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Fearless BATE plotting Barcelona upset

Viktor Goncharenko has promised that his FC BATE Borisov side are "thinking only about victory" as they prepare to face FC Barcelona, whose coach Josep Guardiola expects a tricky game.

Viktor Goncharenko hopes his BATE team can upset Barcelona
Viktor Goncharenko hopes his BATE team can upset Barcelona ©Getty Images

"We're thinking only about victory," vowed FC BATE Borisov coach Viktor Goncharenko as he looked forward to Wednesday's home meeting with FC Barcelona, a game the Group H giants will go into with "a large sense of responsibility" according to Josep Guardiola.

Coach Viktor Goncharenko

Barcelona are the best club in the world and their standard of play would unsettle anyone, but that's only to be expected. It's a shame our striker Vitali Rodionov is injured; he will be out for a long while. This is not a match where you want to experiment.

I asked Rubin Kazan coach Kurban Berdyev for some advice since he's had success against Barcelona in the past. He gave me some great insights, but we will have to see on the pitch how useful his advice was. Either way, Rubin have set us a great example.

For ten days we have been thinking about how we'll attack and how we'll defend against Barcelona. Maybe that's why we had a disappointing showing in the league. Whatever happens will help BATE take a step forward. If all we think about is avoiding defeat, that would not be progress. We're thinking only about victory.

Weekend result
Friday: FC Belshina Bobruisk 1-1 BATE (Zubovich 46; Kontsevoi 6)
Gutor; A Volodko, Filipenko, Simić, Bordachev; Rudik (Likhtarovich 75), Olekhnovich, Baga (Aleksiyan 78); Bressan; Kontsevoi, Kežman (Gordeychuk 63)

• BATE extended their unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions, six of them draws. They are 16 matches without defeat at home since the start of the season in April, scoring in all those fixtures.

Team news
Vitali Rodionov and Evgeni Kuntsevich are out long term with knee injuries. Aleksandr Pavlov (torn adductors) and Aleksandr Yurevich (torn ankle ligaments) are also sidelined.

Coach Josep Guardiola
Group stage matches are always a bit tricky. They differ from knockout games, when teams have a different approach. Tomorrow's match can go a number of different ways, but we still need to play it. The same old three points are at stake and they are worth fighting for. So we are approaching this match with a large sense of responsibility.

The rules of football are the same for everyone. They tell you to study your opponents and we did exactly that in BATE's case. You can't find Belarusian league matches on our local TV channels, so we sent scouts to study BATE's domestic matches and we also examined their play-off games against Sturm Graz. We always try to learn and the same rule applies here. Our scouts spotted some things which we'll use.

Weekend result
Saturday: Barcelona 5-0 Club Atlético de Madrid (Villa 9, Miranda og 15, Messi 26 78 90+1)
Valdés; Alves, Busquets (Piqué 54), Mascherano, Abidal (Maxwell 81); Pedro, Thiago, Xavi, Fàbregas (Keita 72); Messi, Villa

• Barcelona are now 16 matches unbeaten since 30 April and have scored 31 goals in nine fixtures this season. It was Lionel Messi's second Liga hat-trick in three games after the 8-0 defeat of CA Osasuna.

Team news
Andrés Iniesta and Alexis Sánchez have torn hamstrings, while Ibrahim Afellay is out for the group stage with a knee ligament injury.

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

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