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Qarabağ v København: play-off facts and stats

Regulars in the UEFA Europa League group stage in the last few years, play-off debutants Qarabağ will hope to finally secure their place among Europe's elite clubs by eliminating København.

Qarabağ have broken new ground this season by progressing to the UEFA Champions League play-offs
Qarabağ have broken new ground this season by progressing to the UEFA Champions League play-offs ©PFL.az

In the UEFA Champions League play-offs for the first time, Qarabağ FK take on a team with plenty of experience of this stage of the competition, FC København.

Previous meetings
• The clubs met in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup qualifying round, with FCK easing to a 10-0 aggregate victory (6-0 home, 4-0 away).

• That tie was also the only time either side have played a club from their opponents' country.

Match background
• This is Qarabağ's fourth UEFA Champions League campaign; in each of the previous three, they were eliminated in the third qualifying round.

• In 2016/17, the Azerbaijani team reached the UEFA Europa League group stage – for the third year in a row – after being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League. They have never progressed to the round of 32, however.

• Qarabağ qualified for the UEFA Champions League after winning the Azerbaijani Premier League for a fifth time in 2016/17 – their fourth championship in a row.

• They got this far by beating Georgian champions FC Samtredia in the second qualifying round (5-0 home, 1-0 away) and Moldova's FC Sheriff (0-0 home, 2-1 away).

• Qarabağ have lost just one of their last eight European home matches (W4 D3), going down 2-1 against ACF Fiorentina on 8 December 2016.

• København have seen off Slovakia's MŠK Žilina (3-1 away, 1-2 home) and FK Vardar of FYR Macedonia (0-1 away, 4-1 home) to make these play-offs.

• FCK have won only two of their six UEFA Champions League play-off ties, ousting Rosenborg BK on away goals in 2010/11 and APOEL FC 2-1 on aggregate last season. They have lost to APOEL (2009/10), FC Viktoria Plzeň (2011/12), LOSC Lille (2012/13) and Bayer 04 Leverkusen (2014/15).

• In 2016/17, FCK finished third in their UEFA Champions League group and went on to the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League, succumbing 3-2 on aggregate to eventual runners-up AFC Ajax.

• København qualified for the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League by winning the Danish championship for a 12th time last term.

Team and coach links
• København coach Ståle Solbakken scored twice in a 5-0 win when Norway hosted Azerbaijan in a 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier, while Qarabağ counterpart Gurban Gurbanov came on as a second-half substitute. Both men started the return match, a 1-0 victory for Norway in Baku.

Coach profiles
• Qarabağ boss Gurbanov is Azerbaijan's highest-scoring international with 12 goals in 62 games and played in Russia and Ukraine as well as Azerbaijan. Coach since 2008, he has steered Qarabağ to domestic championships in the last four seasons.

• In his second spell as København coach, Solbakken has led the club to seven Danish titles. A midfielder, he was capped 58 times by Norway and ended his career at FCK after being diagnosed with a heart problem. He has also coached in Norway, Germany and England.