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Qarabağ on the up for Chelsea contest

Qarabağ will be looking for another obdurate home performance in Group C as they welcome a Chelsea side who will qualify for the last 16 with a win in Azerbaijan.

Qarabağ players celebrate earning a point against Atlético in their last home game
Qarabağ players celebrate earning a point against Atlético in their last home game ©AFP/Getty Images

Qarabağ FK will be buoyed by collecting their first UEFA Champions League points as they welcome a Chelsea FC team looking to get quickly back on track in Group C.

• Matchday one was Qarabağ's group-stage debut and it proved a harsh introduction as Antonio Conte's Chelsea ran in six goals without reply at Stamford Bridge. However, home and away draws with Club Atlético de Madrid then opened the Azerbaijani champions' points account, and they will now be aiming to stay in contention for a place in the UEFA Europa League at the very least.

• Qarabağ are fourth in Group C on two points, one behind Atlético. They must win to stay in contention for a top-two finish, but will be confirmed in fourth if they lose and Atlético win.

• Chelsea have seven points, one fewer than leaders AS Roma who beat them last time out. The English champions are through with a victory, or a draw if Atléticodo not win at home to the Italian side.

Match background

• This is Qarabağ's second home game against a Premier League club, and fourth match with English opponents overall. They lost 1-0 at home to Tottenham Hotspur FC in the UEFA Europa League group stage on 26 November 2015, having also gone down 3-1 away.

• Qarabağ lost their first home fixture in the section 2-1 to Roma before getting their first points via a 0-0 draw with Atlético in Baku on matchday three.

• The Azerbaijani side reached the group stage for the first time by beating Georgian champions FC Samtredia in the second qualifying round (5-0 home, 1-0 away), followed by Moldova's FC Sheriff (0-0 home, 2-1 away). In the play-offs they won 1-0 at home to FC København and advanced on away goals after a 2-1 defeat in Denmark.

• This is Qarabağ's fourth UEFA Champions League campaign; in each of the previous three they were eliminated in the third qualifying round. Last year they ousted F91 Dudelange 3-1 on aggregate in the second qualifying round, but lost to FC Viktoria Plzeň (0-0 away, 1-1 home) in the next stage.

• In 2016/17, the Baku-based team contested the UEFA Europa League group stage – for a third consecutive year – after being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League. They have never gone on to the round of 32, however.

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

• Matchday one was Chelsea's first game against opponents from Azerbaijan.

• The Londoners have collected a win and a defeat on their travels this season. Michy Batshuayi secured a 2-1 victory at Atlético with the final kick of that matchday two contest before a 3-0 reverse at Roma that allowed the Italian side to overtake their opponents.

• The victory at Atlético means Chelsea have won four of their last ten European away fixtures (D3 L3).

• Champions of England for a sixth time in 2016/17, Chelsea were not involved in European competition last term for the first time since 1996/97. They had appeared in every UEFA Champions League group stage going back to 2003/04.

• European champions in 2012, Chelsea got to the round of 16 on their last UEFA Champions League foray in 2015/16, losing to Paris Saint-Germain at that stage for the second year running.

• Chelsea have won their UEFA Champions League group on their last three appearances, and 11 times overall. The only time they have failed to progress to the last 16 was 2012/13, when they became the first holders to go out in the group phase; they went on to win the UEFA Europa League.

Coach and player links
• Anton Kanibolotskiy and Willian were team-mates at FC Shakhtar Donetsk in 2012/13.

• Míchel was a 72nd-minute substitute in Birmingham City FC's 3-0 Premier League defeat at Chelsea on 27 January 2010.

• Antonio Conte guided Italy to two wins against Azerbaijan in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying: 2-1 at home and 3-1 away, the latter result clinching the Azzurri's place in the finals.

• Gara Garayev, Badavi Hüseynov, Rashad F Sadygov and Rahid Amirguliyev played in the first game in Palermo, with Elvin Yunuszadä and Agabala Ramazanov unused replacements; Hüseynov was sent off in the Baku return, with Garayev, Sadygov, Amirguliyev, Maksim Medvedev, Arif Dashdemirov and Afran Ismayilov also in the starting line-up.

Match facts

• Dino Ndlovu is available after completing a one-game ban last time out. Pedro Henrique serves a suspension on matchday five.

• Qarabağ celebrated 2-0 wins at Käpäz PFK and at home to Sumqayıt FK in the 11th and 12th round of the Azerbaijani Premier League.

• Míchel scored in consecutive games for Qarabağ, against Atlético and Käpäz, for the first time since November 2016. Elvin Yunuszadä's goal against Käpäz was his first since that month also.

• Mahir Madatov was joint-top goalscorer in the league ahead of the weekend with five goals, but has now been overtaken by Gabala's Bagaliy Dabo (six). Madatov scored the first and 50th goal of the current Azerbaijani Premier League season.

• Chelsea earned a second consecutive 1-0 league win when Álvaro Morata's goal saw off Manchester United FC on 5 November.

• N'Golo Kanté returned to the side for that victory after a hamstring injury.

• Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham – on loan at Crystal Palace FC and Swansea City AFC respectively – made their senior England debuts in the goalless draw with Germany on 10 November.

• Eden Hazard scored in Belgium's 3-3 friendly draw with Mexico on 10 November and two in Saturday's 4-0 win at West Bromwich Albion FC.

• Morata scored in Spain's 5-0 friendly win against Costa Rica on 11 November and again at West Brom.

• Andreas Christensen scored Denmark's equaliser in their 5-1 World Cup play-off second leg win against the Republic of Ireland.

• Hazard and Kanté are on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or. The winner will be announced on 6 December.

• Victor Moses has not played since suffering a hamstring injury against Crystal Palace FC on 14 October.