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Rubin await Levante reckoning

Published: Friday 8 March 2013, 2.00CET
FC Rubin Kazan will look to mark their 50th game in UEFA competition with victory against Levante UD, Kurban Berdyev's side having earned a 0-0 first-leg draw in Valencia.
Rubin await Levante reckoning
Levante's Obafemi Martins and Rubin's Iván Marcano in action ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Friday 8 March 2013, 2.00CET

Rubin await Levante reckoning

FC Rubin Kazan will look to mark their 50th game in UEFA competition with victory against Levante UD, Kurban Berdyev's side having earned a 0-0 first-leg draw in Valencia.

FC Rubin Kazan will look to mark their 50th game in UEFA competition with a success against Levante UD, Kurban Berdyev's side having earned a 0-0 draw in Valencia in the first leg.

• Despite dominating for long periods, the Granotes failed to make the most of several openings in a contest that brought red cards for Cristian Ansaldi and Míchel in the space of three second-half minutes. The visitors, meanwhile, will take heart from a dogged display and a fervent finish, which almost culminated in an unlikely victory.

Previous meetings
• The sides met for the first time in the first leg, in what was Levante's first encounter with Russian opponents.

• Rubin's seven games against Spanish opponents have ended W2 D3 L2 (W0 D2 L1 at home). Rubin eliminated another Spanish side – holders Club Atlético de Madrid – in the round of 32 despite losing 1-0 in the home second leg in Moscow, a 2-0 success in the first game in Madrid having put them in command.

Match background
• Rubin have lost three times in their last 21 European home games (W9 D9 L3), with all three of those defeats coming in Moscow, where they have yet to score in three games. They are 18 European games unbeaten in Kazan, including wins in the most recent five, during which they conceded only once.

• European debutants Levante are unbeaten in seven games, including three matches on the road (W2 D1).

• Rubin have reached the round of 16 for the second time, having made it this far in 2009/10 before losing out to VfL Wolfsburg.

• Chelsea FC and Levante have played fewer UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League games than any other side left in the competition – just 11 each.

Team facts
• This is Rubin's 50th UEFA competition game; the previous 49 ended W18 D16 L15.

• Striker Obafemi Martins – who left Levante for Seattle Sounders this week – played for Rubin from 2010 to 2012, scoring three goals in 20 league appearances.

• Rubin defender Iván Marcano and Levante midfielder Pedro Ríos played together when the former was on loan at Getafe CF in 2010/11.

• Rubin have two more Spanish players in César Navas and Pablo Orbaiz while their Venezuelan forward José Rondon also spent four seasons in Spain, with UD Las Palmas and Málaga CF.

• Tottenham Hotspur FC and Rubin are the only two survivors from the seven clubs that were granted automatic entry to the UEFA Europa League at the group stage.

• Levante's José Barkero has provided six assists since the start of the group stage, two more than his nearest rival as the competition's top provider – FC Internazionale Milano's Freddy Guarín.

• Levante goalkeeper Keylor Navas is the only player from either side to have played all 810 minutes of their team's nine games since the start of the group stage.

• The round of 16 features teams from 11 UEFA member associations; eight nations have a single representative, with England and Russia both taking three teams through and Italy two. Russia enjoyed a perfect round of 32, with all three representatives – FC Anji Makhachkala, FC Zenit St Petersburg and Rubin – making progress.

• Berdyev has been coach of Rubin since 2001, leading the club to successive Russian titles in 2008 and 2009 and a Russian Cup in 2012. Previously a defender and midfielder in the top Soviet league with SKA Rostov-na-Donu and FC Kairat Almaty, he coached teams in Russia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan before leading Rubin into Russia's top division.

• This is Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martínez's first campaign in UEFA club competition. As a midfielder, he never rose higher than the third tier in Spanish football and coached in youth and women's football, working his way up the senior men's leagues to take charge of Levante in June 2011. He is often known by his initials, JIM, in Spain.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Neither Rubin or Levante have featured in a penalty shoot-out in UEFA competition.

Last updated: 12/03/13 10.52CET

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