Gabala v Mainz background

No Azerbaijani side have avoided defeat against German opposition in a UEFA game, but Gabala's home form gives them cause for optimism as they welcome Mainz in Group C.

Bagaliy Dabo celebrates scoring for Gabala on matchday one
Bagaliy Dabo celebrates scoring for Gabala on matchday one ©AFP/Getty Images

Gabala will look to make it five home wins from five in the UEFA Europa League this season as they welcome group stage newcomers Mainz on matchday two.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in what is Mainz's first encounter with Azerbaijani opponents.

• Gabala are facing Bundesliga opposition for the second time in as many UEFA Europa League campaigns, having lost 3-1 at home and 4-0 away to Borussia Dortmund in last term's competition.

• To date, all 19 UEFA fixtures (including six games in men's UEFA club competition) between Azerbaijani and German teams have been won by the German representative.

Form guide
• Gabala have won all four of their European home matches this season.

• Mainz's record in five away fixtures to date is W1 D3 L1.

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

• Gabala picked up two points and scored just the two goals when they made their UEFA Europa League group debut last term.

• Mainz are making their UEFA Europa League group stage debut.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Mainz to Gabala is around 3,200km.

• Gabala defender Vitaliy Vernydub will be keeping a look-out for other results in this season's group stage; his father Yuriy coaches Zorya Luhansk, who take on Manchester United on matchday two.

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.

• Martin Schmidt guided Mainz to an impressive sixth-place finish in the Bundesliga last season, his first in command of the senior team. A lower-league player in his native Switzerland, he managed Mainz's reserves from 2010–15.

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