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Sturm seeking to end long wait against BATE

Published: Wednesday 17 August 2011, 1.36CET
Absent from the group stage since 2000/01, SK Sturm Graz hope to put a stop to that run when FC BATE Borisov come to the Stadion Graz Liebenau for the conclusion of their play-off tie.
Sturm seeking to end long wait against BATE
Sturm's Joachim Standfest (right) challenge Pavel Nekhaychik of BATE ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 17 August 2011, 1.36CET

Sturm seeking to end long wait against BATE

Absent from the group stage since 2000/01, SK Sturm Graz hope to put a stop to that run when FC BATE Borisov come to the Stadion Graz Liebenau for the conclusion of their play-off tie.

FC BATE Borisov will look to kick on towards a second UEFA Champions League group stage campaign against an SK Sturm Graz side who have had their moments in Europe's top club competition.

• The first leg in Belarus ended 1-1, Manuel Weber giving Sturm a 12th-minute lead which was cancelled out by Marko Simić a minute before the hour.

Previous meetings
• The teams had never met in UEFA competition before the first leg, while BATE had never played against an Austrian side.

• Sturm have some previous experience of Belarusian football as under current coach Franco Foda, they met FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk in the second round of the 2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup, winning 2-0 at home and drawing the away leg 0-0. Defender Ferdinand Feldhofer scored the opening goal of the tie.

• That was one of only two UEFA club ties to have pitted sides from Austria and Belarus against each other; in the other, FC Dinamo Minsk beat FK Austria Wien home and away in the first round of the 1995/96 UEFA Cup.

Match background
• BATE are unbeaten in seven European games (two wins and five draws) since losing 3-0 at AZ Alkmaar in their final 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage game.

• Sturm have won four of their last five continental home games, a 2-1 loss to Juventus in last season's UEFA Europa League play-offs the only blemish in that sequence.

• BATE have drawn their last three European away games – two 0-0s and a 1-1.

• Belarusian champions for the fifth successive season, BATE are eyeing a return to the group stage after making their only previous appearance in 2008/09.

• BATE booked their place in the play-offs courtesy of aggregate victories against Linfield FC (3-0) and FK Ekranas (3-1), 12 months after losing out in the third qualifying round to FC København.

• That defeat pushed BATE into the UEFA Europa League play-offs, where they accounted for CS Marítimo 5-1 over the two legs. Though they then finished as runners-up in Group E, their campaign ended with an away-goals defeat (2-2) by Paris Saint-Germain FC in the round of 32.

• Sturm have not played in the UEFA Champions League group stage in a decade having reached that stage in three successive campaigns from 1998/99 to 2000/01.

• They were bottom of their group in the first of those seasons, and finished third in 1999/2000, but their 2000/01 performance under Ivica Osim was more successful; they finished top of their section with ten points to reach the second group stage, where they bowed out as the third-placed side behind Valencia CF and Manchester United FC.

• All three of their group stage appearances followed successes in qualifying; indeed up until their 2002/03 third qualifying round exit against Maccabi Haifa FC, they had not lost in four UEFA Champions League qualifying ties.

• Victories against Videoton FC (agg: 4-3) and FC Zestafoni (agg: 2-1) in this season's competition mean Sturm have lost only once in eight qualifying ties in Europe's top club competition.

Team ties
• Yegor Filipenko, Pavel Nekhaychik and Maksim Skavysh played against Haris Bukva in Belarus' 2-1 victory over Austria in a 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier, with Filipenko scoring the winning goal.

Last updated: 16/08/11 23.42CET

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