Tottenham Hotspur resume their Europa League campaign tomorrow at White Hart Lane against Rubin Kazan. The two clubs are level on points at the top of Group A, but Rubin lead on goal differential. Should either side manage to win this game they will take a stranglehold on the group and should be a certainty for qualification for the next round. I actually do know a few things about Rubin Kazan, so I won't have to make stuff up like I usually do in these posts.
1. Rubin Kazan are a club in the Russian Premier League. They play in the city of Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan (which I assume is pronounced like tatter and not like the slang for a potato). Kazan is the eight most populous city in Russia. Surprisingly Rubin don't have much of a history. They've only played in the Russian Premier League since 2002, but have won it twice in that span.
2. Rubin Kazan have played in the UEFA Champions League three different occasions, but have never advanced beyond the group stage. Their best performance in the Europa League was making it to the round of sixteen back during the 2009-10 season where they lost to VfL Wolfsburg.
More Things That I Know after the jump.
3. Rubin Kazan finished third in the Russian Premier League last season. In thirty games they scored a whopping 37 goals, but they only allowed 16 goals to be scored against them. Goalkeeper Sergey Ryzhikov is regarded as one of the top keeper in the RPL and he performed very well in last years Champions League matches against Barcelona. It could be difficult for Spurs to score against them.
4. There will be one familiar face on the pitch for Rubin Kazan: Obafemi Martins. Yes the former Newcastle United and Birmingham City winger is on the books for the Russian club and has already played in one Europa League match for them. Other than that most of the names on the pitch will be unfamiliar to you (unless you play Football Manager or are Kevin McCauley) and they will probably be difficult to pronounce.
5. Remember when I said that don't score much? That seems to be true this season as well. In all competitions their leading scorers have 6 goals and remember they've been playing through the summer. Also, the two players with 6 goals are both midfielders. Rubin's strikers aren't going to offer much in terms of goal scorer so this might be an alright time to not have a fully healthy back-line.
There you have it. Those are the things I know. Kevin will probably fill in more (and better) information tomorrow. What are your thoughts on this game?