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Azerbaijan v Croatia background

Robert Prosinečki may have mixed emotions as his Azerbaijan side take on the Group H leaders, the coach having featured alongside his opposite number Niko Kovač as a Croatia player.

Preview: European qualifiers on 3 September ©AFP/Getty Images

Azerbaijan will look for a significant improvement on their last UEFA EURO 2016 Group H meeting with Croatia as Robert Prosinečki takes on his home side.
 Previous meetings
• In the nations' first competitive meeting, Croatia beat Azerbaijan 6-0 in Osijek on 13 October 2014, Andrej Kramarić (11), Ivan Perišić (34 45), Marcelo Brozović (45+1) and Luka Modrić (57p) scoring before a Rashad F Sadygov own goal completed the visitors' misery.

• The margin of victory was one goal shy of Croatia's biggest win of all time – 7-0 against Andorra in 2006; their 4-0 lead at the break is the most substantial half-time lead in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying to date.

• Victory made it three from three in Group H without conceding for Croatia: their best ever start to a UEFA European Championship qualifying campaign.

• Azerbaijan midfielder Dmitri Nazarov is a yellow card away from a one-game ban.

• Mateo Kovačić, Mario Mandžukić and Ivica Olić are all a booking away from a suspension.

Form guide
• Azerbaijan are unbeaten in two Group H games under new coach Prosinečki, in which they have not conceded: a 2-0 win against Malta and an impressive 0-0 draw in Norway.

• Croatia are unbeaten in eight qualifying competition games (W5 D3) since a 2-0 loss in Scotland in FIFA World Cup qualifying in October 2013.
Trivia and links
• Croatia's Ivan Rakitić is one of four players topping the rankings with four UEFA EURO 2016 assists after six games along with, Poland's Arkadiusz Milik, Bosnia and Herzegovina's Senad Lulić and Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri.

• Azerbaijan forward Ruslan Qurbanov played club football in Croatia with HNK Hajduk Split in 2015, on loan from Neftçi PFK; Croatia reserve goalkeeper Lovre Kalinić was among his team-mates.

• Azerbaijan coach Prosinečki made 49 appearances for Croatia, scoring ten times. He and current Croatia boss Niko Kovač featured together for the national team from 1996-2002 – notably at the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals. Both coaches were born in Germany.

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