In the round of 16 for a record-equalling fifth time, Valencia face a Krasnodar side who claimed a notable scalp last time out.
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Through to the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for a record-equalling fifth time, Valencia are bidding to make a fourth appearance in the quarter-finals as they face a first-ever contest against a Krasnodar side full of confidence after knocking out Bayer Leverkusen in the round of 32.
• Valencia's autumn campaign was in the UEFA Champions League, where they finished third behind Juventus and Manchester United in Group H (W2 D2 L2). They eased past Celtic, 3-0 on aggregate, in the UEFA Europa League round of 32
• Krasnodar finished runners-up to another Spanish side, Sevilla, in Group J, losing out on first place only on the head-to-head rule after matching the section winners' haul of 12 points. Leverkusen were eliminated thanks to Magomed Suleymanov's 84th-minute free-kick in Germany, which gave Krasnodar an away-goals success (0-0 home, 1-1 away).
• Valencia won their first four home games against Russian visitors before Krasnodar's city rivals Kuban held them to a 1-1 draw at Mestalla in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage, after the Spanish side had won 2-0 in Russia. The last time Valencia hosted a Russian side, they lost – 2-3 to Zenit on matchday one of the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League.
• Krasnodar's three previous fixtures in Spain – all in the UEFA Europa League – have ended in defeat, most recently 0-3 at Sevilla on matchday six. Their only goal on Spanish soil was scored by Viktor Claesson in a 2-1 defeat by Celta Vigo two years ago with Daniel Wass, now of Valencia, scoring for Celta; Krasnodar also lost the return (0-2) in what was their only previous round of 16 tie.
• Fourth in the Spanish Liga in 2017/18, Valencia qualified for an 11th UEFA Champions League group stage campaign after two consecutive seasons without European football. Runners-up in that competition in both 1999/2000 and 2000/01, they won the UEFA Cup in 2004.
• Valencia lost twice without scoring against Juventus in the autumn but took four points off both Manchester United and Young Boys, beating each at home and drawing away. Celtic were subsequently brushed aside in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 (2-0 away, 1-0 home).
• This is the Spanish side's fifth appearance in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 – a record they share with Benfica and Zenit. Valencia have won three of their four previous ties at this stage, overcoming Werder Bremen in 2009/10 (1-1 home, 4-4 away), PSV Eindhoven in 2011/12 (4-2 home, 1-1 away) and Ludogorets Razgrad in 2013/14 (3-0 away, 1-0 home) and going on to reach the semi-finals in those latter two campaigns. They did lose the most recent last-16 tie, on away goals against Athletic Club in 2015/16 (0-1 away, 2-1 home).
• Valencia are undefeated in nine UEFA Europa League home games, with wins in the last six during which they have scored 18 goals and conceded just two. The last team to defeat them at Mestalla in this competition were Swansea City, who racked up a 3-0 win on matchday one in 2013/14.
• 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 once, 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 and the round of 16 in 2016/17.
• They lost two of their three away games in this season's group stage – 1-2 at Standard Liège as well as the 0-3 defeat at Sevilla – but won their opener, 1-0 at Akhisar, to which they added 2-1 home wins against all three opponents. The goalless draw against Leverkusen was their first at home in Europe, the aggregate success their first on the away goals rule.
• The Russian club have yet to win away from home in four springtime European encounters (D2 L2) but have claimed one victory on the road in all four of their UEFA Europa League group campaigns – against Everton (1-0) in 2014/15, Gabala (3-0) in 2015/16, Salzburg (1-0) in 2016/17 and this season at Akhisar.
Links and trivia
• Valencia's Denis Cheryshev, a scorer at Celtic in the round of 32, made his senior Russia debut in Krasnodar against the United States (2-2) on 14 November 2012.
• An international team-mate of Ari and Yuri Gazinski, Cheryshev scored in the penalty shoot-out when Russia eliminated Spain from the round of 16 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup; Rodrigo appeared as a substitute for Spain.
• Rodrigo is no stranger to Krasnodar as the city in southern Russia was Spain's base during the World Cup.
• Ezequiel Garay played for Zenit from 2014–16 and scored his first Russian Premier League goal in a 4-0 home win against Krasnodar on 6 December 2014.
• All four of Valencia's UEFA Europa League knockout phase campaigns have ended with elimination by fellow Spanish clubs – Atlético Madrid in the 2009/10 quarter-finals and 2011/12 semi-finals, Sevilla in the 2013/14 semi-finals and Athletic Club in the 2015/16 round of 16. Only in the latter case did their conquerors not go on to lift the trophy.
• Marcelino's career as a midfielder, which included representing Spain at youth and Under-21 level, was curtailed at the age of 28 by injury. As a coach, he worked his way up the Spanish leagues, stints with Zaragoza, Real Racing Club and Sevilla preceding an impressive three-and-a-half-year spell at Villarreal, whom he guided to promotion, three successive top-six Liga finishes and the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League semi-finals. He was appointed by Valencia in May 2017.
• 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.