Our prediction for this Europa League match:
All eyes will be on Stadion Kuban when Krasnodar square off against Schalke in the Europa League in what is expected to be one of the most entertaining games of Thursday’s program. Krasnodar have been impressive in Group I so far and they will be looking to build on back-to-back triumphs over the likes of Salzburg and Nice when they face in front of home fans. The Russian team scored 3+ goals in four of their last six games in the Europa League and we predict that they are going to extend their impressive goal-scoring run in Thursday’s football match. Schalke have been scoring goals for fun of late as well and seeing that they outplayed Salzburg 3-1 in their second group game, there is every chance we will see a high-scoring affair at Stadion Kuban. The two teams meet for the first time ever in European competitions.
Highlighted Player (Julian Draxler):
Julian Draxler is arguably one of the most impressive footballers to have come out of Schalke’s youth academy in recent years and he spent ten years in the academy before he was promoted to the senior side in January 2011. The attacking midfielder soon started showcasing his skills at the biggest stage and just a year later received his first Germany call-up.
Draxler scored 18 goals in 119 league appearances for Schalke before moving to Wolfsburg in a high-profile deal in the closing stages of the 2015 summer transfer window. Despite his fragile age, the talented footballer has already made over 15 outings for the Germany national team, making one substitute appearance as Die Mannschaft went on to claim the 2014 World Cup trophy.
An exciting player capable of playing on either wing or through the middle, Draxler boasts a good goalscoring record and also regularly creates chances for his teammates, although he has yet to fully realise his potential.
Highlighted Team (Krasnodar):
Krasnodar are one of several Russian clubs that were founded in the 21st century (2008). The Byki were promoted to the Russian Premier League in 2011 and they were playing under Serbian tactician Slavoljub Muslin back then. Krasnodar finished the 2014/2015 season in third place in the standings and that is regarded as the club’s biggest success.
The club’s biggest rivals are Kuban Krasnodar and there have always been fireworks when the two teams take on each other in the local derby. The Bulls participated in the 2015/2016 Europa League group stages and it has to be noted that they managed to beat star-studded Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in front of home fans.
However, they failed to make life difficult for Sparta Prague in the last 32, losing 4-0 to the Czech outfit on aggregate. Krasnodar play their home matches at Krasnodar Stadium, the venue that was built in 2016. The capacity of the stadium is 33,000.