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Inter host Rubin hoping lightning strikes twice

Victorious the first time they met at San Siro, en route to becoming European champions in 2010, FC Internazionale Milano host FC Rubin Kazan in their Group H opener.

Samuel Eto'o and Rubin's Vitali Kaleshin contest a header in December 2009
Samuel Eto'o and Rubin's Vitali Kaleshin contest a header in December 2009 ©Getty Images

FC Internazionale Milano face FC Rubin Kazan again in their opening UEFA Europa League Group H fixture, having encountered the then Russian title holders in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League.

Previous meetings
• The sides met as Kurban Berdyev's Rubin made their home debut in the UEFA Champions League group stage, drawing 1-1 in Russia, with Inter's Mario Balotelli dismissed after 60 minutes. Samuel Eto'o and Balotelli struck to give José Mourinho's soon-to-be European champions a 2-0 win in the return fixture.

• The teams for that first meeting on 29 September 2009 were:
Rubin: Ryzhikov*, Ansaldi*, Navas*, Semak, Salukvadze, Domínguez (Kasaev* 86), Bukharov, Ryazantsev*, Noboa, Gökdeniz Karadeniz*, Sharonov.
Inter: Júlio César, Zanetti*, Stanković, Lúcio, Eto'o, Maicon, Cambiasso* (Vieira 80), Samuel*, Chivu, Mancini (Quaresma 64), Balotelli.

• The teams for the return fixture at San Siro on 9 December 2009 were:
Inter: Júlio César, Zanetti*, Stanković (Cambiasso* 52), Lúcio, Thiago Motta, Eto'o, Sneijder*, Maicon, Milito*, Samuel* (Córdoba 15), Balotelli (Muntari 77).
Rubin: Ryzhikov*, Navas*, Semak, Salukvadze, Domínguez, Ryazantsev* (Balyaykin 84), Noboa (Bystrov 81), Kaleshin*, Popov, Murawski, Gökdeniz Karadeniz* (Kasaev* 74).

* registered to play for the club in 2012/13.

Match background
• Inter's 18 games against Russian sides have ended W12 D4 L2 (W7 D1 L1 at home – W5 D3 L1 in Russia).

• Two 1-0 defeats by Parma FC complete Rubin's experience of Italian opponents, meaning they have yet to win in four matches against Serie A sides. Alejandro Domínguez's strike in the 1-1 draw in the UEFA Champions League remains the only goal they have scored against Italian teams in 360 minutes of competitive football.

• Inter go into their maiden UEFA Europa League group stage campaign with just one win in their last four European home games – and no victories in two continental outings at San Siro this season.

• Rubin made it through to the round of 32 as they made their debut in the group stage of this competition last season, but they have won just one of their last five European fixtures on their travels.

Team facts
• Rubin's Sergei Ryzhikov turns 32 on the eve of the game.

• Rubin's Cristian Ansaldi celebrates his 26th birthday on the day of the match.

• Rubin forward Obafemi Martins – who has not been registered to play in the group stage – played for Inter from 2001-06, scoring 28 goals in 88 Serie A games.

• The Russian side boast Italian talent in the form of centre-back Salvatore Bocchetti, who joined the club in 2010 following spells with the likes of Ascoli Calcio 1898 and Genoa CFC, where he played alongside Inter forward Rodrigo Palacio (2008-10), Andrea Ranocchia (2008-10) and Diego Milito (2008-09).

• Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovič and Rubin's Roman Eremenko were team-mates at Udinese Calcio from 2005-09. The latter's brother and Rubin team-mate Alexey Eremenko also played in Italy for US Lecce (2004-06).

• Inter's coach is Andrea Stramaccioni, who stepped in on a caretaker basis to replace Claudio Ranieri in March 2012 and was then handed a contract for the 2012/13 campaign. A defender whose career was cut short by a serious injury at Bologna FC, he specialised in coaching youth teams, taking charge of the AS Roma and then Inter junior selections before getting the senior job.

• 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.

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