Rubin Kazan vs. Inter Milan Preview and Pick

Rubin Kazan vs. Inter Milan
Central Stadium, Kazan Russia
12:30 PM EST Tuesday September 29, 2009

by Jason Green of

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On Tuesday evening the champions of the Italian Serie A league and the champions of the Russian Premier league square off in an important Champions League match for both teams. Even though Inter is the favorite in this match it is never easy playing away matches in Russia, especially at Central Stadium, which will be rocking on Tuesday night.

Currently Rubin Kazan is in first place in the Russian Premier league and they are a tough team to beat at home. They are 1 or 8 teams that are making their Champions League debut this season, but they are not in awe of any team and that includes Inter Milan. Rubin Kazan really have nothing to lose in this match, as they are not expected to get out of Group F with giants Inter and Barcelona expected to make it to the knock out phase.

In their first Champions League match Inter played to a 0-0 draw at home to defending champion Barcelona. Even though Inter has won the Italy Serie A championship a few years in a row they have been a major disappointment in the Champions League. They have the players to go far, but they have to do it on the pitch. Even though they are expected to get out of Group F if they lose, or even play to a draw, in this match it will be an uphill battle.

Currently in Group F Dynamo Kyiv leads the group after only one match played with 3 points with Inter and Barcelona at 1 point and Rubin Kazan with 0 points.

Inter is the favorite in this match posted at 1.7 with Rubin Kazan posted as the home underdog at 4.90 with a draw at 3.50.

Rubin Kazan Recent Form:

9/25/2009 Rubin Kazan 1 Amkar Perm’ 2 (Russian Premier League)
9/20/2009 Tom Tomsk 0 Rubin Kazan 0 (Russian Premier League)
9/16/2009 Dynamo Kyiv 3 Rubin Kazan 1 (Champions League)
8/30/2009 Rubin Kazan 5 Spartak Moscow 1 (Russian Premier League)

Inter Milan Recent Form:

9/26/2009 Sampdoria 1 Inter 0 (Serie A)
9/23/2009 Inter 3 Napoli 1 (Serie A)
9/20/2009 Cagliari 1 Inter 2 (Serie A)
9/16/2009 Inter 0 Barcelona 0 (Champions League)
9/13/2009 Inter 2 Parma 0 (Serie A)

MacBeth Sibaya is suspended for Rubin Kazan for this match, however they will get back striker Aleksandr Bukharov, who has recovered from his injury.

For Inter Wesley Sneijder, Thiago Motta and David Suazo will all be out for this match, as they are all nursing injuries.

Since Inter really needs to win this match head coach Jose Mourinho may change his front line and start the 3 strikers of Mario Balotelli, Samuel Eto’o and Diego Milito together and he also may bring a midfielder up to provide some more offense.

Inter’s GK Julio Cesar has been solid this season and it will be hard for Rubin Kazan to get one past him in this match.

Rubin Kazan midfielder Sergei Semak has played great this season, but in the Champions League loss to Dynamo Kyiv his teammates were having big problems reading his laser passes. He has to be on the same page with his teammates, especially his strikers, in this match.

Striker Diego Milito has been solid so far this season and he and Samuel Eto’o have to find a way to score in this match. Conversely, the Rubin Kazan defense will have to mark these guys and not let them loose around the goal.

Inter has superior play at the midfield and if they dominate that area in this game it should lead to some scoring.

Rubin Kazan does not have the players that Inter does and they will need to jump over any chance they get to counter attack.

Jason’s Pick: OK, so Rubin Kazan is at home, Inter is coming off a loss, and Inter has many past failures in the Champions League, but they will come out firing in this match. Look for Inter to pour on the offense, as I see them winning this match by a score of 3-0 or 3-1.