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Top spot the target for Rubin and Inter

With their places in the round of 32 already secure, Group H frontrunners FC Rubin Kazan and FC Internazionale Milano meet with ambitions of smoothing their path through the knockout stages.

Inter and Rubin have been neck-and-neck since matchday one
Inter and Rubin have been neck-and-neck since matchday one ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Rubin Kazan and FC Internazionale Milano meet for a fourth time, with the sides jostling for top spot in UEFA Europa League Group H.

• Rubin and Inter both confirmed their places in the round of 32 with away victories on matchday four, but winning the section is still a valuable prize. Teams who finish first are sure of a tie against one of the second-placed finishers from another group or one of the four lower-ranked sides who finish third in the UEFA Champions League pools.

Previous meetings
• The sides drew 2-2 when they met on matchday one. Rubin twice led through Aleksandr Ryazantsev and José Rondón, but Marko Livaja and Yuto Nagatomo – with practically the last kick of the game - struck back to salvage a point.

• The teams had previously encountered one another as Kurban Berdyev's Rubin made their debut in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2009/10, 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:
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:
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
• Two 1-0 defeats by Parma FC complete Rubin's experience of Italian opponents, meaning they have yet to win in five matches against Serie A sides.

• Inter's 19 games against Russian clubs have ended W12 D5 L2 (W7 D2 L1 at home – W5 D3 L1 in Russia).

• True to their miserly reputation, Rubin have not conceded a goal since they last met Inter, recording three straight victories in their subsequent games.

• Rubin have lost home fixtures played in Moscow more recently, but have not been beaten in their last 17 European games at the Centralniy Stadium, though the last side to defeat them at home were Inter's Serie A rivals Parma, 1-0 UEFA Cup winners in Kazan on 14 September 2006.

• Inter are unbeaten in six European games (W4 D2) and have won all four of their UEFA fixtures on the road this season by margins of at least two goals.

Team facts
• 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).

• 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.

• 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.

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