Hello and welcome to Sports Mole
's live coverage of the match in the Champions League
between Qarabag FK
and Chelsea. Both clubs have registered some surprise results since the beginning of the campaign, but the two teams can both still progress and be eliminated from the competition. Let's see who have been selected for today's match...
Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz
, Rudiger; Zappacosta, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, Pedro
CHELSEA SUBSTITUTES: Caballero, Cahill, Christensen, Sterling, Drinkwater, Bakayoko, Morata
We will get onto the Qarabag team a bit later but for now, let's take a look at the Chelsea starting lineup with Antonio Conte
opting to make a total of four changes from the team which began the 4-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. The most notable inclusion is David Luiz
, who has recently had a bit of a disagreement with Conte, but the Brazilian gets the chance to make an impression in Baku.
Antonio Rudiger also comes into the team, with Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen having to make do with a place on the bench. Davide Zappacosta and Marcos Alonso take their spot on the flanks, while N'Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas
are given responsibility in the middle of the park.
Further forward, Pedro has been introduced into the starting XI as a replacement for Alvaro Morata
, who is only named on the bench. William is also selected with Tiemoue Bakayoko being dropped. Conte had suggested the need for rotation and that is exactly what he has done for this game.
Danny Drinkwater had been in contention to start but once again, he must wait for an outing off the bench. Teenager Dujon Sterling - whose only previous appearance in the first team came against Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup in September - is included, but there is no place for Ethan Ampadu.
QARABAG XI: Sehic; Medvedev, Rzezniczak, Sadiqov, Agolli, Qarayev, Guerrier, Michel, Almeida de Oliveira, Madatov, Ndlovu
The most notable name in the Qarabag starting lineup is Michel, who has previously had a spell with Birmingham City. The playmaker was responsible for scoring his side's goal away at Atletico Madrid before the Spanish giants eventually hit back to claim a draw.
Chelsea will also need to keep an eye on South African international Dino Ndlovu
, whose goals played a big part in Qarabag reaching this stage of the competition. The striker has only scored once in his last four appearances but featuring in both of his country's recent World Cup qualifiers shows the quality of the 27-year-old.
Ndlovu returns to European action after serving a ban on matchday four, but Qarabag are without Pedro Henrqiue who was sent off just before the hour mark of the draw with Atletico.
QARABAG SUBSTITUTES: Kanibolotskiy, Amirquliyev, Ismayilov, Yunuszada, Seydaev, Diniyev, Quintana Sosa
There are plenty of permutations with this game so let's take a look at things from a Chelsea perspective. Victory for the Blues will mean progression through to the last 16, although there would still be work to do to win the group. A draw or defeat may mean that the Premier League side have to avoid defeat to Atletico on matchday six.
As for Qarabag, victory would maintain hope of surprise progress through to the knockout stages. A draw would lift the club above Atletico ahead of the Spaniard's home clash with leaders Roma, but defeat would leave their hopes of even finishing in third place hanging by a thread.
The reverse fixture between the sides took place at the start campaign, and it saw Chelsea run out convincing 6-0 winners
. Qarabag had made an impression during the opening half hour, but the minnows completely wilted during the second half.
Chelsea were poor away at Roma before the international break, but that is the only blot on their copybook in their last half-a-dozen games. The West Londoners have won the other five matches with 12 goals being scored and three clean sheets being recorded.
During yesterday's press conference, Conte spoke of the need for the Premier League to start helping clubs who are competing in Europe. After this game, Chelsea have a long flight and just 72 hours before facing Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday. Click here
to see what the Italian had to say.
Conte also acknowledged that Chelsea needed to be prepared for a stiffer test against Qarabag and left wing-back Marcos Alonso has supported the view of his boss
. Alonso is making his 17th start in all competitions tonight.
Another issue raised in yesterday's press conference was squad rotation and Conte admitted that he would have little choice but to tinker with a winning team
. As many as 18 different players have featured for Chelsea in Europe this season, and that will become 19 or 20 should Willy Caballero or Sterling get onto the pitch this evening.
We have already touched upon the inclusion of Luiz, but the Brazilian is making his first appearance since the 3-0 setback against Roma. The centre-back allegedly questioned his manager's style of play and was subsequently dropped for the game with Manchester United, and only named on the bench for the win over West Brom. It's a big game for the flamboyant defender. He needs to get back into the good books of Conte.
