Rubin Kazan v Chelsea: Looming trip to Wembley will not be a distraction insists Victor Moses
Manchester City clash awaits on Sunday
Thursday 11 April 2013
Victor Moses insists Chelsea's sole focus is tonight's Europa League quarter-final second leg with Rubin Kazan and that Sunday's Wembley meeting with Manchester City is not on his mind.
Chelsea hold a 3-1 aggregate lead ahead of the Luzhniki Stadium clash as they bid to confirm their place in tomorrow's semi-final draw before Sunday's FA Cup last-four bout with City.
"We'll focus on the game," Moses said.
"It's the Europa League, it's a massive game for us. We just want to put the City game behind us at the moment. That doesn't come until Sunday.
"Rubin Kazan are a great team, so we're here to do our best. We're very focused.
"It's not going to be an easy test for us, but we're looking forward to it.
"If we can score an early goal that would be great for us.
"Hopefully we'll do our best to try to win the game and get into the semi-final."
Midfielder John Obi Mikel recently suggested he struggles for motivation for the Europa League, but a trophy is on the horizon.
Chelsea could become the first team to hold the Europa League and Champions League trophies at the same time - for a few days at least - if they win the final in Amsterdam on May 15.
That is the aim for interim boss Rafael Benitez.
The Spaniard said: "We have a lot of respect for Rubin Kazan. We know that it's a good team.
"All my players know how important this competition is and they will be really pleased if we go through and will go to the final and if we can win the final."
Chelsea's lead is commanding, but Rubin Kazan are difficult opponents as Inter Milan, 2012 Europa League winners Atletico Madrid and Levante have found out.
Kazan are also playing away from home, due to inclement weather 500 miles further east in their home city where they beat Inter, but Benitez does not anticipate a shock.
"We know the team, so they can do well and then maybe we have to react," said Benitez, who is unconcerned about the synthetic pitch.
"I have confidence we can do well. I don't see too many surprises.
"If they play well, fair enough, but not because we are surprised."
Benitez will rotate his players with City in mind, with captain John Terry and midfielder Frank Lampard expected to return to the starting line-up.
Chelsea must also adapt in defence, where the absences of left-backs Ashley Cole (hamstring) and Ryan Bertrand (illness) force a change.
Experienced Portuguese Paulo Ferreira and 18-year-old Dutchman Nathan Ake are options and Benitez has backed the latter to perform, if selected.
"I don't think it will be a big problem for Ake if he has to play there," Benitez said.
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