St-Étienne v Gabala background

St-Étienne find themselves on a bizarre run of four straight 1-1 draws in UEFA Europa League group stage games as they welcome luck-less Gabala in Group C.

Henri Saivet takes a free-kick for St-Étienne
Henri Saivet takes a free-kick for St-Étienne ©AFP/Getty Images

St-Étienne will seek to end a peculiar sequence of UEFA Europa League group stage results as they welcome Gabala, who have nothing to show for their three goals in Group C.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.

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

• 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.

Form guide
• After drawing their opening two Group C matches, St-Étienne are now unbeaten in six European fixtures (W3 D3); they are on a run of four straight 1-1 draws in UEFA Europa League group stage games; and of their 18 group appearances in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League, 12 have finished in draws.

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

• Gabala are without a point in Group C, or a win in their last three European away fixtures (D1 L2). They have conceded three goals in each of their two group matches this season.

• 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 two goals overall when they made their UEFA Europa League group debut last term. They have exceeded that goals' total already, scoring three.

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

• St-Étienne are the sole team not to have received a booking or red card in the first two matchdays.

• 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.

• St-Étienne's Florentin Pogba is the older brother of another Group A contender, Manchester United's Paul Pogba.

• Gabala defender Ricardinho can make his 50th UEFA club competition outing in this game.

The coaches
• 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.

• 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.

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