Arsenal is in Azerbaijan without Henrikh Mkhitaryan, while Chelsea hosts Hungarian opposition as the 2018-19 Europa League group stage moves into its second match day.
One match began earlier, with Astana and Stade Rennes matching wits in Kazakhstan.
[ FOLLOW LIVE: Europa League scoreboard ]
Unai Emery is keeping several big names out of the fire, or at least the Starting XI, at Qarabag for a 12:55 p.m. ET ahead of the Sunday’s Premier League match at Fulham.
In addition to Mkhitaryan staying home for political reasons, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (rest) and Aaron Ramsey (wife giving birth) are back in London, while Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil are on the bench.
Youngsters Emile Smith Rowe and Matteo Guendouzi start for the Gunners, while Sead Kolasinac returns to the side.
Chelsea hosts MOL Vidi at 3 p.m. ET
Three more playoff round first legs took focus in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, and it was another good day for two of three road teams.
[ MORE: Tuesday’s UCL wrap ]
Ajax 3-1 Dynamo Kiev
The Dutch hosts built a 3-1 halftime lead on goals by Donny van de Beek, Hakim Ziyech, and red-hot ex-Southampton attacker Dusan Tadic.
Tadic now has four goals and three assists in seven appearances this season.
Dynamo will find some comfort in the 16th minute away goal from Tomasz Kedziora.
MOL Vidi 1-2 AEK Athens
A 23rd minute red card had the Hungarian hosts down to 10-men, and both Viktor Klonaridis and Tasos Bakasetos scored before the latter took a red of his own in the 53rd.
The artists formerly known as Videoton pulled one back through Danko Lazovic in the 68th minute.
Young Boys 1-1 Dinamo Zagreb
Ex-Newcastle and Watford man Kevin Mbabu scored a second minute goal for the Swiss side, though Mislav Orsic answered for the visitors just before halftime.
The UEFA Champions League moved one more step toward the playoff round with Tuesday’s first legs of the third qualifying round.
[ MORE: Pogba wants Barcelona move ]
Malmo 1-1 MOL Vidi
Uwe Rosler’s hosts held the lead for a whopping nine minutes, through Anders Christiansen, before the Hungarian club formerly known as Videoton answered through Loic Nego.
USMNT midfield prospect Romain Gall made his UEFA Champions League debut, playing the final 10 minutes of the draw. Gall managed a shot during his appearance.
Standard Liege 2-2 Ajax
Dusan Tadic struck again, scoring another UCL goal for the visitors as they built a 2-0 away lead (Klaas Jan Huntelaar bagged the other). But Medhi Carcela scored in the 67th minute and Renaud Emond converted a penalty deep into stoppage time to send the tie back to Holland level at two.
Benfica 1-0 Fenerbahce
USMNT midfielder Keaton Parks was not in the 18, but goal scorer Franco Cervi very much was and saw his deflected shot put the Portuguese hosts ahead after one leg.
Slavia Prague 1-1 Dynamo Kiev
Astana 0-2 Dinamo Zagreb
Qarabag 0-1 BATE Borisov
Red Star Belgrade 1-1 Spartak Trnava
Celtic vs. AEK Athens
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Shkendija
PAOK vs. Spartak Moscow