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BATE hope for third time lucky against Barcelona

Beaten at home by their two previous Spanish visitors, Villarreal CF and Real Madrid CF, FC BATE Borisov will try to make amends when they take on FC Barcelona in Minsk.

Yegor Filipenko was one of the BATE players in the Belarus side beaten by Spain at the U21 finals
Yegor Filipenko was one of the BATE players in the Belarus side beaten by Spain at the U21 finals ©Getty Images

FC BATE Borisov will hope for a case of third time lucky when they welcome reigning champions FC Barcelona to Minsk on matchday two.

• Viktor Goncharenko's side have lost both their previous home meetings with Spanish opposition and, on paper at least, are unlikely to have it any easier against the four-time European champions.

• The teams are level in Group H on one point each, however, Barcelona being held 2-2 at home by AC Milan on matchday one and BATE earning a 1-1 draw at FC Viktoria Plzeň.

Match background
• BATE enter this contest looking for not just a first victory against Liga opponents but also a first home win in the UEFA Champions League proper.

• The Belarusian title holders suffered home and away losses in previous encounters with teams from Spain in Villarreal CF and Real Madrid CF.

• In the UEFA Cup first round in 2007/08 they went down 4-1 in Villarreal and then 2-0 in Minsk. They took on Madrid in the following season's UEFA Champions League group stage, succumbing 2-0 in the Spanish capital, and then 1-0 at home.

• From today's BATE squad, Dmitri Likhtarovich, Vitali Rodionov, Aleksandr Volodko, Aleksandr Yurevich and substitute Maksim Skavysh all featured in the 2008/09 home meeting with Madrid.

• BATE took just one point from a possible nine at home in their debut UEFA Champions League campaign in 2008/09 but, since the start of last season, they have lost just one of their last 11 European outings in Borisov and Minsk. This run includes wins against Linfield FC and FK Ekranas in this term's qualifying rounds and a 1-1 play-off draw with SK Sturm Graz.

• Barcelona have never visited Belarus before but Josep Guardiola's men have won their last two away fixtures in the UEFA Champions League and overall last season managed a record on the road of W3 D2 L1.

Team ties
• Éric Abidal scored an own goal for France when he played against Belarus in a 1-1 draw on 3 June at the Dinamo Stadion in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying. Maksim Bordachev was in the home lineup.

• On 22 June Thiago Alcántara and Martín Montoya featured for Spain in their 3-1 UEFA European Under-21 Championship semi-final victory against a Belarus side containing Aleksandr Gutor, Yegor Filipenko, Skavysh and substitute Dmitri Baga. Jeffren and Bojan Krkić, two players who subsequently moved on from Barcelona, also appeared as substitutes for Spain.

• Mateja Kežman played for Chelsea FC in a 4-2 home victory against Barcelona in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League round of 16, a result that secured a 5-4 aggregate triumph.

• The Serbian's only goal to date against a Spanish side in UEFA club competition was in Fenerbahçe SK's 3-2 home win against Sevilla FC in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie in 2007/08. Adriano, Daniel Alves and Seydou Keita were all in that Sevilla team and the latter two scored in a 3-2 second-leg win for Sevilla that took the game to penalties. However, after Kežman had struck to make it 3-2 in the shoot-out, Alves' saved spot kick sent the Turkish side through.

• Kežman hit eight goals in 30 league outing for Club Atlético de Madrid in 2005/06 – including the Rojiblancos' second in a 2-1 home success over Barcelona in September 2005.

• Kežman and Ibrahim Afellay were team-mates at PSV Eindhoven in 2003/04, although the latter made only two substitute appearances.

• Kežman was sent off in Serbia and Montenegro's 6-0 Group C defeat by Argeninta at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Gelsenkirchen, a match in which Lionel Messi scored his first competitive international goal.

• BATE fitness coach José Pastor Verchili was born in Castellon de la Plana on Spain's Mediterranean coast and after graduating from the Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, he earned his master's degree in a programme funded by Barça. He later continued his studies at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona before working as a fitness coach with the junior teams of Villarreal CF.

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