May 20 2013 Latest news:
Friday, March 15, 2013
Tottenham appeared to be handed the easiest draw in the quarter-finals of the Europa League after being paired with Swiss side Basle.
Chelsea face a long trip to take on Russian side Rubin Kazan while Newcastle will play Benfica from Portugal.
In the other quarter-final, Fenerbahce from Turkey will play Italian side Lazio.
Tottenham scraped through to the last eight by virtue of the away goals rule at Inter Milan last night, while Chelsea recovered from a 1-0 first-leg deficit to beat Steaua Bucharest 3-2 on aggregate. Both will play at home in the first leg.
Rubin Kazan will be tough opponents for Rafa Benitez’s Chelsea team.
The Russian side have already knocked out two Spanish teams - holders Atletico Madrid in the last 32 and Levante last night, winning 2-0 after extra-time in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
Rubin were also unbeaten in a tough group that included Inter Milan, and are particularly strong defensively, having conceded only three goals in 10 European matches.
Spurs’ opponents Basle scraped into the quarter-finals after Russian side Zenit St Petersburg missed a late penalty.
The draw keeps alive hope of an English club reaching the final.
Former Newcastle and Holland striker Patrick Kluivert, who carried out the draw for UEFA, said: “There are three great teams from England - Chelsea, Tottenham and Newcastle - and for sure one of those can lift the trophy but there will be other teams eager to do so too so that can only be good for the competition.”
Draw for the Europa League quarter-finals is:
Chelsea v Rubin Kazan
Tottenham v Basle
Fenerbahce v Lazio
Benfica v Newcastle
First-leg ties to be played on April 4, second-leg ties to be played on April 11.