Girard not underestimating Krasnodar

Lille coach Rene Girard is refusing to underestimate the quality of UEFA Europa League opponents Krasnodar prior to their clash on Thursday.

Girard's men, who were eliminated in the play-off round of the UEFA Champions League, will be looking for a strong start to their Group H campaign in Europe's second-tier club competition.

The Ligue 1 club will be heavily favoured to take maximum points versus a team that are making their debut on the European stage this season.

However, former Montpellier boss Girard is anticipating their Russian opponents to put up a good fight at the Stade Pierre Mauroy.

"If they [Krasnodar] are there it is because they have had a great season," Girard said.

"From experience I know that Russian football is very high quality.

"Krasnodar is a balanced team with several technically very good players. A big resistance is expected."