29 November 2019
Qarabag travel to the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán to tackle Sevilla, obliged to avoid defeat to keep their hopes of clinching a place in the UEFA Europa League (EL) knockout stage alive.
The hosts have once against shown how comfortable they feel playing in this competition, winning all four of their Group A fixtures to secure a place in the knockout stage with two games to spare. Before beating Dudelange 5-2 on the road last time out, the La Liga giants have shut out their rivals in three consecutive EL triumphs. Interestingly, two of their four wins in this season’s competition have seen them secure a 3-0 victory after drawing a blank in the first half. Another success is a near-certainty, given that Los Nervionenses won eight consecutive EL group matches at home ahead of this game, keeping a clean sheet in the last four. What’s more, Julen Lopetegui’s men have won five of their previous six home outings in all competitions (W5, D1), keeping a blank sheet in four of those matches.
Meanwhile, the visitors are in contention for the top-two finish, as they sit third in the standings, level on points with second-placed APOEL, and one point clear of the basement side Dudelange. A 4-1 away triumph over Dudelange aside, the Horsemen have lost two of their remaining three group matches (D1, L2), including a 3-0 home defeat to Sevilla in the reverse fixture. Qarabag’s fragile defense has not only failed to keep a clean sheet in the group stage so far, but they’ve conceded over 1.5 match goals three times already. If Gurban Gurbanov’s side score here, it will probably take place in the first half, as five of their total seven EL goals netted so far came before halftime.
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