Dundalk's preparations in Baku took an unexpected turn on a roasting Tuesday afternoon, when we ran into a bit of bother.

Thankfully a minor misunderstanding regarding filming permits did not derail the Lilywhites' build-up.

Both Jamie McGrath and Sean Gannon obligingly agreed to facilitate TV and photographers by taking a stroll to the nearby promenade for some scenic pictures. It emerged that a permit was needed, and the local authorities intervened.

When our negotiations failed to resolve the matter we decided that a trundle back to the hotel with our equipment was the best option.

The best laid plans of mice and men and all that...

Today the focus on the challenge ahead intensifies. Make no mistake, this is an enormous game for the visitors. 

Dundalk must clear a significant hurdle to extend their involvement in the Champions League. It won't be easy but this is the easiest path to a play-off round, knowing a victory would guarantee them one tie from a Europa League place. 

Qarabag hold the advantage after last week's 1-1 draw at Oriel Park, with the unforgiving conditions making things even harder for the Irishmen. 

Head coach Vinny Perth is taking a pragmatic approach, stressing the benefits of the side's June training break in Spain.

The Azerbaijani police speak to the Irish media regarding their unsanctioned filming

"We've players from Bohola, Loughrea, Athboy, and the Crumlin Road so it’s certainly different to what they are used to but we’ve prepared for this," he quipped.

"We trained in temperatures of 30/31 degree heat. It was with nights like this in mind. It's going to be difficult but we’ve got to manage the conditions."

APOEL Nicosia await Dundalk or Qarabag in the third round of Champions League qualifiers. The Cypriot champions beat FK Sutjeska of Montenegro 3-0 last night to win 4-0 on aggregate.

Should Dundalk drop into the third round of the Europa League qualifiers and a meeting with Slovan Bratislava. 

Their European commitments have resulted in the postponement of Saturday’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game with Sligo Rovers and Monday’s EA Sports Cup semi-final against Bohemians.

But right now though there's only one thing on the minds of everyone involved with the reigning Premier Division champions.

The chance to add another famous night to their recent European history lies before them.

It's Baku or bust for the Champions League. 

Follow Qarabag v Dundalk on Wednesday (6pm) via our live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app.

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