Cold forces Rubin v Twente to kick-off early

MOSCOW - Rubin Kazan's Europa League last 32, first leg tie against Twente Enschede will be played six hours earlier than scheduled on Thursday to avoid freezing conditions in the Russian capital.

UEFA have set the kick-off at 15:00 local time (12:00 GMT) because of the severe cold that has engulfed Moscow this week, with temperatures predicted to drop to around minus 20 degrees Celsius on Thursday.

Rubin had already been forced to move their home leg to Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, which has an artificial pitch, because of severe cold and a probable frozen pitch in Kazan.

The Russians had asked Twente to play the first leg in Enschede and host the return match next week but the Dutch club declined the offer.