Tue, Sep 29 2009, 18:30
The European football spotlight will shine for the first time on Kazan, capital of the Russian province of Tatarstan, when local favourites FC Rubin Kazan play host to FC Internazionale Milano in Group F on Matchday 2.
• Beaten 3-1 at FC Dynamo Kyiv on their group-stage bow, Rubin are making their home debut in the UEFA Champions League at the Tsentralnyi Stadium. The Italian titleholders shared a goalless draw with holders FC Barcelona on Matchday 1.
• Inter are looking for a third successive win on their travels to Russia.
• Kurban Berdyev's Russian champions are newcomers to the international stage and their 1-0 home loss to another Serie A side, Parma FC, in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup first round is their only previous home match in UEFA club competition proper, excluding the UEFA Intertoto Cup.
• Only Macbeth Sibaya and the recently returned Alejandro Domínguez of the present Rubin squad featured in that game against Parma, Lasha Salukvadze and Nukri Revishvili watching from the bench. Rubin also lost the second leg 1-0.
• Adding qualifying rounds to the equation, Rubin have played five home games against European opposition and have a mixed record of two wins, two defeats and one draw.
• Inter have performed impressively on Russian soil in the past, recording three wins and just one defeat on six previous visits.
• The Nerazzurri's most recent trip yielded a 2-1 comeback win at PFC CSKA Moskva in the 2007/08 group stage, Hernán Crespo and Walter Samuel scoring second-half goals.
• Twelve months earlier they earned a 1-0 victory away to FC Spartak Mosvka at the same stage of the competition.
• Domínguez and Inter's Esteban Cambiasso were team-mates at CA River Plate, winning the Argentinian Clausura championship together in 2001/02.
• Rubin midfielder Sibaya was an unused substitute when Rosenborg BK held Inter 2-2 at home in their opening game of the 2002/03 group stage. Sibaya also remained on the bench for Rosenborg's subsequent 3-0 reverse at San Siro.
• With his previous club Chelsea FC, Inter coach José Mourinho oversaw home (2-0) and away (1-0) victories against a CSKA Moskva side featuring Rubin's Sergei Semak in the 2004/05 group stage.
• Semak scored twice away to Parma in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup first round – his efforts in vain as his CSKA side conceded a last-minute goal to lose 3-2 on the night, 4-3 on aggregate.