Unbeaten Swansea City host goalless Kuban Krasnodar in the first match between the sides. Swansea are yet to concede in the Europa League group stage, having consolidated a remarkable 0-3 win in Valencia with a 1-0 home victory over St Gallen.
Swansea are still without captain Ashley Williams, who has missed his side’s last five games with an ankle ligament injury. His fellow Welsh defender Ben Davies has been ruled out for up to four weeks with a similar problem. Davies sprained an ankle and was withdrawn before half-time in Swansea’s 4-0 win over Sunderland on the weekend. Jordi Amat will continue in central-defence while Neil Taylor can cover for Davies.
The injuries to two of Swansea’s preferred back four may not prove to be too costly as Kuban are yet to score in the group stages. Kuban lost both of their first two Group A matches 2-0 and the added demands of European football appear to be taking their toll. The Russians finished fifth in the Premier division in 2012-13 but are eleventh this time around, with only three wins from 13 games.
Kuban will have to break a long-running historical trend if they are to achieve a win or a draw in Wales. The last time a Russian side won on British soil was in 2000 when Zenit St Petersburg beat Bradford City 3-0 in the now defunct Intertoto Cup.
KICK-OFF: Thursday, 8.05pm
The match is Kuban’s first against a Premier League side, and Swansea’s first against a Russian side
Russian sides have drawn five and lost 14 of their last 19 games in England. The run stretches back to 2000
Swansea’s Pablo Hernandez and Kuban’s Angel Dealbert were team-mates at Valencia from 2009 before moving to their respective clubs in the summer of 2012
Kuban’s well-known striker Djibril Cissewas faced Swansea with QPR on the opening day of last season. QPR lost 5-0
Both sides are eleventh in their respective leagues, but there are only 16 sides in the Russian Premier division
TV: Live on ITV4 at 8.05pm
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