Preview: BATE v Shakhtar Donetsk

FC BATE Borisov's Aleksandr Yermakovich says the fight to qualify from Group H is "wide open", with the importance of the match not lost on FC Shakhtar Donetsk.

BATE train before the first of their two Group H matches against Shakhtar
BATE train before the first of their two Group H matches against Shakhtar ©AFP/Getty Images

Aleksandr Yermakovich says the Group H "fight for qualifying places is wide open"
The BATE coach expresses admiration for opposite number Mircea Lucescu
Lucescu hopes his side do not come to regret losing a 2-0 lead on matchday two
BATE are unbeaten at home in any competition since 29 September 2013
Luiz Adriano is two goals off Andriy Vorobey's record of 114 for Shakhtar

Possible lineups
BATE: Chernik; Khagush, Polyakov, Tubić, M Volodko; A Volodko, Likhtarovich; Baga, Karnitski, Gordeychuk; Signevich.
Out: Filipenko (thigh), Rodionov (unspecified muscular problem)
Doubtful: Mladenović (unspecified muscular problem)

Shakhtar: Pyatov; Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Azevedo; Stepanenko, Douglas Costa, Fernando, Alex Teixeira, Taison; Luiz Adriano.
Out: Kryvtsov (ankle)

Aleksandr Yermakovich, BATE coach
We are preparing for this game as usual. I am not worried about lacking motivation as nobody needs any extra motivation in this tournament. The lads understand where they play and who they are playing. They will do their best and play for a win in every game, trying to give the fans something to cheer about.

Shakhtar Donetsk do not need any introduction – they are Champions League regulars, a very balanced and technically gifted side. However, every team has some weak points, but I do not want to speak about Shakhtar's at the moment. We have our game plan and time will tell if we manage to put it into practice.

Mircea Lucescu has achieved big things in coaching; you can learn a lot from him. I have followed his work and can say only positive things about him. We are taking things step by step and are not thinking about the game in Ukraine yet. The fight for qualifying places is wide open. Today we sit in second place, but tomorrow everything can change.

Lucescu on Shakhtar decade
Lucescu on Shakhtar decade

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
Everybody understands the importance of tomorrow's game. These matchday three and four fixtures against the same opponents usually define what teams continue to fight for qualification, while at least one side usually goes out.

We know our opponents and have had some thorough analysis of them done. They are a serious team with a decent record in Europe and they have had some good results against strong opposition.

BATE prefer to play direct football and work hard all over the pitch. They press as a team and try not to leave any space for their opponents. Their [2-1] victory against Athletic Club was a fair result, while the 6-0 defeat at Porto was an aberration to some extent.

The only thing I am worried about now is the points we lost on matchdays one and two, especially in Lviv, where we were two goals up against Porto and suddenly fell into the trap of thinking the game was over and victory was secured.

Weekend results
BATE had no weekend game
Shakhtar 6-2 FC Volyn Lutsk (Dentinho 3, Luiz Adriano 36 90+1, Srna 47, Alex Teixeira 85, Douglas Costa 88; Bicfalvi 22, Celin 57)

Form guide (all competitions)
BATE: WWWWDD
Shakhtar: WLDWLD

Match facts
• Yermakovich faced Shakhtar as a player in the 1996 UEFA Intertoto Cup – with which club? Find out in our extensive match background.

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