Rising Russians A Force To Be Reckoned WithStats
Krasnodar v Everton
Everton face a tough task on Thursday evening when they face rising Russian side Krasnodar in Russia…
After finishing fifth in the Russian Premier League last time, Krasnodar have made a solid start to the season, going undefeated in their first five league games, a run that included a 4-0 thrashing of Dinamo Moscow and have won their last three in all competitions. They qualified for the Europa League in style, beating Real Sociedad 3-1 on aggregate and earned a 1-1 draw at Lille in their first Group H game.
After last year’s stirring efforts, Everton’s season has got off to a slow start. They’ve won just one of their Premier League games so far, dropping points against Leicester, conceding six against Chelsea and losing at home to Crystal Palace, and were dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Swansea last week, although they showed resilience to earn a point at Liverpool on Saturday. They kicked off their Europa League campaign with a 4-1 thrashing of Wolfsburg to take an early lead in Group H.
Krasnodar have no significant injury worries going into this game. Their gameplan will be to rely on a solid defence built around Andreas Granqvist and Ragnar Sigurdsson and supported by experienced full backs Artur Jedrejczyk and Vitali Kaleshin, with Brazilians Joaozinho and Wanderson providing the flair up front.
Roberto Martinez hasn’t been helped by the loss of some key players in recent weeks. Seamus Coleman, Stephen Pienaar and Ross Barkley won’t be available for this tough trip to Russia and on Saturday he lost Kevin Mirallas to a hamstring tear which could keep him out for a month. Aiden McGeady, who spent four years at Spartak Moscow, came on for Mirallas at the weekend and is likely to start in Krasnodar.
Krasnodar are taking part in European football for the first time, although their neighbours Kuban Krasnodar met Swansea twice in the Group stages of last season’s Europa League and emerged with 1-1 draws on both occasions.
They have an excellent defensive record this season, having conceded just nine goals in eighteen games in all competitions. By contrast Everton have been leaking goals at quite a rate and have let in eighteen in their last eight.
Backed by billionaire owner Sergey Galitsky, Krasnodar is a rising force in Russian football.
Under their current manager Aleh Konanaw they have added steel and a solid back line to their attractive passing game and will fear no-one in this competition, particularly at home.
Everton have no problems up front, but they are conceding far too many goals and are missing some key players for what will be a demanding trip. The Russians go into this game full of confidence, having won three in a row and will relish the prospect of taking on a Premier League team who are at a low ebb. Back Krasnodar to win at 11/8 in the Match Betting market.