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Gabala v St-Étienne background

Gabala need to win to keep their Group C hopes alive, but the Azerbaijani side will have a tough task against St-Étienne, who are unbeaten in seven European games.

Gabala's Filip Ozobić takes a tumble against St-Étienne on matchday three
Gabala's Filip Ozobić takes a tumble against St-Étienne on matchday three ©AFP/Getty Images

The trail could go cold for Gabala on UEFA Europa League matchday four if they fail to win at home against St-Étienne, the Azerbaijani side yet to pick up a point in Group C.

Previous meetings
Ricardinho's own goal gave St-Étienne victory when the sides met for the first time in UEFA competition on matchday three.

• Gabala had their first experience of French opposition in this season's UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, eliminating LOSC Lille with a 1-0 win at home and a 1-1 draw in France.

• St-Étienne drew twice with Gabala's countrymen Qarabağ in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage.

Form guide
• Gabala and Salzburg are the only teams who have lost all three of their group stage games this season.

Highlights: St-Étienne 1-0 Gabala

• Gabala won their first four European home matches this term before falling foul of Mainz on matchday two. They have scored 13 goals at home in Europe in 2016/17.

• Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Gabala are the only clubs who have advanced from the first qualifying round to the UEFA Europa League group stage this season.

• St-Étienne are unbeaten in seven European fixtures (W3 D4), having ended a run of four straight 1-1 draws in UEFA Europa League group stage games. Of their 19 group fixtures in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League, 12 have finished all square.

• Gabala picked up two points and scored as many goals when they made their UEFA Europa League group debut last term. They have exceeded that goals total already, managing three.

• St-Étienne have qualified in two of their past three UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group campaigns.

Links and trivia
• The journey from St-Etienne to Gabala is around 3,500km.

• St-Étienne's Florentin Pogba is the older brother of Manchester United's Paul Pogba.

• Gabala defender Vitaliy Vernydub will be looking out for other results in this season's group stage; his father Yuriy coaches Group A contenders Zorya Luhansk.

The coaches
• Gabala finished third in Azerbaijan last term in their first campaign under Ukrainian coach Roman Hrygorchuk. He made his name in management in Latvia and previously got through the UEFA Europa League group stage as boss of Chornomorets Odesa in 2013/14.

• St-Étienne coach since 2009, Christophe Galtier steered Les Verts to French League Cup success in 2012/13. He had worked as assistant to Alain Perrin at St-Étienne before getting the senior job. Originally a defender, he started his playing career at home-town club Marseille.

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