Our prediction for this Europa League match:
High-flying Bayer Leverkusen will look to seal their spot in the Europa League knockout stages when they take on Qarabag at Azersun Arena. Xabi Alonso is doing an amazing job with the BayArena outfit and his troops are leading the chase for the Bundesliga title. Despite failing to find the net in a 3-2 win over Hoffenheim at the weekend, Victor Boniface will continue leading the line for the visiting team. All Arthur, Ayaman Aourir, and Patrik Schick should miss out with injuries, but there are no suspended players in the visiting team.
The hosts, on the other hand, aim to build on a thrilling 7-1 win over Kapaz and given their attacking potential, we believe that there is a big value in betting on over 2.5 goals. When the two teams met at BayArena two weeks ago Bayer Leverkusen crushed Qarabag 5-1 and yet another high-scoring affair is on the horizon. There are no fresh injury concerns in the home team.
Highlighted Player (Granit Xhaka):
Granit Xhaka is widely regarded as one of Europe’s most talented central midfielders at the moment and he is on the radar of quite a few high-profile sides. Just two seasons at FC Basel proved enough to attract interest from Borussia M’gladbach, who secured his signature in the summer of 2012.
The Switzerland international had a slow start to his career in Germany, causing many pundits to start doubting his credentials, but he eventually turn things around to show he is more than capable of playing at the highest level. Acting as a deep-lying playmaker, Xhaka impressed fans and pundits alike with his performances in Bundesliga and European competitions, and he even managed to score a couple of important goals in the process.
Despite his fragile age, the highly regarded footballer has been a key member of the Switzerland national team for quite some time now, scoring 6 goals in his first 40 caps to establish himself as a real leader of the Rossocrociati. The 2014 World Cup, where he scored one goal in four starts, should prove just the first of many major tournaments to come.
Highlighted Team (Qarabag):
Over the years Qarabag have established themselves as one of the best teams in Azerbaijan. The club was founded in 1951 and they were playing under the name of Mehsul back then. Qarabag won their first trophy in the national championship in 1993, beating Khazar Sumgayit in the title game.
In the 2015/2016 season they won their fourth domestic trophy, with the team finishing the season 22 points clear of second-placed Zira. Qarabag participated in the 2016/2017 Champions League qualifiers, but they were more than unfortunate to suffer a loss to Viktoria Plzen in the two-legged tie. The Azerbaijan outfit were beaten by the Czechs on away goal rule and, as a result, they made it to the Europa League playoffs.
Thanks to a win over Goteborg in the double-header Qarabag made it to the knockout stages of the competition. The Horsemen play their home games at Azersun Arena and their home colours are black. Qarabag play their away games in white kits.