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FC BATE Borisov know wins in both of their remaining games would guarantee them a place in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase as they prepare to take on Group I leaders SL Benfica in Minsk.
• A victory or a draw for Benfica would secure them a place in the last 32.
• Benfica prevailed 2-0 in Lisbon on Matchday 1 in a game which represented the sides' maiden meeting and also their first game against opponents from their adversaries' home countries.
• BATE finally ended an eight-game wait for a first win at the Dinamo Stadium in Minsk when they overcame AEK Athens FC 2-1 on Matchday 3. The club's Gorodskoi Stadium in Borisov does not meet the criteria for this level of UEFA club competition.
• Prior to their 2-0 Matchday 4 success at Everton, Benfica had not won a European away fixture in seven attempts.
• BATE, famously a team founded at a Borisov tractor factory, are led by Viktor Goncharenko, who last season became the youngest coach to hold the reins at a side in the UEFA Champions League at 31. A year older, he is now the youngest coach to lead a side into the UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Once a BATE defender, Goncharenko was forced to retire young with a cruciate injury, but stayed at the club as a coach, working his way up through the ranks before taking sole command in 2007.
• Benfica coach Jorge Jesus had a fine European campaign last season with his previous club, SC Braga. He led them all the way from the UEFA Intertoto Cup to the last 16 of the UEFA Cup, where they lost out to Paris Saint-Germain FC.
• Jorge Jesus started his playing career with Benfica's Lisbon rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal and came on in a 0-0 draw against Benfica in the 1975/76 season. Current Benfica technical director Shéu was one of the Eagles' players that day.
• BATE claimed their fourth successive Belarussian title – and their sixth in total – with a 4-0 win over FC Naftan Novopolotsk on 5 October, which gave them an unassailable lead with five games to spare.
• Benfica have more European experience than any other side in the group stage. This match will be their 314th in UEFA competition, one more than nearest rivals RSC Anderlecht.
• Benfica's Óscar Cardozo is one of six players currently topping the UEFA Europa League top scorers standings with four goals along with Claudio Pizarro (Werder Bremen), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Club Bilbao), Gervinho (LOSC Lille Metropole), Alexander Frei (FC Basel 1893) and Luiz Adriano (FC Shakhtar Donetsk).
• Benfica host AEK on Matchday 6 with BATE visiting Everton on the same night, 17 December.
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