Gabala vs Maribor by Isaiah
Gabala has started the Europa League campaign going all the way from the first qualifying round, but the team managed to make some surprises and now they have a decent chance to enter the group stage as well. After making some really positive performances and making those surprises, the team got a bit lucky during the draw proccess and got Slovenian side Maribor, a side against which they surely can play and could search for a chance to getting through the group stage.
In the first round they won over Georgian side Samtreda 6:3 on aggregate score, closing all the doubts after a 5:1 home victory. In the second round a bit more difficult job was ahead of them, but the team managed to overpower Hungarian side MTK Budapest with 4:1 aggregate score and two victories. Finally, they made a real surprise by kicking out French giant Lille, by taking a 1:1 draw away from home in the first round and getting a 1:0 narrow victory in the returning leg.
Obviously playing at home gives them much more confidence and they know that, so the team will surely try to get a victory here and go with a positive result. As for the domestic league, the team has 1-1-0 record in first two rounds, coming from a goalless draw at home against rivals from Inter Baku.
Maribor, on the other side, have started their campaign from the second round and a clash against Bulgarian side Levski, whom they progressed but only via away goal rule. Also close was their third round game when the team won over Aberdeen, getting a 1:1 draw on the road and celebrating late and a bit lucky 1:0 victory at home.
The team is obviously in a bit of downtrend of their form, since they didn't get a victory in the domestic league in last three rounds (two draws and the latest result 2:1 defeat away to ND Gorica), being currently only at fourth position, three points away from leaders from Domzale. Right back Matej Palcic is injured from the start of the season, while midfielder Marwan Kabha won't be playing here due yellow card suspension.
Gabala is not that far away in quality comparing to the Slovenian team, if any difference in away side and with the help of own fans and home advantage, I definitely see them winning this one. Maribor itself isn't anywhere close to their best form and will have really hard time getting the positive result here. Their chances here are well above 50%, at least in my eyes.