Gabala vs Anderlecht will kick off at 17:00 CET/16:00 GMT on Thursday at the BKM Stadium in Baku. RSC Anderlecht will visit the only team in the competition that has not won a game yet in this year’s group stage. In fact Gabala was the first team to be eliminated in this season’s Europa League group stage.
But despite the fact that Gabala are already eliminated, the Azeri will play a major part in who will advance out of Group C. The group is currently led by AS Saint-Étienne with eight points, second are Anderlecht, who are also on eight points, and third is the Bundesliga team 1. FSV Mainz 05, who have six points.
Anderlecht, who beat Gabala 3-1 on matchday 1 of the UEFA Europa League, will be qualified for the round of 32, if they manage to secure three points at the BKM Stadium in Baku.
Anderlecht, however, should not underestimate the Azeri club, who are currently first in the Azeri Premyer Liqasi ahead of league champions Qarabag. Also, travelling to Azerbaijan is not always the easiest endeavour for Western European clubs, as both Saint-Étienne and Mainz struggled when they played away against Gabala.
Finally the club has the ambition to record their first three points in the Europa League, and with this in mind it would be dangerous for Anderlecht fans to see the match as a foregone conclusion.
Players to look out for:
Bagaliy Dabo leads the Premyer Liqasi with seven goals in 12 matches. Signed by US Créteil before the beginning of the season, the striker has been the club’s most dangerous player this year, as he has also added two goals in the UEFA Europa League.
Gabala vs Anderlecht – Match Facts:
- The journey from Brussels to Gabala is 3,500km.
- Anderlecht are unbeaten in six UEFA Europa League games this season (W4 D2)
- Gabala picked up two points and scored just the two goals when they made Europa League debut last term.
- Anderlecht have made it through in all five of their previous UEFA Cup and Europa League group stage campaigns.
Futbolgrad’s Prediction: Gabala vs RSC Anderlecht 2-2
Bezotosny – Abbasov, Ricardinho, Rafael, Stankovic – Jamalov, Ozobić, Weeks – Eyyubov, Dabo, Mammadov
Manager: Roman Hrygorchuk
Roef – Obradović, Nuytinck, Kara, Spajić – Dendoncker, Tielemans – Hanni, Stanciu, Chipciu – Teodorczyk
Manager: René Weiler