Preview: Rubin Kazan vs. Chelsea

Chelsea forward Fernando Torres celebrates a goal against Rubin Kazan on April 4, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole previews Chelsea's Europa League trip to Russia to take on Rubin Kazan.

Russian outfit Rubin Kazan kept their hopes alive of reaching the Europa League semi-finals by scoring an away goal at Stamford Bridge last week.

They may have gone on to lose the match 3-1, but Bibras Natkho's penalty means that a 2-0 victory inside the Tsentralnyi Stadion on Thursday will see them advance at Chelsea's expense.

However, if Rubin are to progress, they will have to become the first Russian side to ever defeat the Blues. The English outfit have won all five of their encounters against teams from the Eastern European nation, conceding just two goals in the process.

As he has done so often this season, interim manager Rafael Benitez is likely to shuffle his squad around for this contest. Captain John Terry should be included, while Fernando Torres will lead the attack in the absence of the cup-tied Demba Ba.

Meanwhile, hosting Rubin could start with former Malaga centre-forward Salomon Rondon in attack.

Recent form

Rubin: WWDWLD

Chelsea: WLWWLW

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

Sports Mole says: 2-1

Chelsea captain John Terry celebrates a goal against Steaua Bucharest on March 14, 2013
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