Azerbaijan v Italy background

Italy are still not quite sure of a finals place with two games to go, with Azerbaijan's four-match unbeaten run in Group H suggesting a close encounter ahead.

Azerbaijan's four-game unbeaten run in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group H may be of concern to leaders Italy, who will seal their place at next summer's final tournament with a win in Baku.

• Fifth-placed Azerbaijan can no longer qualify for UEFA EURO 2016.

• Italy are two points clear of their final-day visitors Norway at the top of the section.

Previous meetings
• Italy beat Azerbaijan 2-1 in Palermo in the sides' Group H encounter last October, maintaining the Azzurri's 100% record over their opponents. All three goals were scored by Giorgio Chiellini – with his own goal Azerbaijan's first senior strike against Italy.

• The Italians had won both previous meetings between the teams, without even conceding a goal – 2-0 in Baku and 4-0 in Reggio Calabria in UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying.

Form guide
• Having lost their first four matches in Group H, Azerbaijan are unbeaten in four (W1 D3) since the appointment of Robert Prosinečki as coach.

• Italy are unbeaten in 48 qualifying fixtures (W37 D11) since a 3-1 reverse in France on 6 September 2006. They drew their two most recent Group H away games.

Disciplinary
• Dmitri Nazarov is a booking away from a ban.

• Daniele De Rossi begins a two-match ban against Azerbaijan; Matteo Darmian will incur a suspension with his next yellow card.

Trivia and links
• Azerbaijan defender Ruslan Abışov turns 28 on 10 October, the day of Italy's visit to Baku.

• Azerbaijan coach Prosinečki played three times against Italy – two draws with Yugoslavia and a 2-1 win with Croatia in EURO '96 qualifying. He was an unused substitute when Croatia overcame Italy 2-1 at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

• FC Internazionale Milano have figured in all the previous encounters between clubs from the two countries. Inter ousted Neftçi PFK 3-1 in Baku before a 2-2 draw in Milan in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League group stage. The Nerazzurri then won 2-0 at home and drew 0-0 away to Qarabağ FK in the same competition's 2014/15 group stage.

• Italy and Azerbaijan have met in seven UEFA youth and age-limit tournaments, with Italy very much on top, boasting the record W6 D1 L0. That sole draw was a 0-0 in a UEFA European Under-16 Championship qualifier on 4 March 1997. It was only in the last of those seven games – a 2-1 defeat at U19 level in Sweden – that Azerbaijan scored their first goal against Italy.

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