Rubin Kazan v Wigan: James McArthur aiming for something special with Latics travelling to Russia for 'something special'
Wigan sit second in Europe League Group D and a victory would see them take a giant step towards progression to the last 32
Thursday 07 November 2013
Midfielder James McArthur has emphasised Wigan are looking to produce something special on what is a "massive occasion" for the club when they take on Rubin Kazan in Thursday's Europa League Group D clash in Russia.
The fourth match of the Latics' debut European campaign will see the Sky Bet Championship side playing at the Central Stadium, with its dramatic backdrop of the Kazan Kremlin, against hosts with considerable continental pedigree.
Rubin, who are on their fifth successive season in Europe, were eliminated in the quarter-finals of this competition earlier this year by Chelsea, and in 2010-11 and 2009-10 competed in the Champions League group stages, creating a memorable upset in the earlier campaign by winning 2-1 at Barcelona.
McArthur certainly regards the encounter with group leaders Rubin as an exotic and testing fixture, but he is relishing the challenge and is keen to stress that he and his Wigan team-mates are going out to "create their own history".
The 26-year-old Scotland international said: "It's not really a place you would think you are going to come and play - to get a draw away in Russia is a great experience.
"I think Russia is a really nice place. You look at some of the sights you have here. The building across the road from us is truly breathtaking and spectacular.
"There are great sights - and this is a massive occasion for the club.
"We want to create our own history out there.
"You want to play against the best players in the world and some of the players here are.
"We're looking forward to the challenge and we'll be trying to get the three points."
Wigan are second in Group D after three rounds of matches on five points, two behind Rubin - who they drew 1-1 with at the DW Stadium - and two ahead of third-placed Maribor, with Zulte Waregem lying bottom on one point.
Latics wide man Jean Beausejour (foot) will not feature in the game and with Scott Carson (ankle) also still sidelined, 21-year-old Lee Nicholls, who will be making his European debut, is set to continue in goal.
Meanwhile, Wigan boss Owen Coyle has expressed his confidence his players will not be subjected to racist abuse during the contest.
Manchester City played an away Champions League match in Russia on October 23 against CSKA Moscow, in which Blues midfielder Yaya Toure had monkey chants aimed at him by a section of home supporters.
UEFA has since ordered CSKA to play their next home game in the competition at a partially closed stadium.
Asked about the matter, Coyle said: "I understand there is always going to be a general point about this.
"But in the home game against Rubin, there was a fantastic atmosphere.
"I would be very surprised if there were any issues.
"We all have to understand that in football, wherever you are, there needs to be zero-tolerance with anything like that.
"But we will concentrate on the game and make sure that if there is anything else, that the officials will take care of that.
"I don't think there will be any issues."
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