Chelsea vs Rubin

April 3, 2013
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Buoyed by the FA Cup triumph over Manchester United, Chelsea hope to make a giant step towards the Europa League semi-finals by seeing off Rubin Kazan at Stamford Bridge. With their rock-solid defence in perfect working order, the Russian side will have no problems with sitting back and waiting for their chance on the break.

Misfiring Chelsea

As soon as they were eliminated from the Champions League, Chelsea became one of the main candidates for the Europa League trophy, but it is fair to say Rafael Benitez’s men haven’t really impressed so far. With the Premier League campaign obviously the priority, the Spaniard had no choice but to field weakened sides in Europe, which has seen his side experience all sorts of problems in the Europa League matches. Chelsea recorded narrow aggregate wins over Sparta Praha and Steaua to reach the quarter-finals, but having scored just six goals in four matches against average European sides, the Blues could find it hard to break one of Europe’s best defences. With key players running on empty after playing on Saturday and Monday, and misfiring Fernando Torres set to start, this will be a much more difficult game for the hosts than anyone expects. The Blues go into the game high on confidence after defeating Manchester United in the FA Cup, but that won’t mean much considering the circumstances.

Demba Ba is cup-tied, while Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill are out injured. Frank Lampard, John Terry and Victor Moses should all start.

Can anyone score against Rubin?

Even after the team won back to back Russian Premier League titles and famously beat Barcelona at Camp Nou, many believed that Rubin would soon leave the biggest stage, but the team have done really well to prove the doubters wrong. Kurban Berdyev’s side not only beat Inter to the first place in their Europa League group this term, but went on to eliminate reigning champions Atletico Madrid and very good Levante side to reach the quarter-finals. The team have done all this thanks to their rock-solid defence, which conceded just one goal in seven matches in 2013, and that was at home against Atletico Madrid when the tie had already been done and dusted. Having gone five games without conceding in all competitions, Rubin have a good chance to extend the amazing run at Stamford Bridge against tired, weakened and misfiring Chelsea. I even dare say that the Russian side are the favourites to reach the semi-finals.

Charismatic boss Kurban Berdyev has no fresh injury worries, although defender Ivan Marcano misses out through suspension.


With a number of important players set to miss out and most of the footballers tired from the hectic schedule, Chelsea are in for a difficult task against hard-working Rubin. The team from Kazan boast a formidable defence that hasn’t conceded in last five games, and nobody can remember when Rubin last were involved in a high-scoring match.

Top pick: Under 2.5 goals   1.88 (8/9) @ Betfair

Alternative pick 1: Draw at half-time   2.10 (11/10) @ Paddy Power

Alternative pick 2: Under 1.5 goals   3.60 (13/5) @ Sportingbet

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