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BATE and Plzeň contest third-place prize

Published: Tuesday 22 November 2011, 18.58CET
FC BATE Borisov suffered a rare league loss on Saturday and Viktor Goncharenko is looking for a response against FK Viktoria Plzeň as both sides chase Group H's UEFA Europa League spot.
by Eugene Ravdin
from Minsk
BATE and Plzeň contest third-place prize
Plzeň players are aiming for their first victory in the competition proper ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 22 November 2011, 18.58CET

BATE and Plzeň contest third-place prize

FC BATE Borisov suffered a rare league loss on Saturday and Viktor Goncharenko is looking for a response against FK Viktoria Plzeň as both sides chase Group H's UEFA Europa League spot.

A UEFA Europa League place is on the line in Group H as FC BATE Borisov welcome FK Viktoria Plzeň. The hosts hold a one-point advantage and hope a rare home league loss will spur them into action against visitors who promise they will stick to their guns in Minsk.

You know our philosophy; we strive to win every match
Viktor Goncharenko
If we lose at BATE, we'll be sure to finish bottom in the group and we'll be bitterly disappointed. But whatever happens, we have gained so much from playing in the UEFA Champions League
Pavel Vrba

BATE
Coach Viktor Goncharenko

You know our philosophy; we strive to win every match. We have played a lot of games this season. It is difficult to maintain the required standard all the time so the dips are inevitable. Maybe it was even good we lost against Dnepr [Mogilev on Saturday] because that shock could help us approach this game in better mental shape.

The pitch at Dinamo Stadium is unpredictable. It can be excellent in bad weather and bad in good weather. It is raining now and nobody knows what the pitch will be like. As for the weather itself, it is nice for football. It's comfortable to play at 3-5C; you can play good football.

[Some of Plžen's players were involved in the UEFA EURO 2012 play-offs and] it is hard to tell how that will affect them. We all know it is tough to tune back in for club games after spending time with the national team.

Weekend result
Saturday: BATE 1-2 FC Dnepr Mogilev (Bressan 28; Zenkovich 15, Shramchenko 31)
Gutor; Yurevich, Radkov, Simić, Aleksiyan; Likhtarovich (Gordeychuk 46), Pavlov; A Volodko (Rudik 67), Bressan, Kontsevoi; Kežman (Skavysh 79)

• Saturday's defeat was BATE's first in 11 Vysshaya Liga games and their first at home in the league all season, in what was their final outing of 2011 in Borisov.

Team news
Yegor Filipenko could miss the rest of the group stage after injuring his back in Belarus's draw with Romania on 7 October. Evgeni Kuntsevich and Vitali Rodionov are long-term absentees with knee injuries.

Plzeň
Coach Pavel Vrba

We will play aggressively. We will play the style of football that made us Czech champions, which has got us results for the last two or three years. Marek Bakoš is in brilliant form as seen by his recent performances for both Viktoria and Slovakia. We will certainly count on him tomorrow.

I hope everything will be OK. If we lose at BATE, we'll be sure to finish bottom in the group and we'll be bitterly disappointed. But whatever happens, we have gained so much from playing in the UEFA Champions League. Even if we fail, the experiences we've gained will help us next year.

Weekend result
Saturday: Plzeň 3-2 FK Mladá Boleslav (Bakoš 14 34, Jiráček 37; Procházka 25, Johana 90)
Pavlík; Rajtoral, Čišovský, Bystroň, Limberský; Horváth, Jiráček, Petržela (Hora 86), Kolář (Darida 89), Pilař (Ďuriš 70); Bakoš

• Bakoš took his tally to six in his last five league games as Pavel Vrba's side claimed only their fifth win in 11 matches in all competitions.

Team news
Vrba confirmed that Václav Pilař is available after flu, while David Limberský (thigh) and Marek Čech (knee) returned to the squad on Saturday. Marián Čišovský is suspended following his matchday four dismissal.

Match fact
When Plzeň and BATE drew 1-1 on matchday one, it was the first time each had faced opponents from Belarus and the Czech Republic respectively. In ten previous games between sides from the two nations over the course of five two-legged ties, there were five Czech victories and three by Belarusian clubs.

Last updated: 22/11/11 22.24CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007648/prematch/preview/index.html#bate+plzen+contest+third+place+prize

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