AS St-Etienne vs Gabala Europa League Preview

AS St-Etienne vs Gabala Europa League Preview

AS St-Etienne vs Gabala will be the first meeting between the two sides. For Gabala this is the second encounter with French opposition this season, as they eliminated LOSC Lille in the third qualifying round. St-Etienne meanwhile drew twice with Qarabag in the 2014-15 UEFA Europa League group stage.

Both St-Etienne and Gabala are still looking for their first victory in this season’s Europa League group stage, as St-Etienne has picked up two 1-1 draws, whereas Gabala was defeated 3-1 by Anderlecht and 3-2 by 1. FSV Mainz.

The match against Mainz was particularly unfortunate for the Azeri, as they overcame an early 1-0 deficit by scoring twice in the second half. But Mainz rallied, and would eventually defeat the Azeri 3-2 at the Bakcell Arena in Baku.

The match did, however, highlight that Gabala can compete in the Europa League group stage (read our Europa League preview on Gabala right here), and they will therefore be confident when undertaking their 3,500 kilometre journey from Gabala, or Qäbälä as the city is also known.

Before the national team break Gabala managed to defeat league champions Qarabag 2-0, and head coach’s Roman Hryhorchuk men are currently first in the Azerbaijan Premier League. Gabala has indeed indicated that they could be very well be the main contender for the league title in the Azerbaijan Premier League.

Gabala, however, are still looking for their first ever victory in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League, but their recent league form, and victory against LOSC Lille in the playoffs shows that the Azeri have what it takes to record their first win at this stage of the competition on Thursday when they visit France.

Possible Line-ups

AS St-Etienne:

Formation: 4-3-3

Ruffier – Monnet-Paquet, Selnaes, Lacroix, Malcuit – Veretout, Dabo, Pajot – Nordin, Berić, Hamouma

Manager: Christophe Galtier


Formation: 4-2-3-1

Bezotosny – Ricardinho, Rafael, Stankovic, Mirzabekov – Kvekveskiri, Vernydub – Dabo, Ozobić, Zenjov – Gorbanov

Manager: Roman Hrygorchuk

By Manuel Veth –