Chelsea return to Champions League football after a season away, with Qarabag FK the first team the Blues will play.
The Blues were drawn in Group C alongside Spanish side Atletico Madrid, AS Roma from the Serie A, as well as Azerbaijani side Qarabag. A tough group for Chelsea, they will need to be at their best to go through.
Tuesday’s opposition started in the Champions League at the second qualifying stage, beating Georgian side Samtredia 6-0 on aggregate. A 2-1 aggregate win over Sheriff Tiraspol from Moldova followed in the third round, before beating Danish side FC Copenhagen on away goals to book their place in the group stage.
Ahead of Tuesday’s game, we pick out four Qarabag players that could cause Chelsea problems in their first game back in the Champions League.
Arguably Qarabag’s most likely attacking option, Chelsea will need to keep an eye on Dino Ndlovu.
Throughout the various qualifying stages, South African international Ndlovu has scored four goals in six games, including the vital away against Copenhagen to send the Azerbaijan side through.
As Qarabag won the Azerbaijan Premier League, Ndlovu scored 10 goals in 23 league games and finished as the club’s top goalscorer. He knows how to find the goal, so the Chelsea defence will need to be at their best to stop them.
Spanish midfielder Michel will be the main creative outlet for Qarabag.
A former Premier League player for Birmingham City, Michel has already scored twice in the Champions League, as well as once in the league this season for Qarabag.
The Spaniard has played against Chelsea before, making his Premier League debut, appearing in Birmingham’s 3-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge in January 2010.
The man in between the sticks for Qarabag, Ibrahmin Sehic will have to be at his best to keep the Chelsea attackers at bay.
In the Champions League this season, Sehic has made five appearances and kept three clean sheets, including an impressive 1-0 win over Danish champions FC Copenhagen.
Yet to play in the league for Qarabag this season, Bosnian goalkeeper seems to be the side’s continental keeper and is likely to start against Chelsea on Tuesday.
A deadline day signing for Qarabag, Pedro Henrique will hope to impress in the Champions League.
On loan from Greek side PAOK, Henrique is a tricky winger and is very capable of causing the Chelsea defence problems. The Brazilian has experience in Ligue 1, having played for Stade Rennais for a number of seasons.
Henrique has European experience with FC Zurich and PAOK in the Europa League and will hope to make a mark for his new side and in a new competition.