Marseille vs Qarabağ: UEFA Europa Conference League background, form guide, previous meetings
Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Marseille make their UEFA Europa Conference League bow against Qarabağ, the first club from Azerbaijan to feature in springtime European club competition.
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Marseille make their UEFA Europa Conference League bow in the knockout round play-offs with a home fixture against Qarabağ, the first club from Azerbaijan to feature in springtime European club competition.
• The French side came third in UEFA Europa League Group E during the autumn, behind Galatasaray and Lazio, winning only their final fixture, while Qarabağ's sole defeat in UEFA Europa Conference League Group H also came on Matchday 6, 3-0 away to Basel, who therefore pipped them to top spot in the section.
• This is Marseille's first fixture against a team from Azerbaijan.
• Qarabağ have yet to win in six UEFA matches against French opponents. The three away games have produced one draw and two defeats, their most recent visit a 0-1 loss at Monaco in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• 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 subsequent 1-0 home win against Lokomotiv Moskva confirmed their third-placed finish on seven points – five more than the Russian side.
• Since 2017/18, when they won eight of their nine UEFA Europa League matches at the Stade Vélodrome, including all four in the knockout phase, OM have lost five of their nine European home games (W2 D2), though they are undefeated in the last four.
• 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 were unbeaten on the road in five UEFA Europa Conference League matches (W4 D1) until that 3-0 defeat by Basel on Matchday 6.
UEFA Europa Conference League squad changes
In: Cédric Bakambu (Beijing Guoan), Sead Kolašinac (Arsenal)
Out: Jordan Amavi (Nice, loan), Luis Henrique
In: Rustam Akhmedadze (Mynai), Luka Gugeshashvili (Jagiellonia Białystok, loan), Leandro Andrade (Cherno More Varna)
Out: Hüseyn Hüseynzade, Gaspar Panadero, Jaime Romero
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.