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A few facts on...Rubin Kazan

Rubin Kazan face English opposition for the first time when they meet us at White Hart Lane in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Rubin Kazan meet English opposition for the first time when they face us at White Hart Lane in the Europa League on Thursday night.

It's the third group match of six and so far, both teams are unbeaten after a draw against PAOK and win against Shamrock Rovers.

We drew at PAOK and beat Shamrock at home while Rubin Kazan won convincingly in Dublin before being held by PAOK at home last time out.

Here are a few more facts on the team from the Russian state of Tatarstan...

- Rubin Kazan were champions of Russia in 2008 and 2009.

- They famously took four points off all-conquering Barcelona in the group stage of the Champions League in 2009-10, including a 2-1 win at the Nou Camp.

- They played Barcelona again in the group stages of the Champions League last season and managed to get another result, this time a draw at home, before losing away.

- On both occasions, Rubin Kazan finished third in their Champions League group and therefore dropped into the knockout stages of the Europa League. They reached the last 16 in 2008-09, beaten by Wolfsburg and were toppled by FC Twente in the last 32 last season.

- Rubin Kazan were back in the Champions League qualifying stages again this season after finihing third in Russia.

- This time, they failed to make the group stages. They beat Dynamo Kiev in the third qualifying round before losing to Lyon in the play-off, and therefore took their place in the Europa League.

- Rubin Kazan are currently sixth in the Russian League after 27 matches.

- However, they arrive at Lane in fine form and on an unbeaten run of five matches in all competitions.

- They beat Spartak Moscow 3-0 last time out in the Russian League with goals from Christian Noboa, Aleksandr Ryazantsev and Bebras Natcho.

- The most familiar name in their squad is Obafemi Martins. The striker spent three seasons at Newcastle United and returned for a loan spell at Birmingham City last season.

- Martins was team-mates with Sebastien Bassong at Newcastle in 2008-09.

- Rubin Kazan's coach is Kurban Berdyev. He's been in charge since 2001 and led them to the two Russian titles in 2008 and 2009.

- We travel to Russia in matchday four. Rubin Kazan play at the Centraini Stadium, capacity 28,500.