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Having performed creditably on their UEFA Champions League group-stage debut, FC Rubin Kazan will look to end a run of home draws when they kick off their UEFA Europa League campaign against Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC in the round of 32.
• This is the sides' first competitive meeting and also Rubin's first game against Israeli opponents. Hapoel's sole experience of Russian opposition is a 2001/02 UEFA Cup third-round tie against FC Lokomotiv Moskva which they won 3-1 on aggregate, prevailing 2-1 at home and 1-0 in Moscow.
• Hapoel assistant coach Yossi Abuksis played in the 2-1 home success.
• This is Rubin's first spring fixture in UEFA club competition. They moved into the UEFA Europa League round of 32 following a third-place finish in UEFA Champions League Group F.
• The Russian titleholders' last four European home ties have ended all square, including draws with FC Barcelona and FC Internazionale Milano. Their last home win was a 2-0 UEFA Intertoto Cup success against Zalaegerszegi TE on 14 July 2007.
• Rubin's record in eight European home games since their continental debut in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup reads W2 D4 L2. Goals have been at a premium with Rubin scoring six and conceding five.
• This is only the second time that Hapoel have still been involved in UEFA club competition following the winter break. The first occasion followed that 2001/02 UEFA Cup victory against Lokomotiv, the Israeli side defeating Parma FC 2-1 on aggregate in the fourth round before losing to AC Milan by the same margin in the quarter-finals.
• Hapoel have won three of their five away games in Europe this term, and have failed to score only once – when losing 2-0 at Celtic FC in their final group game.
• Hapoel's Zurab Menteshashvili spent the first half of the 2003 season with FC Alania Vladikavkaz and the second part of the 2006 campaign with FC Shinnik Yaroslavl, who were relegated that season.
• Lasha Salukvadze is a team-mate of Menteshashvili for Georgia.
• Israel and Russia have met eight times since the break-up of the former Soviet Union, Israel winning three games to Russia's two. Most recently they met in UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying, drawing 1-1 in Moscow – a game which featured Hapoel's Walid Badir – before Israel won the return 2-1 in Tel-Aviv.
• Hapoel's next goal will be their 100th in UEFA club competition.
• The tie concludes in Israel on 25 February with the winners to face either Villarreal CF and VfL Wolfsburg in the round of 16 on 11 and 18 March, playing the first leg at home
Misses next match if booked: Cristian Ansaldi, Rafał Murawski, Sergei Semak
Players added to squad: Ilie Cebanu, Hasan Kabze, Aleksandr Orekhov, Igor Portnyagin
Players removed from squad: Alejandro Dominguez, Sergei Kozko, Nukri Revishvili
Misses next match if booked: none
Players added to squad: Daniël de Ridder, Mor Shushan
Players removed from squad: Samuel Yeboah, Michael Zandberg, Nemanja Vučićević, Rami Duani
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