Doubts had began to emerge about the future of Morata at Stamford Bridge but the winning goal against Manchester United and an eighth league goal of the campaign against West Brom has changed things for the Spaniard. The summer signing may have been rested for tonight's game but he remains ahead of Michy Batshuayi in the pecking order. Conte won't hang about in using the former Real Madrid man if Chelsea are struggling in this match.
Getting thrashed by Chelsea on matchday one suggested that Qarabag would be the whipping boys of the group but they have been anything but that. The Azerbaijani champions would have taken pride from the narrow defeat to Roma, but two draws against Atletico Madrid have exceeded expectations. Whatever happens, their reputation has been enhanced.
Qarabag began the season by becoming the first Azerbaijani team to qualify for the group stages of this competition. They progressed having gotten the better of Copenhagen over two legs in the final playoff round, so the only time they have been outclassed throughout this campaign came at Stamford Bridge. That's certainly not bad going.
Manager Gurban Gurbanov
has won four league titles and four domestic cups since his arrival at the club in 2008, but qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League or last 32 of the Europa League would undoubtedly represent his finest achievement, especially given the strength of the group. Tonight's match is effectively one of the biggest in the club's history.
It's not the first time that a team from the Premier League have travelled to Azerbaijan to face Qarabag. Tottenham Hotspur made the trip in November 2015, with Harry Kane scoring the only goal of the game in that Europa League game. The reverse fixture at White Hart Lane ended 3-1 to the North Londoners.
It's worth noting that Qarabag have kept four clean sheets from five European games on home territory this season. Only Roma have managed to find a way through what is usually a strong defence. Since 2014, both Inter Milan and AS Monaco have failed to win on visits to Qarabag so they are certainly not going to be pushovers.
Qarabag currently sit one point clear at the top of their league table having won nine of 11 games. The one defeat came at Qabala, who are their biggest rivals.
PREDICTION! While Qarabag have impressed against Roma and Atletico, we cannot ignore the fact that Chelsea have already scored six past these opponents this season. It will inevitably be a tighter contest, but we think that Chelsea will run out 3-1 winners.
Tonight also represents Chelsea's first-ever trip to Azerbaijan. The Olympic Stadium hosts just shy of 70,000, so you can see why the venue will host games for Euro 2020.
The two teams have started to make their way out in Baku. It's not quite a sell out but there looks in excess of 50,000 in attendance. It should make for a special atmosphere. Chelsea have spent six hours on a plane to get to Azerbaijan. They will be hoping it proves to be worth the effort...
A reminder of the team news...
QARABAG XI: Sehic; Medvedev, Rzezniczak, Sadiqov, Agolli, Qarayev, Guerrier, Michel, Almeida de Oliveira, Madatov, Ndlovu
CHELSEA XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Rudiger; Zappacosta, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, Pedro
KICKOFF! Qarabag get us underway.
The boos are ringing out whenever Chelsea have possession, which has been for most of the first couple of minutes. Qarabag are putting players behind the ball but using their frontmen to press the Chelsea back three.
It's Qarabag's turn to have some possession and Chelsea are certainly in no rush to try to win the ball back. It's not that warm in Baku but hotter than it has been in London. It's about 16C.
CHANCE! Fabregas should probably do better here. The ball fell invitingly for him on the edge of the area but despite having time and space, the Spaniard's low effort from 20 yards was too close to Sehic.
When Chelsea do have the ball, the attacking players are flooding the Qarabag defence, with the idea probably being to draw the backline out. Hazard is seeing a lot of the ball.
Alonso is becoming increasingly involved on the left. The Spaniard is putting in first-time crosses, presumably to prevent Qarabag getting set in front of their own goal. This has been a good start from the Blues.
What is Zappacosta playing at here? The Italian is half asleep on the edge of his own penalty area and Madatov almost takes advantage, before Zappacosta is saved by a block from Azpilicueta.
There's not been much action over the past couple of minutes. Chelsea look keen to get on the ball again having being put under pressure by their own player.
WOODWORK! Huge let-off for Chelsea. Michel is played into the penalty area and he should score from no more than 12 yards out. However, the former Birmingham City midfielder smacks the ball against the bar before the rebound is not converted.
It's been an interesting first 15 minutes. Chelsea are bossing possession but Qarabag should be ahead. This is developing into an excellent game. You can see why Qarabag are so strong at home.
