Rubin Kazan vs. Inter Milan: Key Battles to Watch

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Rubin Kazan vs. Inter Milan: Key Battles to Watch
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

In September, Inter Milan and Rubin Kazan squared off to open the Europa League group stage.  Inter was still in rough form at that point, and it took a stoppage time goal from Yuto Nagatomo to save the nerazzuri a point.

Inter's form has dramatically improved since then.  They've embarked on a red-hot streak under coach Andrea Stramaccioni, and they even ended the 49-game unbeaten run of Serie A champions Juventus on their way to second place in the league.  They've also won the three Europa League games that followed the opener at the San Siro.

Kazan has also enjoyed a strong season since the opening match against Inter.  They currently sit in fourth place in the Russian Premier League, and like Inter have won their last three matches in the Europa League.  The two teams are both already through to Round of 32, but come into the match level on points, with Inter in first position thanks to a one-goal advantage on goal difference.

Thursday's match will likely determine which team will go through as the top seed out of Group H.  Let's take a look at five key matchups that could decide the outcome.

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