Match Preview: Rubin Kazan v Chelsea


Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand, who stood in for Ashley Cole at left-back in the first leg, will miss the Europa League last-eight second leg at Rubin Kazan.

The 23-year-old is too ill to travel, giving Nathan Ake, 18, an opportunity to make his second Blues start.

Gary Cahill, who had knee surgery at the weekend, joins Cole on the sidelines while Demba Ba is cup-tied.

Midfielder Oriol Romeu is not expected to play again this season after suffering a knee injury in December.

Chelsea take a two-goal advantage to Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium after a3-1 win at Stamford Bridge that featured two goals from Fernando Torres.

Rubin have lost three times in their last 22 European home games, with all three of those defeats coming in Moscow. They are unbeaten in 18 European games in Kazan, including wins in the most recent five, during which they conceded only once.

The second leg has been moved to the Russian capital because of freezing temperatures in Rubin’s home region of Tartarstan.

Rubin won all three of their home group matches staged in Kazan, including a 3-0 success against Inter Milan, and coach Kurban Berdyev believes the switch has damaged his side’s chances of progressing.

“If we had played in Kazan, we’d have a full stadium with fans to support us and of course we’d have more chance to beat Chelsea,” he said.

“We have the chance to fight on Thursday. They won in London because we made two mistakes which cost us two goals.”

Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi has admitted that he struggles to get motivated for the Europa League, but the Blues could secure a piece of history in this year’s tournament.

After winning the European Cup for the first time last season and claiming the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970-71 and 1997-98, Chelsea would become only the fourth club – behind Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich – to lift all three major European trophies with victory in this year’s Europa League final.

Ake was a 13-year-old at Feyenoord in his native Netherlands when Chelsea last visited the Luzhniki Stadium. The Blues suffered a penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League final at the venue.

Since moving to London in 2011, he made his first-team debut as a late substitute in the Boxing Day win over Norwich and started for the first time in the FA Cup win over Middlesbrough in February.

Colombian striker Jose Rondon, who has scored five goals since the start of the group stages, may start for Rubin Kazan after coming through the weekend’s 0-0 draw with Kuban Krasnodar.

French midfielder Yann M’Vila, who signed for Rubin in January from Rennes despite interest from QPR and Fulham, is ruled out through injury.

Projected Lineups :


Kaleshin, Navas, Sharonov, Ansaldi
Orbaiz, Natcho,
Kasaev, Eremenko, Karadeniz

Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Terry, Ake
Lampard, Mikel,
Moses, Oscar
, Hazard

Key Stats :

  • Chelsea have won all five of their previous games against Russian sides, conceding just twice in the process.
  • The Blues beat Spartak Moscow 2-0 on their last visit to the Luzhniki Stadium, in the 2010-11 Champions League group stage.
  • John Terry will make his 100th European appearance if he plays in Moscow.
  • Rubin‘s only previous home game against English opponents resulted in a 1-0 win over Tottenham in last season’s Europa League.
  • However, the Russians’ only three defeats in their last 22 European ‘home’ games have come when hosting their matches in Moscow, as opposed to their Tsentralnyi Stadion in Kazan.
  • Having already eliminated Europa League winners Atletico Madrid in the round of 32, Rubin could complete an unlikely double of knocking out the holders of both of last season’s European trophies if they overcome Champions League holders Chelsea.

Prediction :

Chelsea won the first leg 3-1 at home and will travel to Russia and that’s a very unpleasant trip for most clubs. Chelsea will try to defend well their aggregate lead and not concede many goals. 2-1 Rubin.


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