Valencia - BATE Borisov Preview: Los Che target vital home victory
The Primera Division side recorded a comfortable win in Minsk two weeks ago, and will be desperate to add three more points to their tally on Wednesday
By Stefan Coerts
Pereira, Rami, Costa, Cissokho
Gago, Tino Costa
Feghouli, Jonas, Guardado
Polyakov, Filippenko, Simic, Bordachov
Olekhnovich, Likhtarov, Volodko
The Spanish side will still have to make do without the services of attacking midfielder Sergio Canales, who is still recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament problem sustained last season.
Additionally, Argentine attacker Pablo Piatti has not featured since fracturing his right arm in training on 7 September and remains unavailable.
However, Adil Rami is expected to be match fit in time to feature in Wednesday's encounter after he underwent an intensive session of physiotherapy to correct the back problem he suffered against Atletico.
BATE do not have too many injury worries, and will only be without attacking midfielder Alexander Pavlov, who is suspended after picking up his third yellow card in the Champions League two weeks ago.
Head coach Viktor Goncharenko is expected to give Renan Bressan the nod in Pavlov's position.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Valencia are enduring their worst start to a Liga campaign since 1999-2000. They currently sit ninth in the league table with 14 points from 10 games.
- The home side are unbeaten in seven home games in the Champions League since a 1-0 loss against Manchester United on September 29, 2010.
- Roberto Soldado's hat-trick on matchday three made him the first Spaniard to score more than one Champions League treble.
- Valencia have only once before faced Belarusian opposition, two weeks ago away against BATE.
- Andrey Gorbunov, Maksim Bordachov and Marko Simic have played all 810 minutes of BATE's Champions League campaign.
- BATE have won only two corners in their first three games; far fewer than any other team in the group stage.
The Borisov side have lost all previous seven encounters with Spanish opponents and not scored in the last six, conceding 17 goals in that time and 21 overall.
- Aliaksandr Hleb (pictured, right) has made 85 appearances in Uefa club competition, a Belarusian record.
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Top 3 Predictions
Valencia CF 3-0 BATE
- 13.73 %
Valencia CF 3-1 BATE
- 12.54 %
Valencia CF 2-0 BATE
- 11.34 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 7, 2012||Valencia CF 4 - BATE 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 23, 2012||BATE 0 - Valencia CF 3|
|Dec 12, 2013||Valencia CF 1 - FK Kuban' Krasnodar 1||EL|
|Dec 8, 2013||Gimnastic 0 - Valencia CF 0||ESPC|
|Dec 1, 2013||Valencia CF 3 - Osasuna 0||LIGA|
|Nov 28, 2013||Swansea 0 - Valencia CF 1||EL|
|Nov 24, 2013||Elche 2 - Valencia CF 1||LIGA|
|18||Jose Andrés Guardado||Midfielder|
The Spain international was unable to score in Valencia's opening two Champions League games, but put in a man-of-the-match performance away against BATE as he netted a hat-trick, and was generally unstoppable. The prolific attacker will again be looking to cause the Belarusians all kinds of trouble with his intelligent movement on Wednesday, and the away side's defence will have to remain focused for the full 90 minutes if they are to shut out Soldado.
The 28-year-old failed to add his name to the score sheet two weeks ago in Minsk, but he did give the Valencia defence a hard time with his energetic style of play. Rodionov is likely to be BATE's main focal point in attack again this week, and the striker could very well find the net this time around with a bit more luck.
The home side struggled in the opening stages of the away game against BATE, but eventually cruised to a comfortable win courtesy of a Roberto Soldado hat-trick, and they will once more be the team to beat at Mestalla. Valencia simply possess more individual quality than the Borisov outfit and should be able to bag the full three points. Nevertheless, the visitors have already shown this campaign that they are no pushovers, and they will not go down without putting up a fight.