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A few facts on... our Europa League opponents

Posted on 28 August 2015  - 16:00

Following this afternoon’s draw, we take a look at the three sides we’ll face in Europa League Group J this season.

Dimitar Berbatov scores from the spot against Anderlecht in 2007Graham Roberts in action in the 1984 UEFA Cup Final against AnderlechtGlenn Hoddle in action for Monaco in 1988Action from Qarabag's Champions League third qualifying round clash with Celtic in July, 2015

RSC ANDERLECHT
Formed: 1908
Stadium: Constant Vanden Stock
Capacity: 28,063
Manager: Besnik Hasi
Domestic honours: League titles – 33; Belgian Cup winners – 9.

This season in Europe:
Anderlecht qualified for the group stages of the Europa League by virtue of finishing third in the six-team Championship play-off in the Belgian Pro-League last term. They had also finished third in the regular season.

Last season in Europe – 2014-15:
Anderlecht were in Champions League Group D at the start of last season, alongside Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Galatasaray, but were never really in contention to qualify. Although they did hold the Gunners to a 3-3 draw at The Emirates, they only collected six points courtesy of a win at home to Galatasaray and draws in their three away games. Third place in the group saw them drop into the Europa League Round of 32, but after a goalless draw at home to Dinamo Moscow, they lost 3-1 in Russia to end their European adventure.

We’ve met before:
Obviously, our most famous previous meeting with Anderlecht came in the final of the UEFA Cup in 1984. Following a 1-1 first leg draw in Brussels in which Paul Miller netted for us, we reconvened at the Lane for the return game, with the two sides once again drawing 1-1, Graham Roberts scoring an equaliser for us. With no further score in extra time, a penalty shoot-out decided the outcome of the trophy, Tony Parks saving two Anderlecht spot-kicks to secure our second UEFA Cup triumph.
We also played Anderlecht at their Constant Vanden Stock stadium in Group G of the UEFA Cup in December, 2007 – and once again drew 1-1. Dimitar Berbatov scored from the spot after Bart Goor’s opener, both sides progressing to the Round of 32.

Current form:
Anderlecht currently sit in third place in the Belgian top flight after five rounds of matches, having won three, drawn one and lost one. Idrissa Sylla is their three-goal top-scorer.
 

AS MONACO
Formed: 1924
Stadium: Stade Louis II
Capacity: 18,523
Manager: Leonardo Jardim
Domestic honours: League titles – 7; French Cup winners - 5

This season in Europe:
Having finished third in last season’s Ligue 1, Monaco qualified for the third qualifying round of this year’s Champions League where they faced Swiss side Young Boys. They reached the Play-Off Round courtesy of a 7-1 aggregate win, but a 3-1 first leg defeat to Valencia left them with a tough task to qualify for the lucrative group stage. Monaco were unable to turn it around, winning 2-1 in the return which saw them exit the competition and take their place in the Europa League group stage instead.

Last season in Europe – 2014-15:
It was a different story last term however, as Monaco topped Champions League Group C despite only scoring four goals in their six matches! That earned them a Round of 16 tie against Arsenal, winning 3-1 at The Emirates before losing 2-0 at home, sneaking through on the away goals rule. Juventus stood between them and a place in the semi-finals and although Monaco only lost 1-0 in Turin in the first leg, they couldn’t overturn the deficit, a goalless draw seeing them go out.

We’ve met before:
We played Monaco just two years ago in a pre-season friendly, going down 5-2 at their Stade Louis II arena. Radamel Falcao scored twice for the French side, along with Andrea Raggi, Lucas Ocampos and Mounir Obbadi. Harry Kane and Andros Townsend scored our goals in what was Nacer Chadli’s first appearance in our colours.

Played for both:
Glenn Hoddle left us to join Monaco at the end of the 1987-88 season and helped them win their first title in six years in his first season there. Other players to have featured for both clubs include Jurgen Klinsmann, Dimitar Berbatov, Emmanuel Adebayor and Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Current form:
Monaco are three matches into their domestic season and currently sit in eighth place, having won once and drawn twice.
 

QARABAG
Formed: 1951
Stadium: Tofiq Bahramov Stadium
Capacity: 31,200
Manager: Gurban Gurbanov
Domestic honours: League titles – 2, Azerbaijani Cup winners - 3

This season in Europe:
After retaining their Azerbaijan league title last season, Qarabag qualified for the Champions League second qualifying round and edged past Rudar Pljevlja of Montenegro 1-0 on aggregate. That gave them a third qualifying round match-up against Celtic and, after a goalless home draw, they exited the competition with a 1-0 defeat at Celtic Park. But their European adventure continued after dropping down into the Europa League, beating Young Boys 4-0 on aggregate in the Play-Off to reach the group stage.

Last season in Europe – 2014-15:
It was a similar story last season as Qarabag won their Champions League second qualifying round, beating Maltese outfit Valetta 5-0 on aggregate, but lost to Salzburg in the next round. In their Europa League Play-Off, they defeated FC Twente on away goals after a 1-1 aggregate scoreline, but struggled in Group F. Drawn with St Etienne, Inter Milan and Dnipro, their only win was a 1-0 success against the Ukrainians and they finished third.

We’ve met before:
We have never played a competitive game against an Azerbaijani side.

Current form:
Three games into the Azerbaijan Premyer Liqa, Qarabag are top of the table with two wins and a draw to their name, as they look to secure their third successive league title.