Although Chelsea supporters were disappointed with their early Champions League exit, the Blues have made an impressive Europa League run and expect to challenge for the trophy.
During their round of 16 tie against Steaua Bucharest, David Luiz had four successful interceptions. Entering their third match in just six days, Chelsea’s defence will count on another great performance from the centre back. Experienced defenders Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill will not play due to leg injuries. However, manager Rafa Benitez still likes his club’s odds tonight at Stamford Bridge.
Benitez told BBC, “Sometimes we will pick one team for one game and we will change three, four, seven players for the next one. That is the way to compete and to be capable of winning in every competition.”
Each club will be missing their first choice strikers for tonight’s match. Chelsea’s Demba Ba is ineligible after playing for Newcastle earlier this season, and Kazan striker Alexander Ryazantsev did not make the trip due to injury.
The west London club should expect quite the challenge tonight from Rubin Kazan, who have not lost an away leg in the Europa League. The Russian club has only conceded one goal through four knockout round matches.