Qarabag travel to the BayArena this Thursday to face Bayer Leverkusen in Matchday three of the Europa League. The two sides occupy the top spots in the group, meaning a win in this fixture would swing control of the group their way.
Bayer Leverkusen currently sit top of Group H after two games. Leverkusen have two wins so far, leaving them on six points, and ahead of Qarabag on goal difference.
In their last five games in all competitions, Leverkusen have five wins. Victor Boniface opened the scoring for Leverkusen in the ninth minute, but Eren Dinkci equalised for Heidenheim early in the second half. However, Jonas Hofmann and Amine Adil as well as another goal from Boniface gave Leverkusen the 4 - 1 win. An own goal from Sepp van den Berg opened the scoring for Leverkusen in the first half and in the second half, Alex Grimaldo and Hofmann both scored to give Leverkusen the 3 - 0 win over Mainz.
Last time out in the Europa League, Leverkusen travelled to Molde. Jeremie Frimpong and Nathan Tella both scored before the 20 minute mark to give Leverkusen the 2 - 0 lead. The late goal from Emil Breivik wasn’t enough for Molde as Leverkusen won 2 - 1. Hofmann, Frimpong and Boniface all scored in the 3 - 0 win over Koln, where Leverkusen registered 23 shots.
The most recent outing for Leverkusen was against Wolfsburg. Frimpong scored once again to put Leverkusen in the lead, but before halftime Maxence Lacroix drew Wolfsburg level. However, Grimaldo picked up the winning goal in the second half to give Leverkusen the 2 - 1 win.
Qarabag sit second in Group H with two wins in two games. This also leaves them on six points, six points ahead of Molde in third, but below Leverkusen because they’ve also scored two goals so far.
In their last five games in all competitions, Qarabag have four wins and a draw. Hamidou Keyta and Nәriman Axundzadә both scored before the 15 minute mark to give Qarabag an early 2 - 0 lead. Despite Kevin Medina being sent off before halftime and Lucas Africo scoring for Gabala, Qarabag held onto the 2 - 1 win. The next win was a lot more comfortable for Qarabag. Toral Bayramov, Leandro Andrade and Abdellah Zoubir all scored along with a brace from Juninho to give Qarabag the 5 - 0 win over Sumqayit.
Qarabag faced Hacken in the Europa League in their last time out in the competition. Juninho scored the only goal of the game to give Qarabag the 1 - 0 win after they restricted Hacken to just one shot on target. Juninho scored yet again for Qarabag and was this time joined by Redon Xhixha in the 2 - 0 win over Neftci.
The last time out for Qarabag was against Turan. Juninho once again opened the scoring for Qarabag, giving them the lead going into halftime but just one minute into the second half Oto John scored for Turan. Andrade thought he had won it with his goal in the 90th minute but a goal from Aykhan Guseynov in the 94th minute meant the game finished 2 - 2.
Bayer Leverkusen and Qarabag have never met professionally, but their records in Europe do suggest which way this game may go. Just last season Leverkusen managed to reach the Semi-final of the Europa League whereas Qarabag have never made it past the Group stage in the Europa League.