Willian lets fly from around 25 yards out and it's a terrific strike. However, his shot hits Hazard and Qarabag regain possession. Still, the home side are growing in confidence here.
PENALTY TO CHELSEA! Willian gets in behind Qarabag captain Sadygov and after the defender grabs hold of the Brazilian, the referee points to the spot. It's harsh, to a certain degree, but you can see why it has been given. Sadygov is sent off for a professional foul.
GOAL! Qarabag FK 0-1 Chelsea (Eden Hazard)
Hazard sends Sehic the wrong way and Chelsea have the lead. There will be a huge sigh of relief from Conte. Chelsea should boss things from here.
If Chelsea get a second, you would have to say that will be game over. The Blues are already pushing for it, too. This could be a long night for the home side.
SHOT! Hazard is starting to run rings around the Qarabag defence and he is able to cross from the right to find Fabregas. However, the Spaniard's half-volley is scuffed and directed well wide of the post.
The main aim for Qarabag appears to reach the break having not conceded any more goals. They are sitting deeper than they were earlier in the game, and are counting on Ndlovu to do something special on his own in attack.
There's not a whole lot happening right now. Chelsea are patient in their build-up while forcing Qarabag back at the same time. They just can't get any significant shots on goal. Sehic hasn't had much to do in this opening 28 minutes.
CHANCE! Hazard isn't known for his heading ability but the Belgian should perhaps do better here. Azpilicueta's cross is perfect, but the winger heads straight at Sehic from around 12 yards out.
I must say, you have to admire Qarabag supporters' commitment to jeering the other side. They have barely stopped all match due to Chelsea having about 75% of the ball. They will also know that their team remain in this game while it stays at 1-0.
CHANCE! Chelsea manage to win a corner on the right and Fabregas's outswinger finds the run of Luiz, but the Brazilian's header goes wide after pressure from a defender.
GOAL! Qarabag FK 0-2 Chelsea (Willian)
I'd say that is game over. Hazard receives the ball inside the penalty area and after flicking the ball into the path of Willian, the Brazilian does the rest with a cool finish from 12 yards out.
The sting has well and truly gone from this game. Even the home fans have stopped jeering. Chelsea are on their way to the last 16 of the Champions League.
Qarabag have started a period of keep ball but Ndlovu is isolated in attack. He has barely had a kick. However, Chelsea win back the ball and break forward...
BOOKING! Pedro runs half the length of the pitch and is about to get a shot away in an attempt to score a worldie of a goal, but Rzezniczak'a commits a cynical foul. Free kick to Chelsea around 25 yards from goal.
SHOT! Willian takes responsibility for the set piece but the playmaker curls the ball a couple of yards wide of the target.
Qarabag put together an enterprising move and finally look like getting into the Chelsea penalty area but Kante comes across to make the challenge. The Blues cannot afford to lose focus at this stage of the half.
HALF TIME: Qarabag FK 0-2 Chelsea
The half-time whistle goes in Baku and Chelsea are well on their way to sealing their place in the last 16 of the Champions League. Goals from Hazard and Willian have put the Blues into a commanding advantage over a Qarabag side who are down to 10 men after the sending off of Sadygov. It should be plain sailing for the West Londoners from here.
Question marks remain over the dismissal of the Qarabag captain, but he tugged the arm of Willian in front of goal so he was asking for trouble. Hazard was cool as you like from the spot, casually sending Sehic the wrong way.
The second goal also came through Hazard, who turned provider with a delightful flick to set up Willian to slide the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards. It's the Brazilian's first goal of this season's Champions League.
Such is Chelsea's advantage that Conte may be able to rest players during the second half. One more goal would give the Italian further margin for error. The likes of Danny Drinkwater and Dujon Sterling will be hoping to make an appearance.
The two teams have made their way back out in Baku. Qarabag have introduced Diniyev for Madatov.
KICKOFF! Chelsea get us back underway.
To a certain degree, it's damage limitation for Qarabag but at some stage, the home side may as well throw caution to the wind because a defeat here and a win for Atletico later today will see the club eliminated from European competition.
Chelsea have had most of the early possession in this half, but Qarabag are starting to show more ambition now that they have settled back down. They need to get Ndlovu into the game because he has barely had a touch.
