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Preview: BATE Borisov v Athletic

Neither FC BATE Borisov nor Athletic Club have been setting the world alight in recent weeks, and both know the value of a win on Tuesday at a new UEFA Champions League venue.

Aleksandr Yermakovich is hoping BATE can reward their fans
Aleksandr Yermakovich is hoping BATE can reward their fans ©AFP/Getty Images

BATE coach Aleksandr Yermakovich wants to atone for the 6-0 loss to FC Porto
Yermakovich's side have drawn both league games since that Group H defeat
The new Borisov Arena will host its first group stage fixture
Athletic are five matches without a win; BATE have not lost at home in a year
Athletic coach Ernesto Valverde hints at changes to his misfiring midfield

Possible lineups
BATE: Chernik; Khagush, Filipenko, Polyakov, Mladenović; A Volodko, Aleksievich, Olekhnovich; Pavlov; Gordeychuk, Rodionov.
Out: Likhtarovich (cold)
Doubtful: Rodionov (leg)

Athletic: Iraizoz; De Marcos, Gurpegi, Laporte, Balenziaga; Iturraspe, Rico, Beñat, Susaeta, Muniain; Aduriz.
Out: Aketxe (toe)

Aleksandr Yermakovich, BATE coach
We have drawn our last three games in the league, which is disappointing. It is not the best way to build up to this match, but we have seen worse and recovered well. We hope it'll be the same and we believe in our players. I'm sure we'll approach the game with a good mentality.

There's no need to introduce Athletic. This is a team from a top league, where they finished fourth. That says a lot. Such teams usually boast players with great technique who are good individually, so I can say only positive things. It'll be interesting to test ourselves against such opposition.

We want to make amends for the loss at Porto and to prove we are able to play and compete with solid European teams and great players. We are determined to make up for that loss and we will do our best.

Ernesto Valverde, Athletic coach
Victories always help to raise morale, but the fact three points are at stake is equally important for us and BATE in order to make amends for our recent slide. These are just three points, but we hope to win so that we can approach our next game in the best possible spirits.

Athletic failed to score in four of their last five games
Athletic failed to score in four of their last five games©AFP/Getty Images

I know BATE tend to build from the back. They are the best club in Belarus, so the game will be demanding. They have good performers in the middle of the park as well as on the flanks, players like Filip Mladenović. They are decent opposition. Most of all I fear BATE will give their all for the home fans. BATE also have more UEFA Champions League experience.

I haven't decided yet on the starting XI, but I plan to make changes. We obviously analysed our recent results and our problems scoring goals, which arise from our inability to create enough chances. We are trying to solve this weakness that comes from midfield. We definitely lack the final ball.

Weekend results
FC Naftan Novopolotsk 2-2 BATE (Teplov 66, Khotov 81; Karnitski 38, Signevich 87)
Athletic 0-0 SD Eibar

Form guide (all competitions)
Athletic: DLLDLW

Match facts
• What were Athletic's away results in their sole previous group stage campaign, in 1998/99? Find out in our extensive match background.