Both FC Sheriff and FC BATE Borisov have made solid starts in Group E, a section which features two sides that played in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage.
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Both FC Sheriff and FC BATE Borisov have made solid starts in Group E, a section which features two sides that played in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage, AZ Alkmaar and FC Dynamo Kyiv.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition.
• Sheriff and BATE met in the quarter-finals of the Commonwealth Cup – the annual friendly competition that brings together champions of the former Soviet nations – on 24 January 2007. Former Belarusian Under-21 international Aleksei Kuchuk scored the only goal as Sheriff won 1-0.
• BATE played another Moldovan outfit, FC Nistru Otaci, in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup first qualifying round, winning 2-0 at home and 1-0 away.
• BATE are unbeaten in their last four UEFA Europa League games home and away, as well as all four home matches in European competition this season.
• Sheriff are without a win in their last nine continental fixtures on their travels.
• Sheriff coach Andrei Sosnitski took over at the helm following the departure of his former boss and fellow Belarusian Leonid Kuchuk midway through the 2009/10 season, but it was soon business as usual with the club winning another domestic double.
• Initially a trainee at FC Dinamo Minsk, he later played for FC Alania Vladikavkaz, FC Uralmash Ekaterinburg, FC Chernomorets Novorossiysk and FC Dinamo Brest, where he spent the majority of this playing career. On hanging up his boots, he started his life as a coach at FC Slavia Mozyr and before returning to Dinamo Brest. This will be the first time he has faced opponents from his native Belarus in a UEFA club competition fixture.
• 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.