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Rubin still wary of under-strength Barcelona

FC Rubin Kazan may well need to repeat last season's win at FC Barcelona to go through from Group D but coachKurban Berdyev says his team still have to keep things tight.

Rubin still wary of under-strength Barcelona
Rubin still wary of under-strength Barcelona ©UEFA.com

FC Rubin Kazan may well have to repeat last season's win at Camp Nou to have a chance of pinching the Group D runners-up spot from the current incumbents FC København, who go into Matchday 6 a point ahead. Yet while it could help the Russian side's prospects that FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola has left out a handful of first-teamers including Xavi Hernández and will start with José Pinto in goal, visiting coach Kurban Berdyev anticipates a tough evening regardless of how many regulars the home side rest. "Tactically Barcelona won't change their style. I don't think the player changes will affect that," he said.

Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach
We have no goal tomorrow because we've already completed our task. We've done the job and qualified and nobody can take that away from us. Out of respect for the public we'll try to play a good, dynamic football and create as many chances as possible.

We were also going to rest [Andrés] Iniesta and [Lionel] Messi as well as Xavi but as the B team also have an important match this week, we couldn't take any more players from them so Messi and Iniesta won't rest. I don't know if you can find better players than these ones [the trio have been shortlisted for the FIFA Ballon d'Or]. You can achieve great things, yes, but so many times? So I am very proud of them and we know the fans are proud and that's a good enough prize. It'll be tough to find a generation like this one. The club is very lucky to have them and to enjoy their football and I am lucky to be able to coach them. This is the third year they are playing at this level and that's really difficult.

Kurban Berdyev, Rubin coach
The players understand that it's a football fiesta and this is the second time we will play at this great stadium. We have prepared very well. The season is coming to an end but this doesn't affect us. Playing against Barcelona, we have to think about defending our goal. If we leave open spaces, well, we have seen what happens to other teams who have done that against Barcelona.

The whole team and I are proud not to have lost here at the Camp Nou. Barcelona teach us all lessons and we have learned a lot from them. We saw Barcelona v Real Madrid of course. Barcelona were at their highest level and wanted to achieve an important result. It's the first time I have see them play with so much motivation.

If we don't qualify, it'll be disappointing, but I think we will leave with our heads held high. Tactically Barcelona won't change their style. I don't think the player changes will affect that. The players don't make them strong, because all the players are very good and they prepare well whatever the starting XI is.

Team news
As well as Xavi, Guardiola has rested Daniel Alves, Pedro Rodríguez and David Villla, while Seydou Keita has a knee problem. Jeffren made a scoring return in last week's 5-0 win against Real Madrid CF after more than a month out with a dislocated shoulder. Gabriel Milito tore a muscle in his right thigh on 10 November.

Roman Sharonov played Rubin's last two league games after recovering from a knee injury that had kept him out for four days shy of a year. Carlos Eduardo faces a late fitness test having been out for a month with a knee injury, while a similar problem has sidelined Aleksandr Orekhov.

Weekend results
04/12/10 CA Osasuna 0-3 Barcelona
(Pedro 26, Messi 65, 84pen)
Guardiola's team secured their seventh successive win to stretch their unbeaten run to 19 games in all competitions. Barcelona had to find alternative travel arrangements for the game in Pamplona after a strike by Spanish air traffic controllers. Kick-off was delayed by 45 minutes.

• Champions in 2008 and 2009, Rubin ended their Premier-Liga campaign in third after a 0-0 draw at FC Lokomotiv Moskva on 28 November.

Did you know?
Barcelona will look to beat Rubin at the fourth attempt. Their two games in Kazan both ended in draws while last season, Aleksandr Ryazantsev and Gökdeniz Karadeniz scored to secure a shock 2-1 win at Camp Nou.

See the match background for more information.

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