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Champions League Group G

Rubin bullish of causing shock

Rubin Kazan have vowed to do their utmost to upset Chelsea and advance to the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday night.

Last Updated: 10/04/13 at 20:17 Post Comment

Kurban Berdyev's side believe the tie is not over yet

Kurban Berdyev's side believe the tie is not over yet

Rubin Kazan have vowed to do their utmost in their temporary home to upset Chelsea and advance to the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday night.

Freezing temperatures in Kazan, 500 miles east of Moscow, have forced Rubin to play the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final at the Luzhniki Stadium, where Chelsea lost the 2008 Champions League final to Manchester United.

Rubin have already beaten Atletico Madrid, last season's Europa League champions, in the competition and have the 2012 European Cup-winning Blues in their sights, even though they trail 3-1 from the first leg in London.

"We understand the situation," coach Kurban Berdyev said.

"At the moment Chelsea has a very good advantage, but we can say that we're going to do everything possible we can do to win this game on the pitch tomorrow."

Right-back Oleg Kuzmin hopes all of Russia will support Rubin's cause, with two goals and a clean sheet enough to seal progress due to Bebras Natcho's away goal at Stamford Bridge.

"In this competition we're representing Rubin, we're representing Russia and we're happy playing here," Kuzmin said.

"We have the chance to fight tomorrow. They won in London because we made two mistakes which cost us two goals.

"We have chances tomorrow to win. We want to fight, we want to do everything well."

All three of Rubin's home group games were played in Kazan and they won all three, including against Inter Milan.

The knockout matches have taken place in Moscow, with a 50 per cent success rate - a 1-0 defeat to Atletico, which was enough to squeeze through on aggregate, and a 2-0 win over Levante in the last round.

Rubin had hoped to play Chelsea in Kazan, but a pitch inspection ruled it would not be possible.

"We think if we had played in Kazan, at first we'd have a full stadium with fans to support us and of course we'd have more chance to beat Chelsea," Berdyev added.

"We're feeling comfortable playing here and we hope that tomorrow our fans from Kazan will come to support us.

"We hope the fans of Moscow will come together to support us tomorrow."

Chelsea finally overcame the heartache of their penalty shootout loss to Manchester United last May in Munich with an unexpected first Champions League title.

But the Blues became the first holders to exit at the group stage earlier this season and John Obi Mikel recently admitted to struggling for motivation for Thursday night football in the second-tier competition.

Asked about Mikel's comments, Berdyev insisted Rubin have no such trouble.

"I can understand the players of Chelsea," Berdyev said.

"They are the last winners of the Champions league and I can understand that the Europa League is not too significant for them.

"For us, for our players, it's a big interest, a big motivation and we have no problems for these games."

Rubin have a full squad to choose from, with the exception of midfielders Yann M'Vila and Alexei Eremenko.

Asked about Chelsea's team, Berdyev was uncertain due to the rotation utilised by Rafael Benitez in a congested fixture schedule, plus the absences of Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand which mean the visitors may field an unfamiliar left-back.

Berdyev said: "We know perfectly the situation. We're waiting for tomorrow."

The coach also dismissed the potential impact of the artificial pitch.

"I don't think they have a problem because they're players of top level," he said.

"I don't think we have some advantage with the artificial field."


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