Thursday, July 27, 2017

FC Krasnodar v Borussia Dortmund: Hosts eye qualification

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 24 Nov 2015

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FC Krasnodar head into their Europa League Group C clash with Borussia Dortmund on Thursday targeting a victory that would ensure they join the German club in the round of 32.

The Russian outfit, who are sitting three points behind leaders Dortmund, require one victory from their final two games to guarantee progression.

However, they will doubtless be hoping to use home advantage to good effect at the Kuban Stadium on Thursday and get the job done with a match to spare.

Krasnodar have racked up two wins and a draw since being defeated in Germany on matchday one, yet head into the game on the back of a negative.

They were in the midst of a five-game winning streak until Sunday, when Spartak Moscow collected the points by edging a five-goal thriller 3-2 at home, replacing their opponents in fifth in the Russian Premier League table as a consequence.

However, Krasnodar were not the only side to suffer weekend disappointment, with Dortmund entering this game on the back of a similarly frustrating outcome.

Thomas Tuchel’s men had won seven successive fixtures prior to visiting Hamburg on Friday, only to suffer a 3-1 loss.

The result left Dortmund eight points adrift of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, who have yet to taste defeat in the league this season.

With such a tall order ahead on the domestic front, it seems likely that Tuchel could shuffle his pack in this continental clash with qualification already secured.

One man who will be hoping to get the nod is on-loan forward Adnan Januzaj, who has endured a frustrating time since joining from Manchester United.

The winger has come off the bench six times in the Bundesliga, together with two starts and one substitute appearances in the Europa League.

Should he be given a chance to shine, Januzaj will be tasked with helping continue Dortmund’s outstanding record against Russian teams.

Dortmund, who have no injury concerns for the trip, boast three wins from three on their visits to Russia.

However, that run is sure to be tested against a team that have won all four of their European home games this season.

The first contest was a thriller as Park Joo-ho netted an injury-time winner to help Dortmund come from 1-0 down to earn a dramatic 2-1 victory at the Westfalenstadion.

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