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Barcelona ready for revenge as Rubin return

Having been confirmed as Group D winners on Matchday 5, FC Barcelona will be looking to end their autumn season by claiming a first win against FC Rubin Kazan at the fourth time of asking.

Barcelona ready for revenge as Rubin return
Barcelona ready for revenge as Rubin return ©UEFA.com

Group D winners with a match to spare, FC Barcelona are hoping to head into the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on the back of a first win against FC Rubin Kazan; the teams have met three times over the past two seasons and the Spanish titleholders have still to come out on top.

• Barcelona secured first place in the section with a 3-0 win at Panathinaikos FC on Matchday 5, when Rubin earned a vital 1-0 win against FC København. The Russian side have six points, one fewer than FCK, and must better the Danish champions' result at home to Panathinaikos to claim second place.

Previous meetings
• The teams' Matchday 2 meeting in Russia ended 1-1 with Barcelona grateful for David Villa's second-half penalty to earn a point. It cancelled out Christian Noboa's spot kick for Rubin following a challenge by Daniel Alves on Vitali Kaleshin.

• There was another UEFA Champions League draw between the sides in last season's group stage, the game in Russia ending goalless. The Camp Nou fixture was far more spectacular as the visitors stunned the then European champions 2-1, Aleksandr Ryazantsev opening the scoring and Gökdeniz Karadeniz firing the winner 17 minutes from time. Zlatan Ibrahimović had equalised for the home team, who went on to win Group F while Rubin finished third.

• The teams for the Camp Nou game on 20 October 2009 were:
Barcelona: Valdés, Alves (Busquets 90), Piqué, Márquez (Keita 80), Abidal, Pedro (Bojan 66), Touré, Xavi, Iniesta, Ibrahimović, Messi.
Rubin: Ryzhikov, Ansaldi, Navas, Semak (Murawski 43), Salukvadze, Domínguez, Ryazantsev (Kasaev 83), Noboa, Kaleshin, Karadeniz (Popov 90), Sharonov.

• That fixture was Rubin's first against a Spanish club; Barça had previously played four competitive matches against visitors from Russia, recording three wins and one defeat. Coach Josep Guardiola played in the other reverse, a 3-2 win for PFC CSKA Moskva in the second round of the 1992/93 UEFA Champions League which eliminated Guardiola's team, also then holders, from the competition.

• In the following season's group stage, Guardiola helped Barcelona to a 5-1 home win against FC Spartak Moskva.

Match background
• The Rubin defeat aside, Barcelona enjoyed a 100% home record in last season's competition, winning five of their six games before bowing out on aggregate to FC Internazionale Milano in the semi-finals.

• The Spanish side have now won their group in the last four seasons and qualified for the knockout rounds nine times in the last ten campaigns. The sole exception was 2003/04, when they were not involved in the competition.

• This season Barça have beaten Panathinaikos at home (5-1) and, last time out, away (3-0), also defeating København 2-0 at the Camp Nou before a 1-1 draw in Copenhagen.

• Rubin's win at Barcelona remains their only away victory in the competition. Last season they lost 3-1 at FC Dynamo Kyiv and 2-0 at Inter while this term they went down 1-0 at København and drew 0-0 at Panathinaikos. At home, they have drawn with Barcelona and Panathinaikos (0-0) before defeating FCK.

Team ties
• Villa struck a hat-trick for Spain against Russia in the opening group game of UEFA EURO 2008. Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández and Carles Puyol also played in the Innsbruck fixture and in the subsequent semi-final meeting in Vienna, Spain winning 3-0 with Xavi scoring the first goal.

• 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 2-0 in the group stage and 3-2 in the third-place play-off.

• César Navas began his career in Real Madrid CF's B team, playing for Málaga CF, Catalonia's Club Gimnàstic de Tarragona and Real Racing Club before joining Rubin last year.

• Cristian Ansaldi made his Argentina debut in a friendly 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.

• Rubin's Carlos Eduardo and Barcelona right-back Daniel Alves are team-mates with Brazil.

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