Burkina Faso
Chinese Taipei
Nigeria

Preview: Qarabag FK vs. Hacken - prediction, team news, lineups

sportsmole.co.uk, 12 December 2023, 22:16
In the final round of Europa League group-stage fixtures this term, Qarabag FK will aim to keep hold of second spot and earn a playoff place on Thursday, when they welcome Hacken to Azerbaijan.

The hosts only trail Molde on head-to-head points and need to match or better the Norwegian side's result on the final day to continue in the competition, while their visitors are out of contention but will aim to bow out with their first points of the campaign.

Match preview

Qarabag FK return to Azerbaijan for their final Europa League group game with clear permutations if they are to progress in this year's competition, having amassed seven points from their first five outings.

They enjoyed a fast start, beating Molde 1-0 in their curtain-raiser thanks to Leandro Andrade's goal and making it back-to-back three-point hauls in a trip to Hacken, as Juninho netted the only goal of the game against Thursday's opponents 20 minutes from time.

A pair of tricky ties against group leaders Bayer Leverkusen then followed, and the Horsemen did not manage to stake a stronger claim for a top-two spot, falling to 5-1 and 1-0 defeats as only Victor Boniface's injury-time winner denied them a share of the spoils on home turf ahead of a crucial meeting with Molde last time out as the sides headed into the game on equal points.

Gurban Gurbanov's side led ahead of that meeting on head-to-head points, but they looked set to be leapfrogged as they trailed 2-1 heading into injury time, with Kristian Eriksen putting their hosts ahead with a late brace, only for the Azerbaijani outfit to snatch a share of the spoils deep into injury time thanks to Bahlul Mustafazada's leveller.

Such a result kept Qarabag ahead of their second-place rivals on head-to-head points, meaning they now head into the final game with the clear objective of matching or bettering Molde's result against Bayer Leverkusen in order to seal second spot and a resultant Europa League playoff place, or else a drop into the Europa Conference League awaits.

They meet a Hacken side who will hope to end their continental campaign on a positive note following a tough group stage in Europe's secondary competition.

The Swedish outfit began the season in Champions League qualifying, and after falling just short against KI Klaksvik, they booked their place in the Europa League group stage with aggregate triumphs over Zalgiris and Aberdeen.

Per-Mathias Hogmo's side have been unable to put a point on the board in their five attempts thus far, though, bowing out of European competition entirely this term as a result, having scored twice while conceding 15 goals as they began with a 4-0 defeat away at Bayer Leverkusen and a 1-0 home loss in the previous meeting between these two sides.

A pair of meetings with Molde then produced 3-1 and 5-1 defeats, as Srdan Hrstic scored their only goal at home and Momodou Sonko netted a consolation in Norway, before the Wasps most recently hosted Bayer Leverkusen and feel to a 2-0 loss after a valiant effort, as Victor Boniface and Patrik Schick netted the goals for the Bundesliga giants.

Having not been in competitive action since that last outing, after finishing third in the Swedish Allsvenskan in November, Hacken will now aim to end on a high in the Europa League with a victory in Azerbaijan before Hogmo departs for Urawa Red Diamonds at the end of the year.

Qarabag FK Europa League form:

D

W

W

L

L

D

Hacken Europa League form:

W

L

L

L

L

L

Hacken form (all competitions):

L

L

W

L

L

L

Advert - content below:

Team News

Qarabag may field the same starting XI from their draw away at Molde in their last group game, and Juninho is bound to again lead the line, having netted a team-high tally of 15 goals so this term including two in the Europa League group stage.

Leandro Andrade and Yassine Benzia have chipped in with nine and seven goals respectively across all competitions this campaign, and they should again play key roles in a supporting trio behind Juninho in their 4-2-3-1 shape with Abdellah Zoubir likely completing the attacking unit.

Elsewhere, Marko Jankovic and Patrick Andrade could again line up in the engine room while Bahlul Mustafazada and Kevin Medina should continue their centre-back partnership.

Hacken may opt to deploy the same starting XI from their defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in their last competitive game, although Ali Youssef and Momodou Sonko are both fighting to come into the attack from the start after featuring off the bench in that 2-0 loss.

Since the departures of top scorers Benie Traore and Ibrahim Sadiq to Sheffield United and AZ Alkmaar respectively in the summer transfer window, plenty of attacking responsibility has fallen on new man Srdjan Hrstic, who has netted two goals in his first 10 games for the club.

Edward Chilufya should keep his place on the wing, having managed five goals of his own this term, while Pontus Dahbo is also hoping to come in from the outset in midfield after Mikkel Rygaard, Samuel Gustafson and Amane Romeo were preferred last time out.

