BATE Borisov vs Slavia Praha – Wednesday 18:00 BT/19:00 CET at Borisov Arena, Barysaw.
BATE Borisov have a bit of a mountain to climb after losing the first leg of the third round UEFA Champions League qualification match against Slavia Praha 1-0. Slavia won the game thanks to a penalty scored by Milan Škoda in the 20th minute.
The result now means that BATE will have to win at home by two clear goals to go through to the next round of the UEFA Champions League. The Belarusian club, however, has never before been able to turn around a deficit and with the firepower Slavia have assembled in the offseason it is hard to imagine that the Belarusian side would be able to keep the Czech’s off the scoreboard, which in turn would mean BATE would have to score three goals to go through.
Altogether this makes the match a bit of a mission impossible for the Belarusians. Especially considering that BATE are running somewhat behind expectations in general. For a decade BATE have dominated the Belarusian Premier League, but this season they have somehow fallen behind Shakhtyor Soligorsk, who are currently in first place halfway through the Belarusian season, which runs from March to November.
Two league defeats in the first fifteen games are indeed uncommon, and BATE has shown weaknesses in their play previously unknown in this league. But the league play also offers some hope in Europe. BATE, unlike Slavia, are in midseason which means that unlike Slavia they are going into the return leg under top physical condition.
BATE Borisov vs Slavia Praha – Player to look out for:
Aleksey Rios #17 – BATE Borisov
Aleksey Rios is an exciting player. Of Peruvian and Spanish decent Rios has been with BATE Borisov since the 2015 season. Having played with Shakhtyor Soligorsk the now 30-year-old Rios has become one of the most reliable right-backs in Belarusian football and has therefore been called up to the Belarusian national team. A bit of a late bloomer Rios (or Ryas to use his Belarusian name) will want to use the Champions League as a last attempt to make the jump to Western Europe.
Danny #7 – Slavia Praha
After spending 12 years in Russia with Dinamo Moscow and Zenit Saint Petersburg, Danny has left Russia and joined Slavia Praha this summer. The Portuguese midfielder, who was born in Caracas Venezuela, left Russia as a legend. In 177 games for Zenit he managed 52 goals, and in 2012 he was appointed the captain of the club. But injuries have significantly slowed down Danny in recent years, and with Zenit hiring Roberto Mancini this summer the club was looking to free up an international roster spots for new superstars. Now at Slavia Danny is expected to use his experience to help Slavia reach the UEFA Champions League group stage.
BATE Borisov vs Slavia Praha – Match Stats
- In their first ever encounter Slavia Praha won the first leg of this tie 1-0
- BATE Borisov eliminated the Armenian side Alashkert in the second qualification stage of the UEFA Champions League.
- BATE’s only match against Czech opposition was in the 2011-12 group stage of the UEFA Champions League. They drew Viktoria Plzen away and lost 1-0 at home.
Futbolgrad’s Prediction: BATE Borisov vs Slavia Praha 2-0
BATE Borisov vs Slavia Praha – Possible Lineups
Shcherbitski – Polyakov, Milunovic, Buljat, Baga – Kendysh, Dragun – Stasevich, Ivanic, Gordeychuk – Signevich
Manager: Aleyksandr Yermakovich
Lastuvka – Boril, Jugas, Deli, Frydrych – Husbauer, Ngadjui, Rotan – Danny, Skoda, van Buren
Manager: Jaroslav Silhavy
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist and social media junior editor at Bundesliga.com. He is also a holder of a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.