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Krasnodar v Leverkusen background

Krasnodar have reached the round of 32 for the third time in four years and take on Bayer Leverkusen, who are under new management.

Krasnodar won all three home games in this season's group stage
Krasnodar won all three home games in this season's group stage ©AFP/Getty Images

Krasnodar's third UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie in the last four seasons brings a first meeting with former UEFA Cup winners Bayer Leverkusen, who have changed their coach since topping Group A in the autumn.

• Krasnodar finished runners-up to Sevilla in Group J, losing out on first place only on the head-to-head rule after matching the Spanish club's haul of 12 points. Leverkusen cruised through their section, posting 13 points and scoring 16 goals, but poor domestic form resulted in December's dismissal of Heiko Herrlich and his replacement by Peter Bosz, a 2016/17 UEFA Europa League runner-up as coach of Ajax.

Previous meetings
• Krasnodar have lost five of their six matches against German clubs, all in the UEFA Europa League group stage, the only exception a 1-0 home victory against Borussia Dortmund in 2015/16, which helped them win the group and reach the round of 32 for the first time.

• Leverkusen have won four and lost three of their nine matches against Russian opposition. They are unbeaten, however, in their last five, the two most recent having resulted in a pair of draws against CSKA Moskva (2-2 home, 1-1 away) in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stage.

Best goals of the 2018/19 group stage

Form guide
• Since making their European debut in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League, Krasnodar have qualified for the competition every season since, failing to make the group stage only in 2017/18, when they lost a play-off to Crvena zvezda on away goals. Fourth place in last season's Russian Premier League secured their group stage berth this term.

• Krasnodar were unable to progress from their group at the first attempt, in 2014/15, but succeeded in both of the following two seasons, reaching the round of 32 in 2015/16, when they lost to Sparta Praha (0-1 away, 0-3 home), and the round of 16 in 2016/17 after claiming their first victory in a European knockout phase with a 2-1 aggregate success against Fenerbahçe (1-0 home, 1-1 away).

• Victorious in seven of their last ten European outings, the Russian club have won all of their last five continental home games, each of them by a one-goal margin, including 2-1 wins against Sevilla, Akhisar and Standard Liège in this season's group stage.

• Krasnodar have never been involved in a goalless draw in 24 home European matches (W17 D3 L4), losing all three games in which they failed to score. The only home European game they have lost in which they found the net was against German opposition – 2-4 versus Wolfsburg in 2014/15.

Europa League group stage skillzone

• Absent from Europe in 2017/18, for the first time in eight years, Leverkusen booked direct access to the UEFA Europa League group stage by finishing fifth in last season's Bundesliga.

• This is the Rhinelanders' fourth appearance in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase. They also progressed from their group in 2010/11 and 2012/13, and transferred mid-season from the UEFA Champions League in 2015/16.

• Leverkusen have won two of their three previous UEFA Europa League round of 32 ties, beating Metalist Kharkiv in 2010/11 (4-0 away, 2-0 home) and Sporting CP in 2015/16 (1-0 away, 3-1 home) but losing to Benfica in 2012/13 (0-1 home, 1-2 away). They have not reached a European quarter-final since the 2007/08 UEFA Cup.

• The Werkself have lost only two of their last ten European away games (W4 D4), racking up ten goals in this season's group stage – 3-2 at Ludogorets, 2-3 at FC Zürich and, last time out, 5-1 at AEK Larnaca.

UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Kristoffer Olsson, Ivan Taranov
Out: Pavel Mamaev,  Tornike Okriashvili, Roman Shishkin, Stefan Strandberg

In: Jan Boller
Out: none

The best saves of the group stage

Links and trivia 
• Krasnodar's Uroš Spajić and Leverkusen's Isaac Kiese Thelin were Belgian title winners at Anderlecht in 2016/17.

• Viktor Claesson (Krasnodar) and Kiese Thelin are Sweden team-mates.

• Between 2013 and 2015 Krasnodar's Cristian Ramírez played in Germany for Fortuna Düsseldorf and Nürnberg.

• Leverkusen lifted the UEFA Cup in 1987/88 and are one of ten former winners of the trophy in this season's knockout phase, along with Sevilla, Internazionale, Chelsea, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit, Valencia, Galatasaray, Napoli and Eintracht Frankfurt.

The coaches
• A Krasnodar man through and through, Murad Musaev made his mark by leading the club's Under-19s to the knockout phase of the 2017/18 UEFA Youth League, where they were only eliminated on penalties by Real Madrid in front of a competition-record crowd. That achievement helped him land the position of caretaker coach to the senior side following Igor Shalimov's dismissal in early April 2018. His position as the club's new head coach was subsequently confirmed during the summer.

• Peter Bosz was appointed as Leverkusen head coach on 23 December 2018, replacing Heiko Herrlich. The move came a year after he was dismissed just six months into his tenure at Borussia Dortmund. A Dutch title winner as a midfielder with Feyenoord, Bosz began his coaching career in the Netherlands, and after a brief spell in Israel with Maccabi Tel-Aviv returned to take charge of Ajax in May 2016, 12 months later steering the Amsterdam club to the UEFA Europa League final, which they lost 2-0 to Manchester United.