FC Barcelona will be anxious to avoid another shock defeat at the hands of FC Rubin Kazan as they prepare to face the same opponents in their first away game in Group D.
• The Spanish champions made a strong start this time round, coming from behind to beat Panathinaikos FC 5-1 at home on Matchday 1, when Rubin went down 1-0 at FC København.
• When the then debutants played at Camp Nou on Matchday 3 last season, a stunning 2-1 victory ensued with Aleksandr Ryazantsev and Gökdeniz Karadeniz on the scoresheet for the Russian titleholders. The return finished scoreless.
• The teams for the Kazan game on 4 November 2009 were:
Rubin: Ryzhikov, Ansaldi, Navas, Semak, Salukvadze, Domínguez, Ryazantsev, Noboa, Kaleshin, Karadeniz (Bukharov 62), Sharonov.
Barcelona: Valdés, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Abidal, Touré, Keita (Henry 83), Xavi, Iniesta, Ibrahimović, Messi.
• That was Rubin's first home match against a Spanish club while Barcelona had travelled to Russia four times before, recording one victory and three draws.
• Barça's previous game in Russia was a UEFA Champions League first group stage meeting with FC Lokomotiv Moskva on 1 October 2002. Xavi Hernández, Carles Puyol and Víctor Valdés all featured for a Barcelona side who won 3-1 through goals from Patrick Kluivert and Javier Saviola (2).
• Rubin did not compete in Europe before 2004. Outside of qualifying rounds and UEFA Intertoto Cup ties, this is only their seventh home game in UEFA competition and they have only once finished the winning side. Last season all three home games in the UEFA Champions League ended in draws. Switching to the UEFA Europa League they beat Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC 3-0 at home, going through by the same aggregate score. In the round of 16 they drew 1-1 with VfL Wolfsburg at home and went down 3-2 on aggregate.
• Josep Guardiola's side lost their last away game in the competition, 3-1 in last season's semi-final first leg against FC Internazionale Milano. Before that they had been unbeaten for 11 games on the road. The Spanish side have won their group in each of the last three seasons and qualified for the knockout rounds eight times in the last nine campaigns, the sole exception being 2003/04 when they were not involved in the competition.
• Guardiola was in the Barcelona side defeated by PFC CSKA Moskva in the UEFA Champions League second round in 1992/93. Barça's 3-2 home loss ended their trophy defence, the 4-3 aggregate reverse denying them a place in the group stage.
• In the following season's group stage, the Catalan club faced FC Spartak Moskva and Guardiola helped his team to a 5-1 home victory.
• David Villa scored a hat-trick for Spain against Russia in the opening group game of UEFA EURO 2008. Andrés Iniesta, Xavi and Puyol also played in the Innsbruck fixture and in the subsequent meeting in the semi-final in Vienna which Spain won 3-0 with Xavi scoring the first goal.
• South African international MacBeth Sibaya twice finished on the losing side against Spain at last year's FIFA Confederations Cup. He lined up against Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué and Puyol as South Africa lost to the Spanish 2-0 in the group stage and 3-2 in the play-off for third place.
• César Navas began his career in Real Madrid CF's B team. He later played for Málaga CF, Catalonia's Club Gimnàstic de Tarragona and Real Racing Club prior to joining Rubin last year.
• Cristian Ansaldi made his Argentina debut in a friendly international against Spain in Madrid in November 2009 which ended 2-1 to the home side. Appearing for Spain were Piqué, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and Villa.
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