By DAN KARELL
Rafael Benitez’s managerial run with Chelsea hasn’t exactly been a pleasant one, but like last season, the club is making a run in a European competition.
Chelsea takes a 3-1 lead in their tie with Rubin Kazan (12:00pm, Fox Soccer Channel) to Moscow, Russia to face a team that’s knocked off the defending champions, Atletico Madrid, in the round of 32.
Tottenham travel to St. Jakob Park to face FC Basel (3:05pm, Fox Soccer Channel) without their talisman Gareth Bale. Bale injured his ankle in last Thursday’s 2-2 draw, and Spurs will face a difficult test against the pesky Swiss side.
St. James Park meanwhile will play host to Benfica when Newcastle welcomes the Portuguese giants into northeast England (3:05pm, Fox Soccer Plus). Benfica controls the tie, winning 3-1 in Lisbon in the first leg, but Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is hoping his charges can overcome the deficit and keep hope of a European title alive.
Finally, Lazio hosts Fenerbahce at the Stadio Olimpico (3:05pm, Fox Soccer 2Go) just three days after a 1-1 draw with arch-rivals Roma. Fenerbahce won the first leg 2-0, but will be without key players Moussa Sow and Emre for the return leg, giving Lazio hope to mount a thrilling comeback in the tie.
If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below. For a rundown of information on today’s quarterfinal action, you can check out our preview after the jump.
Enjoy the action.
RUBIN KAZAN vs. CHELSEA
12:00pm, Fox Soccer Channel
Players to Watch: RUBIN KAZAN – Salomon Rondon, Gokdeniz Karadeniz, Roman Eremenko, Bibras Natkho; CHELSEA – Fernando Torres, Oscar, Edan Hazard, Victor Moses.
FC BASEL vs. TOTTENHAM
3:05pm, Fox Soccer Channel
Players to Watch: FC BASEL – Marco Streller, Alexander Frei, Mohamed Salah, Valentin Stocker; TOTTENHAM – Emmanuel Adebayor, Clint Dempsey, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jan Vertonghen.
NEWCASTLE vs. BENFICA
3:05pm, Fox Soccer Plus
Players to Watch: NEWCASTLE – Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko, Yohan Cabaye; BENFICA – Oscar Cardozo, Nicolas Gaitan, Ola John, Nemanja Matic.
LAZIO vs. FENERBAHCE
3:05pm, Fox Soccer 2Go
Players to Watch: LAZIO – Hernanes, Miroslav Klose, Antonio Candreva, Senad Lulic; FENERBAHCE – Pierre Webo, Dirk Kuyt, Raul Meireles, Mehmet Topal.
What do you think of today’s matches? Which matches are you most interested to watch?
Share your thoughts below.