AC Milan will look to build on a positive start in Group H by strengthening their hold on a qualifying spot in the first of back-to-back fixtures with FC BATE Borisov.
• Milan moved on to four points after their 2-0 home win against FC Viktoria Plzeň on matchday two – three points more than BATE, who suffered a 5-0 home loss to FC Barcelona on the same evening. The Belarusian side will be determined to make amends for that emphatic defeat although Milan will have other ideas as they bid to keep pace with Barcelona at the summit.
• Milan were 6-0 aggregate winners when the clubs met in the 2001/02 UEFA Cup first round. Andriy Shevchenko and Javi Moreno earned the Rossoneri a 2-0 first-leg win in Belarus and they prevailed 4-0 back in Italy courtesy of Rui Costa, Moreno, Mohamed Sarr and a Filippo Inzaghi penalty.
• Christian Abbiati and Gennaro Gattuso played in the first leg for Milan while Viktor Goncharenko, now BATE coach, appeared at San Siro alongside Aleksandr Fedorovich and Aleksei Baga – his assistant coaches today – and Artyom Kontsevoi.
• Massimiliano Allegri's hosts will hope their defeat of Plzeň marks the start of an improved run of home form in the UEFA Champions League. In the previous two seasons they had won just one of eight fixtures at San Siro, losing four of them.
• BATE are unbeaten in their four European away games this term, recording a win and three draws – including a 1-1 stalemate at Plzeň on matchday one.
• BATE might also take heart from their two draws against Juventus on their UEFA Champions League group stage debut in 2008/09 – 2-2 in Minsk and 0-0 in Turin. Of the present BATE squad, Dmitri Likhtarovich, Vitali Rodionov, Aleksandr Yurevich and substitute Aleksandr Volodko all played in that first UEFA Champions League visit to Italy in December 2008.
• The Borisov club's only other game on Italian soil was a UEFA Intertoto Cup third round encounter with Bologna FC in 2002. They lost 2-0 and that proved the eventual aggregate score of a tie in which Goncharenko was an unused substitute for both legs.
• Mark van Bommel and Mateja Kežman were colleagues at PSV Eindhoven from 2000 to 2004, winning Dutch titles together in 2001 and 2003.
• The much-travelled Kežman has scored three goals in seven matches against Italian opposition in UEFA's club competitions. After drawing two blanks when his FK Partizan side lost to S.S. Lazio in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup second round, he scored against the same opposition for PSV in a 2-1 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League first group stage.
• The Serbian also struck twice when PSV overcame AC Perugia in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup third round. He later lined up against Zlatan Ibrahimović when his Fenerbahçe SK team beat FC Internazionale Milano 1-0 in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2007/08.
• Philippe Mexès's France lost 1-0 at home to a Belarus side featuring Yurevich and Rodionov in their nations' opening UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in September last year.
• Marco Amelia and Daniele Bonera were in the Italy team that suffered a surprise 2-1 loss to a Belarus lineup which included Kontsevoi and Baga at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in May 2004.
• Ignazio Abate's Italy ran out 2-1 winners against the Belarus of Maksim Bordachev, Pavel Chesnovski and Aleksandr Volodko at the U21 finals in June 2009.
• Yegor Filipenko, Mikhail Gordeychuk, Aleksandr Gutor and Maksim Skavysh helped Belarus eliminate Italy in a play-off last October for the 2011 U21 finals.
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