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Roma ready for Qarabağ opportunity

Victory against Qarabağ at the Stadio Olimpico will take Roma through and could be enough to seize first place in Group C, with the visitors set to finish bottom.

Roma enjoyed a night to remember in their last home fixture
Roma enjoyed a night to remember in their last home fixture ©AFP/Getty Images

AS Roma are a victory away from reaching the UEFA Champions League round of 16 while Qarabağ FK will want to conclude their group stage debut on a positive note in what is their last European fixture of the season.

• The Italian side were 2-1 winners in Azerbaijan on matchday two and have eight points in Group C, two behind Chelsea FC and two ahead of Club Atlético de Madrid. Roma will therefore go through with a win, or if Atlético fail to win at Stamford Bridge. If Roma win and Chelsea do not, Roma win the group.

• Qarabağ have two points and will finish bottom.

Match background

• Roma, who are aiming to reach the round of 16 for the second time in three years, have picked up four points at home in Group C, drawing 0-0 with Atlético before a 3-0 defeat of Chelsea on matchday four. They suffered their first defeat in the section in going down 2-0 in Spain last time out.

• This is the Italian side's first home game against visitors from Azerbaijan.

• That Qarabağ success on matchday two was Roma's first win in eight UEFA Champions League matches, home and away and including qualifying, since a 3-2 home victory over Bayer 04 Leverkusen on 4 November 2015. They have now won three of their last 20 games in the competition.

• Despite the Chelsea success, Roma have won just two of their last nine home matches in the UEFA Champions League – qualifying included – losing four.

• The Italian side were eliminated by FC Porto in last season's play-offs (1-1 away, 0-3 home). They got as far as the UEFA Europa League round of 16, where they were defeated 5-4 over two legs by Olympique Lyonnais.

• Second in Serie A in 2016/17, Roma are in the group stage for a tenth time and the third in four years.

• The champions of Azerbaijan kicked off their first UEFA Champions League group stage campaign with a 6-0 loss at Chelsea, but drew 1-1 at Atlético in their last away fixture.

• This is Qarabağ's third visit to Italy, and they lost on both previous trips, both in the UEFA Europa League group stage: 2-0 at FC Internazionale Milano in 2014/15 and 5-1 at ACF Fiorentina last season.

• Overall Qarabağ's record against Italian clubs is W0 D1 L4.

• The Azerbaijani club 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) and 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.

• Qarabağ had won their last two away games in Europe before losing at FCK; they had won just two of the previous 11 (D2 L7) however.

• Qarabağ's away record in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League group stages is W2 D2 L7.

• 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) at the next hurdle.

• In 2016/17, the Baku-based team contested the UEFA Europa League group stage – for the 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.

Coach and player links
• Roma's Juan Jesus was in the Inter team that beat Qarabağ 2-0 in Milan in the UEFA Europa League on 2 October 2014.

• Stephan El Shaarawy was part of the AS Monaco FC side that edged Qarabağ 1-0 at home before a 1-1 draw in Azerbaijan in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• El Shaarawy scored in Italy's 3-1 win away to Azerbaijan in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying on 10 October 2015.

• Alessandro Florenzi was also in that Italy line-up in Baku, having appeared too in the Azzurri's 2-1 home win on 10 October 2014.

• Have played together
Kostas Manolas & Míchel (AEK Athens FC, 2010/11)

• International team-mates:
Edin Džeko & Ibrahim Šehić (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Łukasz Skorupski & Jakub Rzeźniczak (Poland)

Match facts

• Bruno Peres serves a one-game ban on matchday six.

• Roma have won 12 of their last 16 matches in all competitions.

• Allison has kept seven clean sheets in 14 Serie A games this season.

• Roma drew 1-1 at Genoa CFC on 26 November, ending their Italian top-flight record of 12 successive away wins.

• After scoring seven goals in his first six Serie A appearances this season, Edin Džeko did not find the net in his next seven league games before opening the scoring in the 3-1 win versus SPAL on Friday.

• Stephan El Sharaawy has scored four goals in his last seven games in all competitions for Roma.

• Kostas Manolas has signed a new contract until 2022.

• Džeko, the 29-goal Serie A top scorer last season, is on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or. The winner will be announced on 7 December.

• Patrik Schick was a late substitute against Genoa, appearing for the first time since 16 September following a thigh injury.

• Grégoire Defrel injured his left knee cap at Genoa and missed the game against SPAL.

• Summer signing Rick Karsdorp has not featured since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on his Giallorossi debut against FC Crotone on 25 October.

• Pedro Henrique and Rashad F. Sadygov serve a suspension on matchday six. Jakub Rzeźniczak is a booking away from a ban.

• Qarabağ won 3-2 at Zirä FK on 26 November with Richard Almeida scoring in a second consecutive league game for the first time since April 2014. They beat Neftçi PFK 1-0 on Friday.

• Albanian defender Ansi Agolli made his 200th appearance for Qarabağ in the game against Zirä.

• Qarabağ reached the Azerbaijan Cup quarter-finals after beating FK Qaradağ Lökbatan 2-0 on 28 November. They are bidding to lift the trophy for the fourth season running.