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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: RUBIN KAZAN V CHELSEA

With kick-off on the Lukhniki's artificial surface close, Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton complete their preview…

TACTICAL BRIEF
Tonight in Moscow the Blues, with a 3-1 first leg advantage, are aiming to make it to a round dozen European semi-finals. What lessons can be learned from the match in London to make that happen?

Key battles
Since our meeting Rubin Kazan have drawn 0-0 away to Kuban Krasnodar, a side two places below them in the Russian Premier League.

José Rondón, who was omitted from their Stamford Bridge line-up with a slight knock but joined the action at half-time, was a starter on Sunday afternoon. Playmaker Ermenko (pictured below) was a second-half substitute and Vladimir Dyadyun, who was injured and made way for Rondón at the Bridge, was again the man replaced.

Rammy


A week ago coach Kurban Berdyev admitted that his side were intimidated about facing Chelsea in London- evidenced by misplaced passes and slack pressing - and allowed the Pensioners to play as they liked.

The visitors, ponderous at the back, often looked flustered and bemused by the Londoners' attacking pace and variety and they handed Chelsea the initiative as well as space to exploit, leading almost inevitably to the two-goal lead.

The Blues might have forced the issue more and perhaps drawn more yellow cards for the eight Tatars hovering over a UEFA ban.

Tactical switches led to an improved showing from the Tatars and the introduction of Rondón provided more of a cutting edge although Rubin's attacking midfielders could not find the guile to provide him with clear goalscoring opportunities.

After that response, Chelsea's third goal 'just ruined everything for us', Rubin's coach admitted afterwards. Fernando Torres headed his second of the night and will again carry the main goal threat for the visitors as Demba Ba is ineligible in this competition.

Chelsea are also without Oriol Romeu, and defenders Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand. The last two have been Chelsea's left-backs of choice, leaving Rafael Benítez with the choice of moving a centre-back such as David Luiz across or draft in the vastly experiences Paulo Ferreira or Nathan Aké, the youngster who has shown such immense promise this season.

The impression after last week's action was that it would take a remarkable improvement from the Russians to turn this tie around, but this is a side that has beaten Inter 3-0 on their own turf in Kazan and Levante 2-0 (after extra time) on the artificial field of the Luzhniki. We have already seen in the Champions League this week that second legs can produce dramatic denouements.

Although the unfamiliar artificial pitch might ring some alarm bells it is the same surface on which the Blues won 2-0 in October 2010. Grass turf was specially laid for the 2008 Champions League final - and we all know how that story ended.

Of course it is not Rubin's real home ground either, and they have staged just a handful of games on it. They played Inter at their own, far more atmospheric Central'nyj Stadion and fancied this match there too. After an inspection UEFA scuppered that by declaring the surface unfit.

Whatever the stage Rubin boss Berdyev knows he has no choice but to go for two goals - anything less and his side are out - and has said he will ring the changes in tactics and personnel in order to achieve that.

However, the counter-attacking threat of Chelsea - who look far less comfortable breaking down deeply defensive opponents - will concern him. A 2-0 victory would see Rubin progress, a 3-1 win would usher in extra time and any other two-goal winning margin, as well as any draw or away win, would see the Londoners through to the semi-finals.

Chelsea face Manchester City in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday, whereas Rubin have a league game against relegation-threatened Rostov.


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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: RUBIN KAZAN V CHELSEA

CHELSEA STATS
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. Three clubs that have achieved it are Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich.

This is the 32nd 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.

Chelsea have lost three of our last four European away games.

Rafael Benitez has been in charge of 135 UEFA competition games - more than any other coach in this season's quarter-finals.

Chelsea's away record against Russian teams
2004/05 CSKA Moscow W 1-0 Champions League group stage
2010/11 Spartak Moscow W 2-0 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 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
Apr 4 Rubin Kazan (Europa League a) W 3-1
Apr 7 Sunderland (h) W 2-1

 

Scorers Mata 18, Torres 18 (1 pen), Lampard 14 (5 pens), E Hazard 12 (2 pens), Oscar 9 (1 pen), Ramires 8, Ivanovic 7, Moses 7, Cahill 6, Ba 5, D Luiz 4 (2 pens), Terry 4, Bertrand 2, Sturridge 2, Cole 1, Marin 1, Romeu 1 (pen), own goals 4. Total 123.

 

Chelsea's next three games
Sun 14 Apr Manchester City (FA Cup) Wembley 4pm
Wed 17 Apr Fulham away 8pm
Sun 21 Apr Liverpool away 4pm

 

MILESTONES
If selected, John Terry will make his 100th European appearance for Chelsea and will join Frank Lampard as the only two players to reach that milestone for the club.

Petr Cech will play his 421st game for Chelsea and equal Steve Clarke as our seventh all-time appearance maker.

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


RUBIN KAZAN STATS
Founded
1958

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


Rubin Kazan are looking to complete a double of eliminating the holders of both last season's major UEFA competitions having already disposed of Atlético Madrid in the Round of 32.

Rubin have lost three times in their last 22 European home games, with all three of those defeats coming in Moscow. At their own ground in Kazan, they are unbeaten in 18 UEFA matches.


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's away games against English teams in Europe
2011/12 Tottenham W 1-0 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
Quarter-final
Apr 4 Chelsea (a) L 1-3

 

Europa League proper scorers
Rondón 5, Karadeniz 3, Dyadyun 2, Ryazantsev 2, Kasaev 1, Natcho 1 (pen), Orbaiz 1. Total 15.

 

Last six domestic results
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
Apr 7 Kuban Krasnodar (a) D 0-0

 

Russian Premier League top six
Pld Gd Pts
1 CSKA Moscow 23 +25 55
2 Zenit St Petersburg 23 +20 47
3 Anji Makhachkala 23 +10 43
4 Rubin Kazan 23 +10 39
5 Dynamo Moscow 23 +5 38
6 Kuban Krasnodar 23 +13 38


THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Referee Fırat Aydınus, his two assistant referees and two additional assistant referees are all from Turkey. Aydınus has never previously officiated a Chelsea game.


OTHERWISE ENGAGED
There are no suspensions.

Demba Ba is cup-tied having previously played for Newcastle United in this season's competition.

Europa League bookings list
Players receive a one-match suspension for collecting three and five yellow cards.
Chelsea (15): D Luiz 3 (already served his suspension), Bertrand 2, Cole 2, Mikel 2, Ramires 2, Benayoun 1, Cahill 1, Marin 1, Terry 1.
Rubin Kazan (19): Ansaldi 2, Dyadyun 2, Eremenko 2, Kuzmin 2, Marcano 2, Natcho 2, Orbaiz 2, Ryzhikov 2, Sharonov 2, Kaleshin 1.

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