Russian side Krasnodar failed to make it beyond the round of 32 in 2015/16 and have a big task if they are to avoid another exit, against Fenerbahçe.
Krasnodar will look to make it to the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for the first time as they kick off their tie against Fenerbahçe, whose coach and players know a thing or two about Russian football.
• This is the clubs' first meeting and Krasnodar's first encounter with Turkish opponents.
• Fenerbahçe's six games against Russian teams have ended W2 D3 L1 (W2 D1 in Turkey – D2 L1 in Russia).
• Krasnodar are without a win in their last four continental matches (D1 L3). Their home record in Europe this season is W3 D1 L1.
• Fenerbahçe are on a three-game European winning streak and have lost only once in eight UEFA Europa League outings this term (W6 D1 L1) – 4-1 at Manchester United in the group stage.
• Krasnodar reached the round of 32 last season – only their second European campaign – but lost 4-0 on aggregate to Sparta Praha.
• Semi-finalists in 2012/13, Fenerbahçe eliminated another Russian outfit, Lokomotiv Moskva, in last season's round of 32 before losing to Braga in the round of 16.
Links and trivia
• The journey from Istanbul to Krasnodar is a little over 900km, across the Black Sea.
• Krasnodar midfielder Ricardo Laborde turns 29 on the day of the first leg.
• Krasnodar's Vladimir Bystrov, Dmitri Torbinski, Marat Izmailov and Pavel Mamaev played under Fenerbahçe boss Dick Advocaat during his time as Russia coach (July 2010 to June 2012).
• Fenerbahçe centre-back Martin Škrtel (Zenit 2004–08) has Russian league experience; Škrtel played alongside Bystrov at Zenit in 2005.
• Emmanuel Emenike (Spartak Moskva, July 2011 to August 2013) also played in Russia, with Krasnodar's Ari among his team-mates in Moscow.
• Other former team-mates:
Ari (Krasnodar) & Jeremain Lens (Fenerbahçe) – AZ Alkmaar, 2008–10
• Krasnodar midfielder Tornike Okriashvili spent the latter part of the 2015/16 season in Turkey with Eskişehirspor, on loan from Belgian side Genk.
• Fenerbahçe's Roman Neustädter won his first Russia cap on 1 June 2016 and featured at UEFA EURO 2016 later that same month; he was born in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, but has never played club football in Russia.
• Izmailov and Fenerbahçe reserve goalkeeper Fabiano were team-mates at Porto (2013–15).
• Suspended: Andreas Granqvist (Krasnodar); Martin Škrtel (Fenerbahçe).
Misses next match if booked: Josef de Souza, Volkan Demirel (Fenerbahçe).
• Igor Shalimov stepped in to take temporary command of Krasnodar on 13 September 2016 following Oleg Kononov's resignation. The former USSR, CIS and Russia midfielder, who helped Internazionale Milano lift the UEFA Cup in 1994, had been on Kononov's staff, helping the club's strikers.
• Advocaat is in his first campaign with Fenerbahçe. The one-time Oranje and Russia coach has won domestic championships in the Netherlands (with PSV Eindhoven), Scotland (Rangers) and Russia (Zenit), having also guided Zenit to glory in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup.
• Advocaat was made an Honorary Citizen of Saint Petersburg after that 2008 UEFA Cup success – the first foreigner to receive that honour since 1866.
UEFA makes new donation of €100,000 to ICRC
UEFA will mark a decade of helping Afghan landmine victims on Wednesday, when Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos presents a cheque for €100,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
"I would like to pay tribute to the ICRC, who have been working relentlessly to help landmine victims, many of whom are children. Their programme in Afghanistan, which has been in place for several years, shows that football can offer real hope in challenging times," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
"I am glad that UEFA can help this cause, and that the sport we love can have a positive impact on the rehabilitation process of so many people in this troubled region," he added.
The donation supports the ICRC's physical rehabilitation programme for landmine victims and other people with disabilities in Afghanistan – providing artificial limbs, physiotherapy, vocational training and access to the rehabilitation centre's football team. About a third of patients are children.
Sergio Ramos will present the donation before his side's UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match against Napoli at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid on 15 February.
"The people benefiting from the ICRC programme in Afghanistan are an inspiration to us, as they set an example of how to approach life in a positive manner despite the problems that they face," the Real Madrid captain said.
Sergio Ramos was chosen to hand over the cheque after receiving the most votes in UEFA.com's Team of the Year, which was published in January, and added that it is "a privilege" to be "a source of motivation" to so many people.
"They don't stop dreaming, and they fight to make their dreams come true. As key figures in this sport, it's a true privilege for us footballers to be a source of motivation in their day-to-day lives, and to help them out," he said.
Over the course of a partnership lasting almost 20 years, UEFA has donated in excess of €3.5m to the ICRC to help disadvantaged people around the globe. Meanwhile, over 7 million votes were cast in selecting the UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2016. More information on the award is available online at en.toty.uefa.com.