UEFA Champions League: FC Barcelona vs. Rubin Kazan
Title holders FC Barcelona will be looking for revenge at the Central Stadium as they take on Russian club Rubin Kazan in the UEFA Champions League.
Last month, Pep Guardiola’s side suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at Camp Nou to the Tatars. Barca were on top in the second period but it was Gokdeniz Karadeniz who struck last to give the Russians a memorable victory into their campaign.
Tonight’s clash won’t be easy for the Catalan giants, as the temperature is likely to be around minus 7C (20 Fahrenheit), some 25 degrees colder than the city of Barcelona.
Rubin is relatively unknown in Europe but captain Sergei Semak believes that his team can afford to open up against their opponents. And with only three games remaining in the Russian domestic season, the Tatars are on course to retain their title.
Gurban Berdiýew’s side will be happy with Aleksandr Bukharov playing this time around. He missed their win last month but already made his return netting a brace for them in the league.
For Barca, all 19 players who have travelled to Russia are fully fit and ready to play. Only Gabriel Milito and Thierry Henry have not made the trip because of knee and thigh injuries respectively.
UPDATE: Rubin Kazan held Barca to a goalless draw in sub-zero temperatures, two weeks after upsetting the Catalan giants at Camp Nou.