Qarabağ are aiming to get going in Group E after an opening day loss but face a tough task at home to Arsenal.
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Arsenal's first visit to Azerbaijan brings them to the Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu – venue for the 2019 UEFA Europa League final. The London club began their second successive campaign in this competition by beating Vorskla Poltava 4-2 at home, while their matchday two hosts Qarabağ were defeated 2-0 on opening night by Sporting CP in Lisbon.
• Whereas Arsenal have never previously met opposition from Azerbaijan, Qarabağ's four matches against English clubs have all ended in defeat, the two games in Baku – against Tottenham in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League and Chelsea in last season's UEFA Champions League – both failing to yield a home goal.
• Champions of Azerbaijan for the fifth successive year in 2017/18, Qarabağ are also competing in a UEFA group stage for the fifth season running, three appearances in the UEFA Europa League preceding last season's landmark UEFA Champions League adventure. BATE Borisov blocked their route back into that competition this season, in the third qualifying round, but a UEFA Europa League play-off victory against FC Sheriff kept that sequence of group stage appearances going.
• Qarabağ have never extended a European campaign into the spring. Their home record in the UEFA Europa League group stage is W2 D4 L3, the only victories coming against Anderlecht in 2015/16 (1-0) and PAOK in 2016/17 (2-0).
• Qarabağ have conceded only once in four European home games this season (W2 D1 L1) – having shipped four goals against Chelsea in their final European fixture last term. They previously held Atlético Madrid to a 0-0 stalemate in Baku as well as a 1-1 draw in the Spanish capital – results that contributed to Atlético's transfer from the UEFA Champions League to the UEFA Europa League, which they went on to win.
• The Gunners finished sixth in the 2017/18 Premier League – their lowest final placing under Arsène Wenger in his swansong season as manager after 22 years. It earned them a second successive qualification for the UEFA Europa League group stage.
• UEFA Champions League ever-presents for 19 successive seasons until last term, Arsenal reached the UEFA Europa League semi-finals at the first attempt, going out to Atlético. Their away record during that run was W4 D1 L2.
• The 1999/2000 UEFA Cup runners-up were 4-2 winners at BATE Borisov on matchday two of last season's UEFA Europa League. Furthermore, the Gunners have never lost away from home on matchday two in six UEFA Champions League encounters (W4 D2).
Links and trivia
• Qarabağ's Innocent Emeghara has played for Switzerland alongside Arsenal duo Stephan Lichtsteiner and Granit Xhaka.
• Arsenal's Mesut Özil scored and set up another goal in Baku to help Germany beat Azerbaijan 3-1 in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier on 7 June 2011.
• Qarabağ coach Gurban Gurbanov is Azerbaijan's highest-scoring international with 12 goals in 64 matches. While he regularly changed club as a player, he celebrated ten years as head coach of Qarabağ in August 2018, during which time he has led the club to five successive national league titles, four Azerbaijani Cups and regular European group stage involvement, including a maiden UEFA Champions League adventure in 2017/18. He has doubled up as the coach of Azerbaijan since November 2017.
• After two years with Paris Saint-Germain that yielded seven domestic trophies, Unai Emery was appointed as Arsenal manager in May 2018, replacing the long-serving Wenger. The Spaniard oversaw Sevilla's historic hat-trick of successes in the UEFA Europa League from 2013/14 to 2015/16, having assumed control following a four-year tenure at Valencia and a brief stint at Spartak Moskva. He has been in charge of more UEFA Europa League games than any other coach.