Chelsea to take on Rubin Kazan as English trio kept apart in UEFA Europa League draw

English trio Chelsea, Tottenham and Newcastle all managed to avoid one another as the Europa League quarter-final draw was held at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on Friday.



Dethroned Champions League winners Chelsea host Russian club Rubin Kazan in their first leg on April 4 while Tottenham are at home the same night against Swiss outsiders Basel and Newcastle travel to former European champions Benfica.



Tottenham, who won the inaugural competition in 1972 when it was known as the UEFA Cup and added their last European trophy in the same tournament in 1984, will fancy their chances against Swiss champions Basel.



However Spurs manager Andre Villa-Boas will be fully aware of the threat posed by Basel after they ousted 2008 champions Zenit Saint-Petersburg 2-1 to set up an intriguing tie against the North Londoners.



Newcastle head to Lisbon after scoring with the last kick of the match on Thursday to defeat Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala and face a Benfica side who are two points clear of Porto and unbeaten in 22 domestic matches this season.



“It’s a great draw for us,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said.



“The Estadio da Luz is a great venue. I’ve been there and it’s a fantastic stadium. Importantly, we are at home in the second leg and that will give us an advantage.” he added.



The venue for the second-leg between Chelsea and Rubin Kazan in Russia has yet to be decided with freezing conditions in Kazan potentially being a factor in moving the tie to Moscow.



There are no Spanish clubs in the quarter finals while defending champions Atletico Madrid who thrashed Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in last year’s final went out in the last-32 this season against Rubin Kazan.



Liverpool were the last English winners of the competition in 2001, when under Gerard Houllier, they defeated Alaves 5-4 in Dortmund although Fulham reached the 2010 final under current England manager Roy Hodgson, only to lose 2-1 against Atletico Madrid.



Middlesbrough were also beaten finalists in 2006 when they were defeated 4-0 by Sevilla before their coach Steve McClaren left the club for a doomed spell as England manager.



The final last-eight tie features 1999 Cup Winners’ Cup champions’ Lazio against Fenerbache with the first leg to be played in Istanbul.



Fenerbache are trying to reach the semi-finals of a European competition for the first time after reaching the last eight on three occasions while Vladimir Petkovic leads a Lazio side currently sixth in Serie A and four points adrift of the final Champions League spot in Italy.



The final is set to be played at the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday, May 15.



Matches to be played on April 4 and 11



Chelsea (ENG) v Rubin Kazan (RUS)



Tottenham Hotspur (ENG) v Basel (SUI)



Fenerbahce (TUR) v Lazio (ITA)



Benfica (POR) v Newcastle (ENG)

Read more :
  • SOFT DARTS’ HITS BULLSEYE IN ASIA
    The high-tech version of the game of darts attracts young players. AFP PHOTO HONG KONG: Picture your stereotypical darts player. Middle-aged and overweight, with a gut spilling over a wais...
  • Rafael Nadal hails “unbelievable” Andy Murray
    Rafael Nadal had no complaints following his loss to Andy Murray in the Japanese Open final earlier today. The Spaniard appeared to be on his way to victory when he took the first set 6-3 ...
  • Gore shines, then praises coach for 49ers’ transformation
    ATLANTA - Frank Gore scored the winning touchdown in the San Francisco 49ers 28-24 NFC Championship win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday and immediately praised coach Jim Harbaugh for tur...
  • Barcelona happy with Messi, Villa double act
    Barcelona assistant manager Jordi Roura was delighted at the understanding shown between Lionel Messi and David Villa as they combined for all of Barca's goals in the 3-1 win over Rayo Vall...
  • Deadly Djokovic batters Berdych to reach semis
    MELBOURNE - Serbian superman Novak Djokovic remained firmly on course for a third straight Australian Open title on Tuesday after dismantling Tomas Berdych in four sets to set up a last fou...
  • Two weeks and counting for the HarBowl hype
    BALTIMORE - With two weeks of hype left before the Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is already trying to play down the drama of facing his little brother for the Nation...
  • Blissful marriage of love and tennis for China’s Li
    MELBOURNE - Silencing the voices of doubt that plague Li Na's mind has been mission impossible at times for coaches and her stoic husband Jiang Shan, but the 30-year-old Chinese appears to ...
  • Injured Tiger will not defend title at National
    Tiger Woods. AFP Photo BETHESDA, Maryland: World No. 1 Tiger Woods will not defend his title next week at the US PGA National because of a strained left elbow after doctors advised him to ...