FC BATE Borisov have surprised many in seizing the early initiative in Group F and, after defeating FC Bayern München last time out, will be looking to increase their advantage over second-placed Valencia CF.
• BATE failed to win their first 12 group stage outings but broke that duck in style with a 3-1 triumph at LOSC Lille on matchday one and followed up with an even more impressive display to beat last season's runners-up Bayern in Minsk by the same score. Valencia lost 2-1 in Munich before seeing off Lille 2-0 at home.
• This is the first time Valencia have met a team from Belarus.
• BATE have lost all six encounters against Spanish opposition. At home they have conceded eight goals without scoring themselves; in fact, only a goal in their first fixture away to Villarreal CF prevents a total blank in those six games which have brought 18 goals against.
• In last season's group stage BATE were beaten 5-0 at home by FC Barcelona, losing 4-0 at the Camp Nou on matchday six.
• The Belarusian title holders went down 4-1 at Villarreal in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup first round, losing the second leg in Minsk 2-0. The following season they took on Real Madrid CF in the UEFA Champions League group stage, succumbing 2-0 in the Spanish capital and 1-0 at home.
• BATE won a sixth straight Belarusian title in 2011 to earn a chance of claiming their third appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage. They overcame FK Vardar 3-2 at home and on aggregate in the second qualifying round, and then needed an own goal for a 1-1 draw with Debreceni VSC in Belarus before a 2-0 away success.
• A 2-0 home win against Hapoel Kiryat Shmona FC put BATE in control of their play-off tie, a 1-1 draw in Israel taking Viktor Goncharenko's side through 3-1 on aggregate.
• Remaining unbeaten at home in UEFA Champions League qualifying maintained a trend for BATE, who did the same in 2011/12 (two wins, one draw) and 2008/09 (one win, two draws).
• Including matchday two, their two previous group stage campaigns and their UEFA Europa League participations in 2010/11 and 2009/10, BATE's home record is W4 D2 L7.
• Apart from the Barcelona defeat in last season's group stage, BATE also lost 1-0 against FC Viktoria Plzeň. They drew their other home game 1-1 with AC Milan and finished fourth in Group H.
• Valencia suffered two away defeats in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League. After opening with a goalless draw at KRC Genk they lost 2-1 at Bayer 04 Leverkusen and 3-0 at Chelsea FC. In their four UEFA Europa League away fixtures they recorded a win, a draw and two defeats.
• Fernando Gago played for Real Madrid in their 2-0 home victory over BATE on 17 September 2008 but went off with a hamstring injury on 36 minutes. In the reverse fixture, on 25 November, Gago played 90 minutes as Madrid won 1-0.
• Adil Rami was on the losing side for France when a Belarus team containing Aleksandr Yurevich, Aleksandr Hleb and Vitali Rodionov beat them 1-0 in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in Paris on 3 September 2010.
• Yegor Filipenko, Rodionov, Aleksandr Volodko, Maksim Bordachev and Hleb all appeared as Belarus lost 4-0 to Spain in a FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Dinamo Stadium in Minsk on 12 October. Renan Bressan replaced Rodionov after 65 minutes; Aleksandr Pavlov and Aleksandr Gutor were both unused substitutes, as was Roberto Soldado for the visitors.
• Hleb was an FC Barcelona player between 2008 and 2012 but, having made 36 appearances in his first season, spent the remaining three years out on loan.
FARE Action Week
• Matchday three of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League will contribute to the fight against all forms of discrimination in football stadiums as UEFA gives its full support to Europe's biggest anti-discrimination campaign – the FARE Action Week. Forty matches across the competitions on 23, 24 and 25 October will restate UEFA's commitment to ensuring that European football is free of racism, intolerance and xenophobia.
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