Nice vs Krasnodar – Thursday 20:05 GMT/21:05 CET Allianz Riviera – Nice.
Krasnodar’s 1-1 draw on matchday 5 against Red Bull Salzburg means that the club has already qualified for the round of 32 of the Europa League.
Krasnodar, who are currently on fifth spot in the Russian Football Premier League, have had a bit of an up-and-down season this year. Good performances, like their matchday 15 victory over Zenit, were often followed with disappointing results, like their matchday 16 defeat to Terek Grozny.
The same has been true in the UEFA Europa League, where they started with two victories, but then lost twice to FC Schalke 04. Their matchday 5 performance against Red Bull Salzburg also was anything but convincing, as they needed last minute heroics by star striker Fedor Smolov in order to secure the point they needed to advance.
In some ways, the fall campaign has been typical for Krasnodar, however, as the Bulls usually start poorly, and then move up the league in the spring to secure a top finish. Hence, with the three month long winter break starting after the match against Nice, Krasnodar will be looking to finish the first half of the season on a strong note.
With the round of 32 secured, Krasnodar will have ensured a much needed cash flow, which will allow the club to strengthen the squad for a push in both the Russian Football Premier League and also the Europa League.
With Nice being the last competitive fixture for Krasnodar, it can be expected that head coach Igor Shalimov will somewhat rotate the squad and, with Nice already eliminated, this game will likely end in a high scoring draw.
Nice vs Krasnodar – Players to look out for:
The Uzbek midfielder Odil Akhmedov has been the unsung hero of Krasnodar’s campaign this season. Nominally a defensive midfielder Akhmedov had to play many games out of position this year, as Krasnodar head coach Igor Shalimov used the Uzbek both as a left and a right forward. A strong dribbler and passer, Akhmedov has made the most out of the position, sacrificing himself for the squad in a difficult situation.
Nice vs Krasnodar – Match Stats
- Krasnodar beat Nice 5-2 on matchday 2 in what was Nice’s first ever match against a Russian club.
- Krasnodar’s sole previous experience against French opposition came in 2014-15 when they played LOSC Lille in the Europa League group stage. Both games ended in 1-1 draws.
- Nice have not won or scored a goal in a Europa League group stage match at the new Allianz Riviera stadium.
- Nice’s first-ever UEFA group stage campaign ended with the club being eliminated.
- With 100 infringements committed against them, Nice are the most fouled side in the Europa League.
Futbolgrad’s Prediction: Nice vs Krasnodar 2-2
Nice vs Krasnodar – Possible Lineups
Cardinale – Dalbert, Dante, Sarr, Pereira – Seri, Cyprien, Koziello – Belhanda, Pléa, Eysseric
Manager: Lucien Favre
Kritsyuk – Torbinski, Granqvist, Naldo, Kaleshin – Kaboré, Izmailov, Eboue – Okriashvili, Smolov, Akhmedov
Manager: Igor Shalimov