams
2004/05 CSKA Moscow W 2-0 Champions League group stage
2010/11 Spartak Moscow W 4-1 Champions League group stage


Chelsea's last ten years in Europe
2002/03 - UEFA Cup - first round
2003/04 - Champions League - semi-final
2004/05 - Champions League - semi-final
2005/06 - Champions League - round of 16
2006/07 - Champions League - semi-final
2007/08 - Champions League - runners-up
2008/09 - Champions League - semi-final
2009/10 - Champions League - round of 16
2010/11 - Champions League - quarter-final
2011/12 - Champions League - winners


Last six results
Mar 7 Steaua Bucharest (Europa League a) L 0-1
Mar 10 Manchester United (FA Cup a) D 2-2
Mar 14 Steaua Bucharest (Europa League h) W 3-1
Mar 17 West Ham (h) W 2-0
Mar 30 Southampton (a) L 1-2
Apr 1 Manchester United (FA Cup h) W 1-0


Scorers Mata 18, Torres 16 (1 pen), Lampard 14 (5 pens), E Hazard 12 (2 pens), Oscar 9 (1 pen), Ramires 8, Cahill 6, Ivanovic 6, Moses 6, Ba 5, D Luiz 4 (2 pens), Terry 4, Bertrand 2, Sturridge 2, Cole 1, Marin 1, Romeu 1 (pen), own goals 3. Total 118.


Chelsea's next three games
Sun 7 Apr Sunderland home 3pm
Thu 11 Apr Rubin Kazan (Europa League) away 5pm
Sun 14 Apr Manchester City (FA Cup) Wembley 4pm

Frank Lampard needs two goals to equal our all-time top scorer Bobby Tambling on 202.

If selected, David Luiz will play his 50th career European appearance and Petr Cech and Ramires will play their 50th club match of the season.


Major honours
2 Russian league titles in 2008 and 2009
1 Russian Cup in 2012
2 Russian Super Cups in 2010 and 2012

Last ten league seasons
Pos Level
2002/03 1st 2
2003/04 3rd 1
2004/05 10th 1
2005/06 4th 1
2006/07 5th 1
2007/08 10th 1
2008/09 1st 1
2009/10 1st 1
2010/11 3rd 1
2011/12 6th 1

Rubin have not lost in five European away games this season

Rubin's away games against English teams in Europe
2011/12 Tottenham L 0-1 Europa League group stage


Ten-year European record
2002/03 - Did not qualify
2003/04 - Did not qualify
2004/05 - UEFA Cup second qualifying round
2005/06 - Did not qualify
2006/07 - UEFA Cup first round
2007/08 - Intertoto Cup third round
2008/09 - Did not qualify
2009/10 - Europa League round of 16 having transferred from the Champions League group stage
2010/11 - Europa League round of 32 having transferred from the Champions League group stage
2011/12 - Europa League round of 32 having transferred from the Champions League play-offs

2012/13 Europa League results
Group H
Sep 20 Inter Milan (a) D 2-2
Oct 4 Partizan Belgrade (h) W 2-0
Oct 25 Neftçi Baku (h) W 1-0
Nov 8 Neftçi Baku (a) W 1-0
Nov 22 Inter Milan (h) W 3-0
Dec 6 Partizan Belgrade (a) D 1-1
Round of 32
Feb 14 Atlético Madrid (a) W 2-0
Feb 21 Atlético Madrid (h) L 0-1
Round of 16
Mar 7 Levante (a) D 0-0
Mar 14 Levante (h) W 2-0


Europa League proper scorers
Rondón 5, Karadeniz 3, Dyadyun 2, Ryazantsev 2, Kasaev 1, Orbaiz 1. Total 14.

Last six domestic results
Nov 26 Volga Nizhny Novgorod (h) D 0-0
Dec 1 Dinamo Moscow (a) L 0-3
Dec 10 Spartak Moscow (h) L 0-1
Mar 10 Zenit St Petersburg (h) W 1-0
Mar 17 Terek Grozny (a) D 0-0
Mar 30 Lokomotiv Moscow (h) W 2-0




Russian Premier League top eight

Pld Gd Pts
1 CSKA Moscow 22 +23 52
2 Zenit St Petersburg 22 +19 44
3 Anji Makhachkala 22 +10 42
4 Rubin Kazan 22 +10 38
5 Spartak Moscow 22 +7 37
6 Kuban Krasnodar 22 +13 37
7 Dynamo Moscow 22 +5 37
8 Krasnodar 22 +10 34


Referee Gianluca Rocchi, his two assistants and two additional assistants are from Italy. He was the official when we played Valencia in the Champions League group stage at Stamford Bridge last season.

There are no suspensions.
Demba Ba is cup-tied having already played for Newcastle in this season's competition.

Europa League bookings list
Players receive a one-match suspension for collecting three and five yellow cards.
Chelsea (12): D Luiz 3 (already served his suspension), Bertrand 2, Cole 2, Mikel 2, Ramires 2, Cahill 1.
Rubin Kazan (18): Ansaldi 2, Dyadyun 2, Eremenko 2, Kuzmin 2, Marcano 2, Natcho 2, Ryzhikov 2, Sharonov 2, Kaleshin 1, Orbaiz 1.

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