FC Kuban Krasnodar will look to get their UEFA Europa League campaign back on track as they play host to Valencia CF, with a number of old friendships to be rekindled in Group A.
• The sides are meeting for the first time and this is Kuban's first encounter with Spanish opponents.
• Valencia's eight games against Russian teams stand at W6 D1 L1 (W4 D0 L0 in Spain – W2 D1 L1 in Russia). They have won their last four fixtures against Russian sides without conceding.
• Kuban lost 2-0 at FC St Gallen in their first group stage game – it was their first defeat in European club competition, after having begun their maiden continental campaign with four straight wins, eliminating Motherwell FC and then Feyenoord to make it to the group stage.
• Kuban boast a 100% home record in Europe, having won both of their previous UEFA Europa League fixtures in Krasnodar 1-0.
• Valencia made it through to the knockout phase in both of their previous group stage attempts in this competition – in 2008/09 and 2009/10. They have not had a European season that has been over by Christmas since 2007/08, when they finished bottom of their UEFA Champions League group.
• Valencia lost 3-0 at home to Swansea City AFC in their opening Group A game, but come to Russia unbeaten in their last three European away games (W2 D1).
• Kuban defender Ángel Dealbert will be up against a host of former team-mates, having played for Valencia from 2009-12; the club finished third in the Liga in all three of his seasons at Mestalla.
• Valencia defender Antonio Barragán and Kuban striker Djibril Cissé were together at Liverpool FC in the 2005/06 season.
• Valencia defender João Pereira and forward Hélder Postiga played alongside Kuban defender Xandão at Sporting Clube de Portugal in 2011/12, though Hélder Postiga left for Real Zaragoza CF in September 2011.
• Kuban's Ghanaian midfielder Mohammed Rabiu played on loan in Spain's second division with Club Gimnàstic de Tarragona and Xerez CD.
• Kuban's Senegalese forward Ibrahima Baldé also played at that level with CD Numancia and experienced the top division with Club Atlético de Madrid and CA Osasuna.
• Kuban coach since August 2013, Dorinel Munteanu was capped a record 134 times for Romania and won titles with FC Dinamo Bucureşti and FC Steaua Bucureşti. He spent the best years of his playing career as a midfielder in Belgium and Germany. As a coach, he led FC Oţelul Galaţi to a shock Romanian title success in 2010/11 and then guided them into the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Serbian coach Miroslav Djukić returned in June 2013 to the club he served as a sweeper from 1997-2003; two UEFA Champions League finals and the 2001/02 title with Valencia represented the pinnacles of his long playing career in Spain. As a coach, he led FK Partizan and Serbia as well as Belgium's R. Excelsior Mouscron before returning to Spain to take charge of Hércules CF and then Real Valladolid CF.
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