- (Photo: Reuters/Darren Staples)
Chelsea plays host to Russian side Rubin Kazan at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the UEFA's Europa League.
Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez will have to contend with a few key injuries that affect a Chelsea back line, which has shown vulnerability throughout the course of the year.
Benitez will be without left-back Cole, who suffered a hamstring injury during the FA Cup tie against Manchester United. The Blues with continue to be without central defender Gary Cahill, who is still recovering from a knee injury.
Benitez will have to alter his starting 11 again as his club prepares to play their third game in six days. His continued rotation of players is questioned by fans, who feel the top players should feature in every match.
"I have to pick a team that can win any game … you have to approach the next game like the most important game," Benitez told reporters during a press conference.
"Sometimes we will pick one team for one game and we will change three, four, seven players for the next one. That is the way to compete and to be capable of winning in every competition," he added.
Rubin manager Kurban Berdyev will have to have his team focused going into the match as are Chelsea is arguably the best team they could have faced in the quarterfinals.
"However, for us, it will become just an extra motivating factor that will make this tie more attractive," Berdyev said during a press conference. "We will try to give our best in these matches against a top English team to perform at their level."
The Russians will be without striker Alexander Ryazantsev and French midfielder Yann M'Vila, who have been ruled out due to injury. Midfielder Alan Kasaev is also a doubt after he missed the club's domestic league win against Lokomotiv Moscow.
Kick-off for the match is at 3:05 ET and can be watched online here.