LOSC Lille and FC BATE Borisov lock horns for the first time and the visitors should beware the French team's home record with just one defeat in 12 group stage fixtures.
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LOSC Lille and FC BATE Borisov kick off their 2012/13 UEFA Champions League campaigns by meeting for the first time, with neither having much experience of opposition from the other team's country.
• LOSC played FC Dinamo Minsk in the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round, winning 2-1 at home and 2-2 away while BATE met Paris Saint-Germain FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Cup round of 32 and went out on away goals. The games ended 2-2 at the Dinamo Stadion and 0-0 in Paris.
• LOSC finished third in Ligue 1 last season and had to negotiate the play-off round to reach the group stage. After losing the first leg 1-0 at FC København they needed an extra-time header from Túlio De Melo in the first European match at their new home, the Grand Stade Lille Métropole, to secure progress. Lucas Digne had levelled the aggregate scoreline close to half-time.
• LOSC, who are involved in Europe's elite competition for the fifth time, had looked on course for three points at the start of last year's competition as they took a 2-0 lead at home to PFC CSKA Moskva, only for the Russian side to rally in the last 20 minutes and rescue a draw.
• The French club were unable to find a win in either of their other two home games, losing 1-0 to FC Internazionale Milano and drawing 0-0 with Trabzonspor AŞ, a result which meant they finished bottom of Group B.
• That Inter defeat was LOSC's only home group reverse in 12 games. In their three previous participations, in 2006/07, 2005/06 and 2001/02, they had always posted the same set of results: two draws and a win in their three home ties.
• In 2011 BATE won a sixth straight Belarusian title to earn themselves a chance of claiming a group stage place for a third time. They rode their luck however with Vitali Rodionov's two added-time goals securing an unlikely second qualifying round first-leg victory against FK Vardar after they trailed 2-1. The away leg then ended 0-0.
• In the next round BATE needed an Ibrahim Sidibe own goal to draw 1-1 with Debreceni VSC in Belarus. They followed up with a 2-0 victory in the second leg thanks to goals from Dmitri Mozolevski and Aleksandr Volodko.
• Rodionov was twice on the scoresheet again to put BATE in pole position at home in the play-off round against Hapoel Kiryat Shmona FC. In Israel, Aleksandr Pavlov struck a last-gasp equaliser to seal the progress of Viktor Goncharenko's side 3-1 on aggregate.
• Remaining unbeaten in qualifying outside Belarus maintained a trend for BATE who had done the same in the preliminaries for the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League, recording three away wins, and 2011/12, with a victory and two draws. They also won the away leg of their play-off ties (one game in each case) for the UEFA Europa League in both 2009/10 and 2010/11.
• In the group stage of all four campaigns their away record is: W2 D5 L5.
• BATE began last season's group stage with a 1-1 draw at FC Viktoria Plzeň. They lost their other away games, 2-0 at AC Milan and 4-0 at FC Barcelona, and finished fourth in Group H.
• Rio Mavuba was in the France team that beat Belarus 3-1 in a FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Stade de France on 11 September. Mickaël Landreau was an unused substitute with Artem Radkov, Renan Bressan, Denis Polyakov and Rodionov all starting for the visitors. Aleksandr Gutor remained on the bench.