Liberec v Qarabağ background

Liberec scored the fastest goal in UEFA Europa League history in their first meeting with Qarabağ and would welcome a few more as they bid to salvage their Group J campaign.

Qarabağ are well placed to qualify for the round of 32 for the first time
Qarabağ are well placed to qualify for the round of 32 for the first time ©AFP/Getty Images

Liberec need a win if they are to have any chance of making it to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 as they welcome a Qarabağ side revived by back-to-back Group J victories.

• Qarabağ are through with a win or with a draw if PAOK do not prevail at Fiorentina; Liberec must triumph to stay in contention.

• Fiorentina go through with a draw; PAOK must win, or draw and hope Qarabağ lose to maintain their qualification hopes.

Matchday one: Qarabağ 2-2 Liberec
Matchday one: Qarabağ 2-2 Liberec

Previous meetings
• In their maiden encounter with an Azerbaijani club, Liberec scored within 11 seconds of kick-off against Qarabağ on matchday one but eventually drew 2-2.

• Qarabağ are yet to win in five meetings with Czech sides – W0 D3 L2 (D1 L1 in the Czech Republic). They have drawn the last three of those games, having bowed out to Viktoria Plzeň on away goals after two draws in this season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

Form guide
• Liberec have lost both of their Group J home fixtures.

• Qarabağ's 1-0 victory at PAOK on matchday four ended a seven-match wait for a European away success (D2 L5).

• Liberec have qualified in only one of their three previous UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns.

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

Links and trivia
• The journey from Qarabağ's Baku home to Liberec is around 2,900km.

Jan Sýkora's 11th-second goal in the teams' first meeting was the fastest ever strike in the UEFA Europa League – and the first of this season's group stage.

The coaches
• Jindřich Trpišovský took control at Liberec in June 2015 and models himself on Jürgen Klopp. Once a youth coach at Sparta Praha, he previously led second-division Viktoria Žižkov, impressing despite the club's financial problems.

• 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.

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