As I already mentioned in my previous analysis (two times), when I played against Gabala, they are in big problems at the start of the season. They are on the decline in recent years. Last season, they got a European ticket through the championship (4th) in Azerbaijan in a tie with Zira. However, they beat Neftchi Baku 1-0 in the Cup final thanks to Alimi’s goal, but this season had a bad preparation period and the squad is considerably weakened. Top scorer Isnik Alimi (34/9), main defenders Santos (35/3), Renato (33/2), midfielders Isayev (34/2), Muradov (34/2), Stryzhak (7/0), strikers Ramon (32/8), and Alemao (30/4) left the team, while some free players came from mediocre teams. In the Conference league, they were defeated by Omonia two times and suffered 4 league defeats with a 1:11 goal difference. Zira opened the season in a phenomenal way, having 4 wins in a row against quality time like Qarabag away (0-1) which is really hard, and Sabah Baku 1-0. They added some quality players like Pierre Zebli (Lokomotiv Plovdiv) and Salifou Soumah (Le Havre). The main players stayed in the team and the chemistry is at the highest possible level.
I closely followed Gabala in recent weeks and I can say that their image at the start of the season is really bad, scoring only one „ billiard“ goal in the second round against Sumqayit.