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Krasnodar v Schalke background

Krasnodar have taken on Bundesliga opponents in all three of their UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns to date, with Schalke likely to stretch them in Group I.

Krasnodar celebrate one of their five goals against Nice
Krasnodar celebrate one of their five goals against Nice ©AFP/Getty Images

With two wins each after two matchdays, Krasnodar and Schalke are battling for top spot in UEFA Europa League Group I in their maiden encounter.

Previous meetings
• This is the sides' first meeting and Schalke's first match with Russian opponents.

• Krasnodar's record in four games against German teams is W1 L3 (W1 L1 in Russia). They have taken on Bundesliga opposition in all three of their UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns – Wolfsburg in 2014/15, Dortmund in 2015/16 and now Schalke.

Form guide
• Krasnodar are unbeaten in six European outings this season (W5 D1) , and have won all three of their home fixtures by significant margins – 3-1, 4-0 and, most recently, 5-2.

• The Russian outfit progressed to the last 32 in 2015/16, after missing out in their maiden UEFA Europa League group stage foray the year before.

• Schalke are unbeaten in seven European away matches (W5 D2) since a 4-2 UEFA Champions League loss at Sporting CP in November 2014.

• Schalke have made it through three of their past four UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Gelsenkirchen to Krasnodar is around 2,450km.

• Krasnodar's Joãozinho, Genk's Leon Bailey and Zenit's Aleksandr Kokorin are the top scorers in the group stage after matchday two with three goals each.

• Only Zenit's Giuliano (two goals, four assists) has had a hand in more goals than Joãozinho (three goals, one assist) this term.

• Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's next goal will be his 50th in UEFA club competition. The Schalke forward has not scored in his last five European appearances, and has yet to play in Group I.

The coaches
• Igor Shalimov stepped in to take temporary command of Krasnodar on 13 September following the resignation of Oleg Kononov. The former USSR, CIS and Russia midfielder, who helped Internazionale win the 1994 UEFA Cup, had been on Kononov's staff, working with the club's strikers.

• Schalke boss Markus Weinzierl reached last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32 with Augsburg, whom he had coached since 2012. His playing career peaked when he spent a season with the first-team squad at Bayern München in 1998/99, though he never played a senior game.