The Blues win a corner on the left and Fabregas trots over to take it. Given the positioning of the goalkeeper, there's a chance to try to curl the set piece inside the near post but the midfielder doesn't spot it and sends the ball straight to Sehic.
CHANCE! Fabregas spotted Pedro's run, however. It's an outrageous pass over the top of the defence by Fabregas but despite his teammate's control, Sehic is out to make a smart block.
BOOKING! Alonso goes into the book for barging Guerrier, who was looking to advance down the right flank.
Almeida is trying to dictate play for Qarabag in the middle of the park, but it's probably the one area where the home side won't have much luck. Chelsea are still coasting through this game and have it well under control.
Azpilicueta finds himself down the right flank and his cross is a good one. However, it's just too hard for Hazard at the back post.
SUBSTITUTION! Conte makes his first change, replacing Alonso with Cahill. Azpilicueta has moved over to the left flank.
This is little more than a training session for Chelsea. It's attack versus defence for the most part. I doubt it will be long before Conte makes a second alteration and rests Hazard or Azpilicueta, who have played a lot of football recently.
Chances have been few and far between in this half and that continues to be the case. Both teams are doing little more than watching the other have possession. It's been a while since anyone touched the ball in either penalty area.
CHANCE! Chelsea remain patient before freeing Hazard in the penalty area. The winger cuts inside onto his right foot before forcing a terrific stop out of Sehic.
SUBSTITUTION! Well this seems to be a weird change. The game is effectively won but Morata is being introduced. Hazard is the man to make way.
In all fairness, Qarabag already look fearful of the Spanish striker, but there appears to be little logic in introducing your star man in a game which is already won, especially with the injury to Batshuayi. Anyway, Chelsea are still pushing but still can't find a third.
CHANCE! Now Morata misses a sitter by his own high standards. Rudiger picks out the forward inside the penalty area but his low shot is dragged wide of the far post.
Chelsea have the ball in the net after Azpilicueta gave Morata a simple tap-in and the goal should count. However, the assistant puts his flag up claiming offside.
PENALTY TO CHELSEA! Willian wins another penalty! Garayev pulls the shirt of the Brazilian and the referee opts to give another soft spot kick.
GOAL! Qarabag FK 0-3 Chelsea (Cesc Fabregas)
The penalty needs to be taken twice due to encroachment, but Fabregas scores at the second time of asking, slotting the ball to the goalkeeper's right.
SUBSTITUTION! Conte's third change sees Drinkwater take the place of Kante.
Chelsea are still after more goals and after Zappacosta gets in behind the defence, they should score a fourth. However, despite Morata being open on the opposite side of the penalty area, Zappacosta's pass goes straight to a Qarabag defender.
SHOT! Courtois hasn't been required to do any work since Chelsea went ahead but the goalkeeper needs to make a comfortable save from Guerrier, who decided to get a shot away from distance.
Just 10 minutes to go in Baku. Everyone seems to be going through the motions until the ball arrives in and around either penalty area. Chelsea will already be turning their attentions to Madrid where Atletico will host Roma.
SUBSTITUTION! Another switch for Qarabag sees Yunuszade replace Guerrier on the right flank.
There has not been a bad performance in this Chelsea side tonight. Willian and Pedro have looked lively, but you would expect nothing less. Conte will also be pleased with the display of Luiz, who has kept it professional for the large part.
GOAL! Qarabag FK 0-4 Chelsea (Willian)
Talking of Willian, he has just scored again! It's a stunner, too. The Brazilian ran across the edge of the penalty area before firing a low shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards out.
You have to admire Chelsea's desire to keep looking for more goals. It would have been easy to settle for two, never mind four, but they remain on the offensive. They have now scored 10 goals past their hosts over two games.
There will be three minutes of added-on time.
Morata is desperate for a goal but I don't think it is going to come. Qarabag are putting in every effort to not concede a fifth.
FULL TIME: Qarabag FK 0-4 Chelsea
The full-time whistle goes in Baku and Chelsea have recorded a dominant 4-0 win over Qarabag to secure their place in the last 16 of the Champions League. Qarabag started brightly but they were never going to prevent Chelsea from emerging victorious after the early sending off of Sadygov. Chelsea will now hope for a favour from Atletico Madrid when they host Roma later this evening.
That will be all from Sports Mole
for this match. Thank you for joining us this evening and we hope to see you again soon.
If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.