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Qarabağ vs Marseille: UEFA Europa Conference League background, form guide, previous meetings

Qarabağ, Azerbaijan's first representatives in springtime European club competition, host Marseille trailing 3-1 from the first leg of their knockout play-off.

Arkadiusz Milik struck twice in the first leg
Arkadiusz Milik struck twice in the first leg AFP via Getty Images

Qarabağ, Azerbaijan's first representatives in springtime European club competition, host Marseille in Baku trailing 3-1 from the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League knockout round play-off.

• Qarabağ's sole defeat in UEFA Europa Conference League Group H came on Matchday 6, 3-0 away to Basel, who therefore pipped them to top spot in the section, while Marseille came third in UEFA Europa League Group E, behind Galatasaray and Lazio, winning only their final fixture, at home to Lokomotiv Moskva.

Previous meetings
• The first leg at the Stade Vélodrome – Marseille's maiden fixture against a team from Azerbaijan – resulted in a second successive European win for the French side and back-to-back continental defeats for Qarabağ. Polish international Arkadiusz Milik struck twice just before half-time to give the hosts a clear lead, and although Kady reduced the deficit in the 85th minute, Marseille restored their two-goal cushion in added time through substitute Dimitri Payet.

• Qarabağ have yet to win in seven UEFA matches against French opponents. The three games in Azerbaijan have produced one defeat and two draws, most recently 1-1 against Monaco in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage – in which they scored their first goal against French visitors.

Qarabağ vs Marseille: the latest from the match

Form guide
• Although their seven-year reign as champions of Azerbaijan ended last season, a two-point deficit on Neftçi leaving them as runners-up, Qarabağ came unbeaten through this season's UEFA Europa Conference League qualifying phase to reach a European group stage for the eighth season in a row – all under long-serving coach Gurban Gurbanov.

• Having seen off Ashdod, AEL Limassol and, in their eighth successive European play-off win, Aberdeen during the summer, Qarabağ engineered a safe passage through Group H, a 0-0 draw at home to Basel followed by three successive victories, including back-to-back 2-1 wins against Kairat Almaty that enabled the Baku-based side to secure a top-two spot – and a historic first European knockout phase qualification – with two games to spare.

• Qarabağ have won three and drawn three of their six European home games this season, stretching their unbeaten run in Baku against continental opposition to ten matches (W5 D5) since a 0-3 defeat by Sevilla on Matchday 1 of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League.

• Having lost the first seven UEFA ties in which they fell to an away defeat in the first leg, Qarabağ have made a successful comeback in each of the last three – all UEFA Europa League play-offs – against IFK Göteborg in 2016/17 (0-1 a, 3-0 h), Sheriff in 2018/19 (0-1 a, 3-0 h) and Linfield in 2019/20 (2-3 a, 2-1 h, won on away goals). The one previous occasion when they lost 3-1 away in the first leg was also a UEFA Europa League play-off, in 2009/10 against Twente, but they were eliminated after a 0-0 draw in the return.

• Fifth in last season's Ligue 1, which they completed under current coach Jorge Sampaoli, who arrived in February, Marseille returned to the UEFA Europa League for a fifth appearance in the group stage – a record for a French club – after finishing fourth in their UEFA Champions League section last season behind Manchester City, Porto and Olympiacos.

• OM suffered their third UEFA Europa League group stage failure this season, drawing all of their first four fixtures before surrendering any chance of further progress when they lost 4-2 at Galatasaray on Matchday 5. A closing 1-0 home win against Lokomotiv confirmed their third-placed finish on seven points – five more than the Russian side.

• Marseille are without a European away win in 11 matches (D3 L8) – since they defeated Athletic Club 2-1 in Bilbao in the second leg of the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League round of 16. That is also the French side's only victory in their last nine European away games during the spring (D2 L6).

• Marseille have won 15 of the 21 UEFA competition ties in which they have claimed a home first-leg lead, doing so four times during their run to the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League final, including that round of 16 tie against Athletic, when they won the first leg 3-1. On the only other occasion that they won the home first leg by that scoreline, against Zenit in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 16, they lost the return 2-0 and were eliminated on away goals by the eventual champions. That was the last European tie OM lost after winning the first leg at home; they have triumphed in the last six.

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UEFA Europa Conference League squad changes
In: Rustam Akhmedadze (Mynai), Luka Gugeshashvili (Jagiellonia Białystok, loan), Leandro Andrade (Cherno More Varna)
Out: Hüseyn Hüseynzade, Gaspar Panadero, Jaime Romero

In: Cédric Bakambu (Beijing Guoan), Sead Kolašinac (Arsenal)
Out: Jordan Amavi (Nice, loan), Luis Henrique

Links and trivia
• Qarabağ winger Abdellah Zoubir was born in France and has played lower-league football in the country for Grenoble (2012), Istres (2013, 2014/15) and Lens (2016–18).

• Marseille midfielder Matteo Guendouzi scored for Arsenal against Qarabağ in Baku on October 4, 2018 in the UEFA Europa League group stage. It was the first goal of his professional career.

• Guendouzi also came on as a substitute in the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League final in Baku, which the Gunners lost 4-1 to Chelsea. OM's new recruit Sead Kolašinac was in the Arsenal starting line-up for both of that season's games in Baku.

• Milik has scored in each of his last four European matches for Marseille, six goals in total, to take his all-time tally in UEFA club competition to 22 in 47 games.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Qarabağ's record in one UEFA penalty shoot-out is W0 L1:
5-6 v Molde, 2020/21 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round

• Marseille's record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L1:
3-5 v Crvena zvezda, 1990/91 European Champion Clubs' Cup final
4-1 v Germinal Beerschot, 2005/06 UEFA Cup first round
7-6 v FC Twente, 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 32

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