After suffering a 2-0 defeat to Sporting Lisbon in Portugal, Qarabag will be hosting Arsenal at the Baku Olympic Stadium.
Qarabag have managed to qualify for the Europa League group stage thanks to a 3-1 aggregate triumph over Sheriff Tiraspol despite losing the first leg by a narrow 1-goal margin. The Horsemen currently top the Azerbaijan Premier League with a record of five wins and a draw, along with Neftci Baku. Except for that loss to the Lions, Agdam-based side achieved four consecutive victories in the national championship, scoring ten while conceding two goals in the process.
On the other hand, the Gunners have outclassed the Ukranian outfit Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League opener, clinching a 4-2 victory at the Emirates Stadium. After a slow start of the season, the London side notably raised their game, wrapping up seven successive wins in all competitions, including the one against Watford last weekend. Additionally, in each of three away games they’ve played this season, Unai Emery’s players notched at least two goals and failed to keep a clean sheet.
A match that will take place in Azerbaijan’s capital will be the first meeting between these two sides, and the first ever time Arsenal will be facing off against some Azerbaijan club.
According to some reports, the hosts will enter the field at full strength, considering Gurban Gurbanov finds all of his players fit and ready. As for the visitors, Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are struggling with injuries, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan won’t travel with the squad due to security reasons.
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