European champions Spain will look to maintain the pressure on UEFA EURO 2016 Group C leaders Slovakia as they visit a Belarus side short on home successes.
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Belarus will look to take inspiration from a UEFA Champions League win for FC BATE Borisov as they welcome European champions Spain in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group C.
• Isco scored his first Spain goal and Juventus striker Álvaro Morata made his senior debut as Spain beat Belarus 3-0 in Huelva in their first Group C meeting back in November.
• Spain have won all three of their previous matches against Belarus, including a 4-0 away victory and a 2-1 home win in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
• Belarus have won only one of their five Group C games, and have lost both of their previous home fixtures in the section. However, a 3-2 success against Mexico in Borisov in November showed that they are not a lost cause at home.
• Defeat against Spain would leave Belarus 11 points adrift of the top two slots in Group C with four games remaining.
• Spain have won four of their five Group C games, the exception being a shock 2-1 loss in Slovakia. That remains their only defeat in their last 40 qualifying games (W36 D3 L1).
• The European champions have lost all three of their friendly games since their 2014 World Cup final exit: 1-0 to France, 1-0 to Germany and 2-0 to the Netherlands.
Trivia and links
• Belarus forward Sergei Kornilenko turns 32 on the day of the Spain game.
• The 12 meetings between the nations' clubs in UEFA competition before this season produced ten Spanish wins and two draws. Combined, those two stalemates allowed FC Dinamo Minsk to eliminate Real Sociedad de Fútbol on away goals in the 1987/88 European Cup Winners' Cup second round.
• This season, FC BATE Borisov beat Athletic Club 2-1 in Borisov in the UEFA Champions League group stage, but lost the return fixture in Bilbao 2-0.
• Spain's Mikel San José featured in those games for Athletic, with a number of Belarusian internationals on the BATE team sheet – including Denis Polyakov, who scored the first goal in that home success.
• The only men's victory against Spain for a Belarus national side came in qualifying for the defunct UEFA European Under-16 Championship, with Belarus beating Spain 1-0 in the Republic of Ireland in 1994. The nations' three subsequent UEFA men's age-group competition meetings all produced Spanish wins.