Krasnodar welcome the visitors Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the Europa League Play-offs – 1/16 Finals. The match will be held on Thursday, February, 14th, at the Krasnodar Stadium (Krasnodar).
Krasnodar’s performance in this campaign is great, the team set the most challenging objectives. In the Russian championship, they take the 2nd line, fighting for the 1st tier (the hosts left for the winter break 1 point behind Zenit). In the Europa League group stage, they also succeeded and qualified from the 2nd place, yielding to Sevilla by the goal difference; in 6 rounds, Krasnodar suffered only 4 losses and celebrated 4 wins. The club’s effectiveness deserves a special note – in the national competition, they made 31 goals (the best league’s record); in the Europa League, their games produced over 2.5 goals 5 times.
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Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who featured a bad start to the season, have finally overcome the crisis and kicked into gear. In the new year, they held 4 matches (in the German championship) wherein they attained 4 effective wins and lost once. In the Europa League, they qualified with no troubles from the 1st line, dropping points in only 2 encounters (drawing against Ludogorets Razgrad and conceding to Zurich) and producing over 2.5 goals in 4.
It’s quite difficult to define favorites in the coming clash, as Bayer are in the best form and Krasnodar may have possibly receded a bit (in the new year, they held 5 friendly meetings in which they won 3 times, drawed in one clash, and lost once, but their opponents’ class was lower than Bayer’s, moreover, in friendly matches, teams experiment a lot). But the hosts need to benefit from their turf and score as many goals as possible, because their trip to Germany will be tough. ‘Die Lowen’ are great in attack, whereas they make many mistakes in defense. Thus, many goals may be expected tomorrow (there will be three for sure).
Prediction for the match: Over 2.5 goals.