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Qarabağ v Fiorentina background

Group J leaders Fiorentina travel to Qarabağ knowing a point will be enough to rubber-stamp first place, while for their hosts victory would secure their own progress.

Fiorentina need a point to win Group J
Fiorentina need a point to win Group J ©Getty Images

Fiorentina hold a three-point advantage at the top of Group J but matchday six opponents Qarabağ welcome the Viola knowing their fate is in their own hands.

• Qarabağ are through with a win, or a draw if PAOK do not win at home to Slovan Liberec. Qarabağ have a head-to-head advantage over PAOK. If PAOK do not win, Qarabağ can only top the group if they win 4-0 or by margin of five goals or more.

• Fiorentina are definitely through unless they lose and PAOK win, in which case it would then come down to a three-way head-to-head. In this scenario, the outcome would depend on the goals scored in the game between the Viola and Qarabağ.

Previous meetings
• Fiorentina hit three goals in nine first-half minutes as they went on to beat ten-man Qarabağ 5-1 on matchday two – the sides' first meeting, and the Viola's maiden encounter with Azerbaijani opponents.

• Qarabağ took on Internazionale in the 2014/15 group stage, losing 2-0 in Milan and then drawing 0-0 in Baku – a result that spelled elimination from the competition.

Form guide
• Qarabağ are unbeaten in five European home matches (W3 D2) since a 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur in last season's group stage.

• A shock 3-2 home reverse to PAOK on matchday five ended Fiorentina's unbeaten run in Group J; their away record in three 2016 UEFA games is W1 D1 L1.

• Qarabağ are featuring in the UEFA Europa League group stage for a third straight campaign but have yet to make it to the round of 32.

• Fiorentina have a 100% qualification success rate in four previous UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage forays.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Florence to Qarabağ's base in Baku is around 3,200km. The Horsemen have not played in their home town, Agdam, since 1993.

• Fiorentina, Roma and Schalke top the unluckiness leaderboard in this term's competition – all have struck the woodwork four times in their group fixtures.

The coaches
• Qarabağ boss Gurban Gurbanov is Azerbaijan's highest-scoring international with 12 goals in 62 matches and played in Russia and Ukraine as well as Azerbaijan. Coach since 2008, he has steered Qarabağ to domestic championships in the last three seasons.

• A European champion as a player with Juventus (1996) and Borussia Dortmund (1997), former Portugal midfielder Paulo Sousa joined Fiorentina in June 2015, fresh from landing the 2013/14 Israeli crown with Maccabi Tel-Aviv and the 2014/15 Swiss championship with Basel.

Chapecoense commemoration
Teams taking part in all of the matchday six UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League fixtures will observe a minute's silence to pay respect to the victims of last week's air disaster involving the Chapecoense team and accompanying delegation.

The Brazilian club lost most of their players and coaching staff in the accident, which occurred in Colombia, where Chapecoense were due to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atlético Nacional.

"European football is united in expressing its deepest sympathy to Chapecoense, the Brazilian Football Confederation [CBF], CONMEBOL and the families of all the victims," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin. "This tragedy has shaken the world of football, and we would like to send our support to all of those affected by it."

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