KAZAN, Russia, October 3 (RIA Novosti)
Rubin Kazan coach Kurban Berdyev warned Wednesday against underestimating his team’s next Europa League opponents Partizan Belgrade.
The Serbian side have a poor away record in Europe, and last year failed to make the Europa League group stage after a surprise playoff defeat to Irish minnows Shamrock Rovers.
“Tomorrow will be an extremely difficult match,” Berdyev said. “It will be very hard for us.”
The Serbians can still pose a threat to Rubin in Kazan, even without their home support, Berdyev said.
“It’s a mistaken view,” he said when asked if Partizan could only play well in Belgrade.
“If you look at Partizan, they are one of the most ambitious teams in Europe.”
Berdyev added that there were no worries over the fitness of Argentinian defender Cristian Ansaldi, who has not played for Rubin since he was sent off in a league match against Lokomotiv Moscow on September 15.
Rubin’s first group stage game saw the Russians draw 2-2 away to Inter Milan after Yuto Nagatomo salvaged a draw for Inter in stoppage time, while Partizan drew 0-0 at home to Azerbaijan’s Neftci Baku.
Neftci host Inter in Thursday’s other game in Group H.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.