(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
FC Krasnodar has a positive track record based on their young history. The club was founded in 2008. Since being promoted to Russia´s top league (Premier Liga) in 2010, they never ended the season lower than 10th place. In the last 5 years they have never ended the season lower than 5th place and therefore have played Europa League football since. FC Krasnodar reached the quarterfinals on two separate occasions, drawing attention to themselves. Last year they failed to advance further than the round of the last 16,as Valencia CF proved to be the better team. This is a great achievement for a club which is only 11 years old.
„Interesting and dangerous opponent“
The club from southern Russia will be travelling to Basel as leaders of the Russian league. Taulant Xhaka´s words of caution before the fixture: “We will be faced with an interesting and dangerous opponent, who know how to play football. Our coach has prepared us accordingly, using video footage.” Xhaka is familiar FCB´s opponent, as he faced the Russians last Winter during Basel´s training camp friendly in Marbella. Basel won the fixture 2:0.
All of our opponents in this group are strong. A positive start to the group stage is important.
FC Basel need a victory as the group stages kick off, especially as this group seems very equal. A positive start would be worth a lot. Once before in the past FCB kicked off their Eurocup-Groupstage against a Russian team and where not favourites to win – This was a while back, on the 17. Sepember 2002, against FC Spartak Moscow. FCB Won 2:0 at home as well as in Russia. Both victories against the Russians where the building blocks towards an action packed “final” against Liverpool FC. FC Basel 1893 drew the fixture 3:3, failing to qualify for the next round. Now FCB need a solid result against Krasnodar and build upon that success.
Koller hopes for loud support from the stands
Marcel Koller analysed four FC Krasnodar fixtures using video material. When evaluating their strengths, FCB-coach Koller came to the same conclusion as Taulant Xhaka did, with the additional conclusion that FC Krasnodar have a very large squad to pick and choose from, packed with quality. Even though only 12´500 tickets have been sold so far, Marcel Koller hopes for loud support from the FCB fans at St. Jakob Park: “Everyone always wants a full stadium, but if this is not the case on the night, I hope for intense support from our fans. Of course we will work hard for the support.” Koller has decided on his plan for Thursday night: We are playing at home so we need to force our game upon our opponent and not give in. Then we can master this challenge.”
I can´t tell who is the favorite to win. we need to force our game upon our opponent.
According to FCB´s head coach, there is a good chance that Arthur Cabral will make his FCB debut. Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Kemal Ademi are injured and won’t be able to play. On Wednesdy we will know more about the status of Ademi´s injury and if he will be able to play against BSC Youngboys on Sunday.
There is another similarity between FC Basel 1893 and FC Krasnodar: The Russian leader face ZSKA Moscow (away) on Sunday, who lie one point behind Krasnodar. The current focus however lies on their UEFA Europa League group stage fixture.