Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
Qarabag and Basel go head to head at Tofiq Bahramov Stadium in the Europa Conference League opener. Qarabag are eyeing their fifth consecutive win in all competitions, but they will have a mountain to climb in Thursday’s football match. Azerbaijan attacker Mahir Emreli is no longer part of the team, but Senegal international Ibrahima Wadji should pose a big threat to the opposition back-line.
The Rotblau, on the other hand, booked their place in the Conference League group stages by beating Hammarby in the playoffs. Basel made a promising start to their Switzerland Super League campaign, which is probably the main reason why we are tempted to put our money on the visiting team. A man to watch in the away team will be Brazilian striker Arthur, who has been scoring goals for fun in all competitions this season.
Highlighted Player (Maksim Medvedev):
Maksim Medvedev is an Azerbaijan international who plays for Qarabag as a right-back. Born in Baku, back then Soviet Union, on September 29, 1989, Medvedev is a first-team regular at the Azerbaijan national football team.
He played an important role in the national team during the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, but he scored his first international goal in a 1-0 win over Norway on October 8, 2016. Speaking of his club career, Maksim Medvedev is a product of the Qarabag football academy, and he continued playing for the Azeri giants at senior level. His main position is right-back, but he is used as both right midfielder and centre-back as well.
Medvedev made his debut in the Champions League group stages in a 6-0 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on September 12, 2017. The 175-cm tall footballer wears the No. 5 jersey at Qarabag, and his preferred foot is right.
Highlighted Team (Basel):
One of the most successful football clubs in Switzerland, FC Basel were founded in 1893. The RotBlau as they are referred to by the Swiss play their games at the St. Jacob Park in Basel in front of 37,500 people which is the maximum capacity of the venue.
The 19-time Swiss champions have endured difficult times in 1980s which ultimately led to relegation from the top flight in 1987. FC Basel returned to the top tier of Swiss football in 2000s to win their first league title in 22 years and go on to win it nine more times over 13 seasons since 2002. The golden times for FC Basel brought European inclusion in every season since 1999-2000 with a pinnacle being the semi-finals of the Europa League in 2012-13.
The RotBlau have so far played over 95 UEFA Champions League games, winning almost half of their European outings. The Swiss club has produced plenty of talented players who went on to become prominent footballers all across Europe with Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka being the most outstanding members of the latest generation.