David Luiz has warned his side that they will need to play an intelligent game to beat Rubin Kazan and that it would be dangerous to take them lightly when the two sides meet at Stamford Bridge tonight.
The Russian side has already knocked title holders and European Super Cup champions Atletico Madrid out of the competition and disposed of Levante in the last round, so Luiz believes they’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the competition.
“They’ve already beaten two good Spanish sides. To arrive at this stage of the tournament, they are obviously a very good team.
“We need to be careful, play an intelligent game and not concede any goals, because that’s very important when you play the first leg at home.”
The Brazilian defender has every right to be concerned as Rubin Kazan are a very well organised outfit that will likely trouble Chelsea more than Steaua Bucharest or Sparta Prague did and the Blues stumbled through those ties.
Rubin Kazan have kept a clean sheet in seven of their last nine Europa League matches and have only lost once in the last ten. Their games aren’t particularly thrilling either as less than 2.5 goals have been scored in eight of the last nine games in the competition, so it could be a tight affair and you definitely don’t want to be giving an away goal on this lot as they’d be confident seeing out any sort of lead in the second leg.
Venezuela forward Salomon Rondon, a former Chelsea target, may well be the man to watch out for in terms of Kazan’s attacking threat as the forward has been fairly prolific scoring five Europa League goals in nine starts and is dangerous in the air.