Qarabag FK possible starting lineup:

Lunyov; Vesovic, Mustafazada, Medina, Cafarguliyev; Jankovic, P Andrade; L Andrade, Benzia, Zoubir; Juninho

Hacken possible starting lineup:

Abrahamsson; Abdulrazak, Ousou, Hovland, Totland; Rygaard, Gustafson, Dahbo; Chilufya, Hrstic, Sonko

We say: Qarabag FK 3-0 Hacken

Previews by email

Top News

20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Seeking a first major trophy since 1963, Atalanta BC will try to conquer 'invincible' German champions Bayer Leverkusen in Wednesday's Europa League final, which takes place in Dublin. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Bayern Munich and Al-Nassr have reportedly expressed an interest in signing an out-of-favour Tottenham Hotspur defender this summer. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk An exhilarating and captivating 2023-24 Premier League campaign has come to a close and Manchester City have been crowned champions for an unprecedented fourth season in a row, finishing two points clear of their nearest challengers Arsenal in second place. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Still undefeated this season, Bayer Leverkusen can complete the second leg of a memorable treble by emerging victorious in Dublin this week, as they take on Atalanta BC for the right to be crowned Europa League champions. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk A talented youthful striker apparently wanted by Arsenal is now believed to be the subject of interest from the Saudi Pro League. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Liverpool have confirmed the appointment of Feyenoord manager Arne Slot as their new head coach to replace Jurgen Klopp. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Following 51 games without defeat, Bayer Leverkusen put their unbeaten record on the line in Wednesday's Europa League final, when Atalanta BC attempt to finally halt the German champions. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe may reportedly not be involved in the Coupe de France final. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Manchester United have reportedly set an asking price for one of their more experienced players ahead of the summer transfer window. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Manchester City striker Erling Haaland has expressed his pride after winning a second successive Premier League Golden Boot. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Serbia's preliminary squad for Euro 2024 has been named by head coach Dragan Stojkovic, who has called upon an initial 35 players for the national team training camp before their flight to Germany. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk West Ham United are reportedly set to announce the appointment of David Moyes's successor as manager 'later this week'. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Brasileirao Serie A side Corinthians take on Serie D America de Natal in the second leg of the Copa do Brasil third round at the Neo Quimica Arena on Thursday morning. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Crystal Palace manager Oliver Glasner has issued a fresh update on the futures of in-demand trio Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze and Jean-Philippe Mateta ahead of the summer transfer window. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Manchester United and Bayern Munich are reportedly among a number of clubs interested in signing Red Bull Salzburg centre-back Oumar Solet. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Manchester City midfielder Rodri has claimed that Arsenal lacked the 'mentality' to win the Premier League title and has criticised the Gunners for not wanting to beat them at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk ADO Den Haag and SBV Excelsior will be looking to boost their chances of playing Eredivisie football next season when they square off in the first leg of their playoff semi-final on Wednesday. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk The final chapter has closed on a captivating 2023-24 Premier League season, one which saw Manchester City earn another slice of English football history as the first team to win four Premier League titles on the spin. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk The final chapter has closed on a captivating 2023-24 Premier League season, one which saw Manchester City earn another slice of English football history as the first team to win four Premier League titles on the spin. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Aston Villa may reportedly be prepared to be creative in a bid to sign Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly made the decision to part ways with Ryan Sessegnon on a free transfer. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Manchester United have reportedly decided on an asking price for winger Jadon Sancho ahead of the summer transfer window. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk England Under-17s manager Greg Lincoln has named his 21-man squad for the upcoming European Championships in Cyprus, with the inclusion of two highly-rated North London products. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk No coronavirus-enforced stoppages. No matches behind closed doors. No schedule-conflicting World Cup breaks over the Christmas period. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Botafogo can qualify for the last 16 of the Copa do Brasil for a third successive campaign with a win or draw in the second leg of their third-round tie against Vitoria on Wednesday at Estadio Manoel Barradas. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Two sides in early relegation danger in their respective domestic competitions will be seeking a place in the last 16 of the Copa do Brasil as Atletico Goianiense welcome Brusque to Estadio Antonio Accioly on Wednesday. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Needing at least a two-goal victory to have any hope of advancing beyond the third round of the Copa do Brasil, Sampaio Correa face a tall task when they head to the Maracana on Wednesday to battle Fluminense. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk The season is over and while the transfer window doesn't technically open until June 14, clubs across the UK and Europe are free to get deals in place ahead of next season. 20 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk Salernitana vs. Hellas Verona (Monday, 5.30pm) Hellas Verona travel to rock-bottom Salernitana on Monday evening, hoping to secure their Serie A status for another season. 19 May 2024 sportsmole.co.uk On Tuesday, England Under-17s will kick off the European Under-17 Championship with a tricky game against last year's runners-up France Under-17s.