Preview: Chelsea vs. Rubin Kazan

Chelsea captain John Terry celebrates a goal against Steaua Bucharest on March 14, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole looks ahead to Chelsea's Europa League meeting with Russian outfit Rubin Kazan.

With only a few weeks remaining of the season, Chelsea are still competing on three fronts.

They are locked in a battle for a top-four place in the Premier League, while they also remain in this season's FA Cup, where they have a semi-final tie against Manchester City coming up.

That may have meant that Europa League took a back seat, but reports have suggested that interim manager Rafael Benitez is keen to win the competition to boost his CV.

Heading into the opening leg of this quarter-final at Stamford Bridge, it appears to be a tough one to call. Chelsea are unbeaten at home in their last 11 European matches, but Rubin Kazan have not lost away from home in the competition so far this campaign.

Benitez has been tipped to recall the experienced John Terry and Frank Lampard to his starting linuep, while Fernando Torres will lead the attack in the absence of the cup-tied Demba Ba.

Meanwhile, Rubin are likely to include midfielder Bibras Natkho, who impressed for Israel last week during their international matches against Portugal and Northern Ireland.

Recent form

Chelsea: WLWWLW

Rubin Kazan: LDWWDW

Possible starting lineups

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

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

Sports Mole says: 1-0

Chelsea players congratulate Demba Ba after his goal against Man Utd on April 1, 2013
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