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UEFA Champions League

  • October 23, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadyen Dynama, Minsk
  • Referee: C. Thomson
  • • Attendance: 29180

BATE Borisov - Valencia Preview: Los Che set for tricky Belarus assignment

BATE Borisov - Valencia Preview: Los Che set for tricky Belarus assignment Arabia

The Yellow Blues have captured the imagination with fine displays in the Champions League this year and another upset could be on the cards against the Liga outfit



Polyakov, Filipenko, Simic, Bordachev
Olekhnovich, Likhtarov, Volodkov
Pavlov, Hleb


Barragan, Rami, Ruiz, Cissokho
Gago, T Costa
Feghouli, Jonas, Guardado
When the Champions League group stage draw reached its conclusion at the end of August, few would have predicted BATE Borisov as Group F leaders ahead of the third round of fixtures.

The Belarusian club have surprised many with their uninhibited style of play. Written off to begin with as mere cannon fodder, Viktor Goncharenko's side have emerged as the competition's surprise package.

In their opening two games they beat Lille 3-1 in France and followed that up by recording the same margin of victory against Bayern Munich at home, which would suggest Los Che may not have it all their own way in Borisov.

Mauricio Pellegrino's men sit in second spot and know a win here is important if they are to progress to the knockout stages.

Having lost to Bayern on matchday one, the Spaniards then beat les Dogues 2-0 at Mestalla and will be buoyed by a 3-2 Liga victory over Athletic Bilbao heading into this match.

Adil Rami is once again available for the visitors after being sent off against Bayern Munich, but the match may have come too soon for Ever Banega, who came on as a substitute on Saturday, but has been out since February with a broken leg. Long-term absentees Pablo Piatti and Sergio Canales remain on the sidelines.

  • BATE Borisov's victory against Lille on matchday one ended a miserable run in Europe for the club, who had failed to win any of their 12 previous group stage fixtures.
  • Viktor Goncharenko's men have never beaten Spanish opposition in six attempts and face Valencia for the first time on Tuesday.
  • The hosts' goalkeeper Andrei Gorbunov has kept 17 clean sheets in 31 games.
  • Valencia have never faced Belarusian opposition.
  • Ever Banega (right) made his first appearance since February in Saturday's victory over Athletic Bilbao.
  • The Spaniards have one of the lowest tally of attempts on goal in this season's Champions League. Just five have been mustered, though three of those strikes found the back of the net.
  • Andrei Gorbunov, Maksim Bordachev and Marko Simić have played all 720 minutes of BATE's Champions League campaign.

Players to watch

A. Hleb

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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Has managed to get his career back on track after a few unsettled seasons where he failed to live up to the expectation and hype he had generated at Arsenal. Still has the ability to unlock teams with defence-splitting passes, and whilst he may not always get on the score-sheet, he is capable of providing for others which the visitors will have to be aware of, if they are not to succumb to a second giant-killing in this year's Champions League for the Yellow Blues.


Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The 28-year-old arrived in Spain a free agent following a prolific spell with Gremio in his homeland and immediately proved any doubters wrong, instantly adapting to the increased pace and physicality of European football. His all-round game was questioned prior to the switch but, operating just behind Roberto Soldado, the Brazilian has shown there’s much more to his game than just putting the ball in the back of the net.

Editor's Prediction

While it would not be beyond the realms of possibility for the hosts to get a result here, the Spaniards will be too strong, and boosted by their weekend Liga comeback. It will be a tight encounter, though, Los Che will prevail with Jonas and Roberto Soldado getting amongst the goals.

Last Five Matches


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