Krasnodar - VfL Wolfsburg go in search of their first UEFA Europa League win of the season away to Russia outfit FK Krasnodar on Thursday (16:00 GMT/ 18:00 CET). previews the Wolves' 2,694-kilometre trip to the Kuban River...

Wolfsburg really ought to be picking up a positive result if they're to progress beyond the group stages of the competition. Dieter Hecking's men lost their opening fixture at Everton, before being held to a 1-1 draw by LOSC Lille on Matchday 2 and currently sit bottom of Group H, with Krasnodar on two points in second.

Krasnodar head coach Oleg Kononov will have to do without the services of injured midfielder Vladimir Bystrov (hamstring). Brazilian winger Joaozinho has also been ruled out through suspension, with Colombian Ricardo Laborde (pictured) expected to assume creative duties out wide.

Marcel Schäfer will likely come in for waylaid left-back Ricardo Rodriguez (thigh). Nicklas Bendtner is a major doubt (back), while (pictured) should start despite picking up a knock against SC Freiburg on Saturday afternoon. Aaron Hunt (ankle) is definitely out.

Brazilian striker Ari has scored five goals in his last seven Europa League appearances, including the opener away to Everton on Matchday 2. The 28-year-old, who currently averages a goal every 164 minutes in Europe, has been on target just twice in nine league outings this term.

Evergreen Croatian international striker will look to put his prior experience of Russian football to good use, having spent four years on the books of PFC CSKA Moskva before moving to Hamburger SV in 2007. All three of the 35-year-old's goals so far in 2014/15 have come in the Bundesliga, however.

Dieter Hecking, Wolfsburg head coach: "[Krasnodar] are a really good side. I think they're the best in the group."

Kevin Kuranyi, FK Dinamo Moskva and former Bundesliga striker: "Krasnodar play good football [but] if Wolfsburg perform well, they'll have a chance."

Wolfsburg enjoyed a third league win on the bounce away to Freiburg last weekend, while Krasnodar were held to a 2-2 draw by FC Zenit. The Russians are one of only four teams in the group stage who started out in the second qualifying round and remain unbeaten in four European home games.

Wolfsburg, who will play Krasnodar for the first time on Thursday, have a mixed record against Russian opposition. The Wolves edged FC Rubin Kazan 3-2 on aggregate in the 2009/10 Europa League, having beaten CSKA 3-1 at home and lost 2-1 away in the group stages of the Champions League that same season.

Possible line-ups:

Krasnodar: Dykan - Jedrzejczyk, Granqvist, Sigurdsson, Kaleshin - Pereyra, Gazinski - Izmailov, Ahmedov, Laborde - Ari

Wolfsburg: Benaglio - Jung, Naldo, Knoche, Schäfer - Guilavogui, Luiz Gustavo - Caligiuri, De Bruyne, Perisic - Olic