BATE v Arsenal background

BATE Borisov will look to maintain a seven-game unbeaten home run as they welcome UEFA Europa League Group H giants Arsenal for the first time.

Nikolai Signevich celebrates scoring for BATE
Nikolai Signevich celebrates scoring for BATE ©AFP/Getty Images

BATE Borisov will look to maintain a seven-game unbeaten home run as they welcome UEFA Europa League Group H giants Arsenal for the first time.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time and it is Arsenal's first encounter with Belarusian opponents.

• BATE's only past experience of English clubs was a pair of 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage games against Everton: they lost 2-1 at home but won 1-0 in Liverpool.

Highlights: Crvena zvezda v BATE
Highlights: Crvena zvezda v BATE

Form guide
• BATE are unbeaten in seven European home games (W3 D4). The last visiting side to beat them in a UEFA game on Belarussian soil were Barcelona, 2-0 in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Arsenal's 3-1 defeat of Köln on matchday one was their first European win of 2017 – erasing some memories of their previous games this year, 5-1 away and home defeats by Bayern in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League round of 16.

• Arsenal are making their UEFA Europa League group stage debut; their last campaign in this competition was the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup, in which they lost on penalties to Galatasaray in the final.

• BATE are the only one of the four teams in Group H to have previous experience of the UEFA Europa League group stage.

Highlights: Arsenal v Köln
Highlights: Arsenal v Köln

Links and trivia
• The journey from London to Borisov is a little over 1,900km.

• The game is taking place the day after Arsenal's Granit Xhaka turns 25.

• Arsenal's Per Mertesacker turns 33 the day after the game.

• The clubs have a notable former player in common: midfielder Aleksandr Hleb (BATE 1999–2000, 2012–13, 2015, 2016; Arsenal 2005–08).

The coaches
• Aleksandr Yermakovich has been on the staff at BATE since joining as a midfielder in 1998. He won Belarusian titles as both player and assistant coach to Viktor Goncharenko – since supplemented by four championships after he took sole command in 2013.

• Arsène Wenger has been Arsenal boss since 1996, leading the Gunners to three English titles, seven FA Cups and the 2006 UEFA Champions League final. An unremarkable player, he made his name as a coach with Nancy and Monaco in his native France.