This week will see the final round of 2019/2020’s Champions League qualifiers take place, with one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures arriving at the Stadion FK Krasnodar on Tuesday night, with kick off set for 8pm as Krasnodar welcome Greek outfit Olympiacos. In the reverse encounter it was Olympiacos who took a huge advantage with a resounding victory over their opponents, but after seeing off FC Porto in the previous round the hosts will feel they can turn this around with a bit of luck.
Krasnodar will still be licking their wounds having been torn apart by Olympiacos last week, suffering a 4-0 defeat away from home. Prior to that result, Sergey Matveev’s men were in good form and had won each of the three preceding outings – the most impressive of which came in Portugal as they eliminated FC Porto from the Champions League in a surprisingly positive performance. That was followed by a comfortable 0-2 beating of FC Tambov domestically, however four days later their joy was ripped to shreds upon the visit to Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki. A stalemate on home soil versus Lokomotiv Moscow can’t have helped the mood within the camp as they were forced to come from behind in order to prevent it being two successive defeats, but they must remember what happened when everyone thought it was all over against FC Porto.
Olympiacos have won each and every one of their five games played in the Champions League qualifiers up to now, keeping a clean sheet in all five of those meetings too. First up it was Viktoria Plzen, who they obliterated by four goals to nil on aggregate, which was succeeded by a 0-1 away win over Istanbul Basaksehir. They eventually ran out victorious by three goals in that affair after 180 minutes, and the recent thrashing of FC Krasnodar will have done wonders for confidence amongst the squad ahead of a crucial second legs. At the weekend, Olympiacos continued their solid form into the league season as they picked up three points by defeating Asteras Tripolis.
Olympiacos have kept a clean sheet in all five of their Champions League matches thus far, including two away from home, with one victory at their opponents’ ground. Contrary to their visitors, FC Krasnodar have failed to keep a clean sheet in three of their last four games and have not won either of their last two matches.
Olympiacos have scored two or more goals in three of their last five matches, and that’s three in their last four when just talking about the Champions League qualifiers. Krasnodar’s defence has been leaky as of late, conceding seven goals in four matches, six of which have come in their past two appearances in the Champions League qualifying stage.
Olympiacos have been the victors in each of their last five matches in all competitions.
FC Krasnodar have hit the net only three times in their last three outings, whereas Olympiacos have struck home seven times.
Olympiacos have won each of their Champions League qualifiers by an aggregate score of at least 3-0 so far.
Remy Cabella will play no part this weekend after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in the loss to Olympiacos last Wednesday, which is a major blow to his team’s chances of turning this one around. As well as him, Yuri Gazinskiy is a doubt due to a shoulder issue, while Viktor Claesson should return sometime in January. Magomed-Shapi Suleymanov is in good form in front of goal despite his sides’ failure to pick up wins in recent weeks, with four goal contributions in his last four appearances, including three goals for himself.
Konstantinos Fortounis will make a return to first team action in January when he is expected to have recovered from a cruciate ligament injury, while Avraam Papadopoulos will sit this one out through injury too. Lazar Randjelovic will be desperate to get a start here after netting twice in the first leg win to put his side in a comfortable position. Miguel Angel Guerrero is another who’ll be hoping to add to his tally of two goals, bagging in the games against Krasnodar and Viktoria Plzen.