Sevilla need a win against Group J leaders Krasnodar to make sure of progress, with the Russian side seeking a draw.
Article top media content
The pressure is on Sevilla to finish with a victory as they host Group J leaders FC Krasnodar in southern Spain. The Russian side are still not guaranteed to progress despite their tally of 12 points, but will be safe as long as they avoid a heavy defeat.
• Sevilla were beaten for the second time in the group on matchday five, going down 1-0 away to Standard Liège, who they had overwhelmed 5-1 at home on matchday one. Nevertheless, the Andalusian side's head-to-head advantage over Standard (and potentially also in a three-way tie) means they will qualify for the knockout phase if they match or better the Belgian side's result away to bottom club Akhisar Belediyespor.
• Krasnodar, who have won four of their five matches, need a point to qualify as group winners. Even if they are beaten and Standard win, leaving three teams tied on 12 points, Krasnodar would have to lose 4-0 or by a margin of five goals or more to be demoted to third place.
• The clubs' first UEFA encounter went the way of Krasnodar, who overturned a half-time deficit with two late goals, the second a spectacular 88th-minute overhead kick from Georgian midfielder Tornike Okriashvili.
• Krasnodar have encountered Spanish clubs twice in two-legged UEFA Europa League ties, overcoming Real Sociedad in the 2014/15 play-offs to reach the group stage for the first time, but going out to Celta Vigo in the 2016/17 round of 16. They lost both games in Spain.
• Sevilla have now faced Russian opposition on 15 occasions, winning five of the six games staged in Spain including the only previous UEFA Europa League encounter, 2-1 against Zenit in the first leg of the 2014/15 quarter-final (won 4-3 on aggregate) en route to their successful trophy defence.
• Although they were UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists last term, seventh place in Spain's Liga meant that Sevilla's first match back in the UEFA Europa League since their 2016 final success against Liverpool was in the second qualifying round. They came through their opening tie, against Hungary's Újpest, with ease, winning both legs, and it was the same story in subsequent rounds against Žalgiris Vilnius and Sigma Olomouc.
• This is Sevilla's fourth appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage. They have always progressed through to the knockout phase, winning the competition in both 2013/14 and 2014/15. The hat-trick triumph of 2015/16 came after they had crossed over from the UEFA Champions League during the winter.
• Sevilla have won all five European home games this season, scoring 19 goals and conceding just one, which has extended to 16 matches their winning run at home to non-Spanish opposition in the UEFA Europa League, qualifying included. Their last two home defeats in this competition have both been to fellow Liga sides – 1-2 against Athletic Club in the 2015/16 quarter-finals and 0-2 against city rivals Betis in the 2013/14 round of 16 – though Sevilla won both ties on penalties. The last non-Spanish team to deny them a home victory in this competition were Estoril, who drew 1-1 in the 2013/14 group stage.
• 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, lasting until the round of 32 in 2015/16 and the round of 16 in 2016/17.
• Victorious in seven of their last nine European outings, the Russian club have won one of their three away fixtures in each of their previous UEFA Europa League group campaigns – against Everton (1-0) in 2014/15, Gabala (3-0) in 2015/16 and Salzburg (1-0) in 2016/17. Barring a win in Seville, that pattern will continue this season thanks to their 1-0 victory at Akhisar on matchday one.
Links and trivia
• Sevilla's Dutch forward Quincy Promes had four years in Russia with Spartak Moskva. He scored two goals as Spartak defeated Sevilla 5-1 in Moscow last season's UEFA Champions League group stage and also found the net home and away against Krasnodar in last season's Russian Premier Liga, making it four league goals against them in total.
• Sevilla's matchday one win against Standard was the first time they had scored five goals at home in a European match. They then eclipsed that record on matchday three with a 6-0 demolition of Akhisar.
• Sevilla defender Daniel Carriço did not play against Krasnodar on matchday two, but he has been involved in the team's other four group games and has now stretched his all-time appearance record in the UEFA Europa League proper to 58 matches.
• Sevilla are the joint highest-scoring team in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage with 15 goals – the same number as Salzburg (Group B) and Eintracht Frankfurt (H). The all-time record for the most goals scored in the group stage of the competition is Napoli's 22 in 2015/16.
• Pablo Machín was appointed by Sevilla as their new head coach on a two-year contract in May 2018 – a reward for four progressive campaigns at the helm of Catalan outfit Girona, whom he guided into the Spanish top flight before exceeding expectations by leading them to a tenth-placed Liga finish in 2017/18. Forced to retire from playing at 23, he had a lengthy association with home-town club Numancia before joining Girona in 2014. This is his first season on the European stage.
• An FC 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.