Football

Qarabağ v Arsenal Live Commentary & Result, 04/10/2018, UEFA Europa League



Gurban Gurbanov has decided to make two changes to the Qarabag side that started the defeat against Sporting in their opening group stage game, with Agolli and Michel coming into the starting line-up to replace Wilde-Donald Guerrier and Diniyev, respectively.

Arsenal substitutes: Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette, Lucas Torreira, Shkodran Mustadi, Emiliano Martinez, Granit Xhaka.

Arsenal XI (3-4-2-1): Bernd Leno; Rob Holding, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Nacho Monreal; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Mohamed Elneny, Matteo Guendouzi, Sead Kolasinac; Emile Smith Rowe, Alex Iwobi; Danny Welbeck.

Qarabag substitutes: Hannes Halldorsson, Rahil Mammadov, Simeon Slavchev, Araz Abdullayev, Dzon Delarge, Abbas Huseynov, Joshgun Diniyev.

Qarabag XI (4-2-3-1): Vagner; Maksim Medvedev, Badavi Huseynov, Jakub Rzezniczak, Ansi Agolli; Michel, Gara Garayev;  Mahir Madatov, Filip Ozobic, Abdellah Zoubir; Innocent Emeghara.

There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up today…

Arsenal are comfortably the favourites to come away with all three points today. They boast an impressive record in European competitions, having lost just one of their last 15 group stage games (W11 D3). Last season saw them win four away matches in the Europa League – their joint-most in a single European campaign.

The Baku Olympic Stadium is always a difficult place to visit, and Arsenal’s task could be made even tougher due to several notable absentees. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are all unavailable today, with the latter not travelling due to political tensions between Azerbaijan and his native Armenia.

Arsenal will likely be fighting with Sporting Lisbon for top spot come the end of the group stage, but Qarabag shouldn’t be written off. The champions of Azerbaijan have frustrated the likes of Atletico Madrid, Celtic and Monaco in recent seasons, while at home they have suffered just two defeats in their previous 18 games across all competitions.

A relatively comfortable evening for the Gunners saw them pick up a 4-2 victory two weeks ago, and while tonight presents a different type of test for Unai Emery’s men, it’s one they’ll feel confident about passing. After a slow start to the season, the north London side are now in excellent form, with all of their last seven games ending in wins.

Despite a few nervy moments towards the end of their opener against Vorskla, when they conceded twice in the latter stages, everything is currently going to plan for Arsenal, who head into today’s game with the opportunity to make it two wins from as many group stage games.

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of today’s Europa League group stage game between Qarabag and Arsenal at the Baku Olympic Stadium.



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