JIM: Tie with Rubin at 50-50

Juan Ignacio Martinez believes that Levante remain with an even chance of progressing to the next stage of the Europa League.

The Valencians go into their Last 16 second leg away to Rubin Kazan with a 0-0 score-line from the first leg.

Whilst they are seen as slight underdogs to make it through, their Coach made clear that he will not label their Russian opponents as favourites either.

“The tie is 50-50 for the 0-0 from the first leg. I dislike saying that the opponent is the favourite and I am very competitive,” Martinez told reporters today.

“But it is true that Rubin have just eliminated the competition’s champions Atletico Madrid.

“They are a very good team. We know it will be difficult. Hopefully we will play a very good game, as always away from home in Europe.

“If we score a goal then it will greatly complicate matters for them.

“Is this an historic game for the club? You cannot imagine, we go into it tingling. I do not even have to motivate the players. We will try, by all means.

“It will be a very tactical match, for the characteristics of the two teams, but both will have the same risk.

“This 90 minutes will need a lot of concentration and detail. We must be very cautious and take our time. This is a very difficult opponent in defence.”

Martinez also had a brief comment for Obafemi Martins, who earlier this week bought out his contract to join Seattle Sounders in the MLS.

“I said goodbye to him. We must thank him. He has been a very important player for Levante. He has some fine characteristics.

“We must be grateful. Nobody forced him to leave.”

Tags JIM Juan Ignacio Martinez Martins Rubin Kazan