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AZ seek to end away-day blues at BATE

AZ Alkmaar will be pursuing their first European away victory in three years when they travel to face Group E rivals FC BATE Borisov, the two sides having never faced each other before.

BATE kicked off by drawing 2-2 at Dynamo Kyiv
BATE kicked off by drawing 2-2 at Dynamo Kyiv ©Getty Images

New ground will be broken by both sides as FC BATE Borisov play host to AZ Alkmaar in UEFA Europa League Group E, with the Dutch side looking to end a three-year wait for a European away victory.

Previous meetings
• The clubs are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition. BATE have never faced Dutch opposition before and AZ are awaiting their first game against a Belarusian team.

Match background
• Unbeaten in their last three home fixtures in Europe, BATE have been scoring at a reasonable rate in continental competition this season; they have registered twice or more in their last four games, home and away. They have failed to score only once in their seven 2010/11 European encounters.

• AZ are without a win in seven European away fixtures, a run stretching back over three years to a 1-0 win at FC Paços de Ferreira in the first round of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup on 20 September 2007.

• AZ competed in the first four editions of the UEFA Cup group stage, but are making their debut at this level in the UEFA Europa League era. They reached the knockout phase in their first three appearances, missing out on their most recent campaign in 2007/08.

Team facts
• BATE coach Viktor Goncharenko is still just 33, having become the youngest coach to take charge in a UEFA Champions League group stage game when BATE tackled Real Madrid CF on 17 September 2008. He was just 31 at the time. A defender whose career was ended by injury at the age of 25, he has been in charge at BATE since 2007, winning three successive Belarusian titles.

• AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek was a defender who spent his whole career at SC Heerenveen, barring a season on loan with Heracles Almelo. After retiring, he became assistant coach at Heerenveen before striking out alone with Heracles from 2001 to 2004, and then replacing Foppe de Haan at his other old club. He was lured to Feyenoord in 2008 but failed to prosper, but AZ nonetheless took him on after a fine 2009/10 season back at Heracles.

• Verbeek competed in the first three UEFA Cup group stage competitions with Heerenveen, qualifying twice but missing out third time around in 2006/07.


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