UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits
|FC Krasnodar||Stadium Krasnodar - KrasnodarThursday 18 February 2021|
18.55CET (20.55 local time) Round of 32, First leg
|GNK Dinamo Zagreb|
Krasnodar take on a Dinamo Zagreb side making their second visit to Russia this season in the first leg of the teams' round of 32 tie.
• Krasnodar are the only one of the four Russian clubs involved in this season’s European group stages to have survived through to the spring, though they managed just one win and five points from UEFA Champions League Group E, finishing below Chelsea and Sevilla but four points ahead of fellow debutants Rennes. Dinamo Zagreb are also Croatia's last remaining European representatives having enjoyed a superb autumn in the UEFA Europa League, going unbeaten through Group K as they claimed 14 points to finish first ahead of Wolfsberg, Feyenoord and CSKA Moskva.
• This is Krasnodar's first UEFA competition match against opposition from Croatia.
• Dinamo drew 0-0 away to CSKA Moskva on Matchday 2 before defeating them 3-1 on Matchday 6, the Russian side's late consolation goal, from Croatian midfielder Kristijan Bistrović, preventing Dinamo from becoming the first team to go through a UEFA Europa League group stage without conceding.
• Dinamo's other three matches against Russian clubs have all been against Spartak Moskva (W1 L2), the one away fixture bringing a 2-0 second-leg defeat in a 1996/97 UEFA Cup qualifier that eliminated the Croatian side on away goals after a 3-1 first-leg victory in Zagreb.
• Third in the Russian Premier League for the second successive season in 2019/20, a campaign in which their European ambitions ended in the UEFA Europa League group stage, Krasnodar qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time this term, thanks to a pair of 2-1 wins against PAOK in the play-offs.
• Krasnodar's presence alongside Zenit and Lokomotiv Moskva gave Russia three teams in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time, but while their domestic rivals could only finish fourth in their sections, Murad Musaev's side took third place in Group E, compensating for a 4-0 home loss to Chelsea and two narrow defeats by Sevilla (2-3 a, 1-2 h) with four points against Rennes (1-1 a, 1-0 h). They signed off from the competition with a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
• European ever-presents since their maiden continental campaign in 2014/15, Krasnodar are competing in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 for the fourth time. They lost their first tie at this juncture, to Sparta Praha in 2015/16 (0-1 a, 0-3 h), but won the next two, against Fenerbahçe in 2016/17 (1-0 h, 1-1 a) and Bayer Leverkusen in 2018/19 (0-0 h, 1-1 a). They have never progressed beyond the round of 16.
• Krasnodar's home record in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase is W1 D2 L2, scoring just two goals in those five fixtures.
• Dinamo romped to their 21st Croatian title last season, completing a hat-trick of 1. HNL triumphs. They also reached the UEFA Champions League group stage for the seventh time, finishing fourth in their section behind Manchester City, Atalanta and Shakhtar Donetsk with five points – their best return in the competition for 20 years.
• Dinamo began this European campaign under returning coach Zoran Mamić by overcoming hosts CFR Cluj on penalties in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, but then lost 2-1 at Ferencváros before defeating Flora of Estonia 3-1 at home in the UEFA Europa League play-offs to reach the group stage of the competition for the sixth time. As in 2018/19, they won four and drew two of their six games to top the group, getting the better of Feyenoord (0-0 h, 2-0 a), CSKA and fellow qualifiers Wolfsberg (1-0 a, 3-0 h).
• This is only the second time Dinamo have qualified from a group stage in any continental competition, the previous occasion having come two years ago, when they won their round of 32 tie, beating Viktoria Plzeň 4-2 on aggregate (1-2 a, 3-0 h) before falling to Benfica after extra time in the round of 16.
• Dinamo's victory at Wolfsberg on Matchday 4 was their first in eight European away fixtures outside the qualifying phase (D3 L4), to which they added another win, against Feyenoord in Rotterdam, seven days later. The Croatian champions have yet to concede on their travels in this season's UEFA Europa League.
UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Denis Adamov, Aleksei Ionov
Out: Maksim Kutovoi, Andrei Sinitsin (released)
• Dinamo Zagreb
In: Marijan Čabraja (Gorica), Josip Mišić, Stefan Ristovski (Sporting CP)
Out: Mario Ćuže (Lokomotiva, loan), Roko Jurišić (Rijeka), Josip Šutalo (Istra, loan)
Links and trivia
• Krasnodar striker Marcus Berg played under Dinamo head coach Zoran Mamić for Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates from 2017 to 2019, winning both domestic competitions and finishing runners-up to Real Madrid in the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup.
• Berg and Dinamo defender Marin Leovac faced each other on seven occasions in Greek domestic competition while playing respectively for Panathinaikos (2013–17) and PAOK (2015–18), the Swedish striker scoring three goals in those matches.
• Berg scored for a Sweden side also containing club colleague Kristoffer Olsson in a 2-1 defeat against Croatia in Zagreb in the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League. The home side featured Dinamo's Dominik Livaković and substitute Bruno Petković.
• Leovac was a half-time substitute for PAOK, who drew 0-0 against Krasnodar in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage, Ari and Yuri Gazinski also coming off the bench for the Russian side.
• Rémy Cabella (Krasnodar) and Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Dinamo) played together for Saint-Étienne in 2017/18.
• Dinamo's one goal conceded in the group stage matched the UEFA Europa League record previously shared by Standard Liège (2011/12) and Salzburg (2017/18).