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BATE v Crvena zvezda background

Crvena zvezda are second in Group H and a win against the side immediately below them, BATE Borisov, could be enough to secure a place in the round of 32.

BATE are under pressure for Crvena zvezda's visit
BATE are under pressure for Crvena zvezda's visit ©AFP/Getty Images

A potentially decisive UEFA Europa League Group H fixture pits third-placed BATE Borisov at home to the team immediately above them, Crvena zvezda, who have yet to concede in their first two away fixtures.

The Serbian side will be through to the round of 32 with a victory if Köln simultaneously fail to win at home to qualified Arsenal in the other group encounter. Defeat means elimination for BATE.

Previous meetings
• The first competitive match between the teams, in Belgrade on matchday one, ended in a 1-1 draw, Nemanja Radonjić's opener for Crvena zvezda cancelled out by Nikolai Signevich.

• Crvena zvezda's only encounter with a Belarusian club prior to that was a high-scoring affair; they got the better of Naftan Novopolotsk in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round after a 4-3 win in Belarus and a 3-3 draw at home.

• BATE's only other tie against Serbian opposition produced an away-goals victory against Crvena zvezda's eternal rivals Partizan in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League play-offs: they won 1-0 at home and lost 2-1 in Belgrade.

Form guide
• BATE conceded five goals for the first time in 28 UEFA Europa League matches, qualifying included, when they went down 5-2 to Köln on matchday four.

• Crvena zvezda have won twice on the road in this European campaign, posting 1-0 wins at Sparta Praha in the third qualifying round and at Köln on matchday two. Their other four European away fixtures this term have yielded three draws and one defeat (3-2 at Krasnodar in the play-offs).

• 2016 Belarusian champions BATE qualified for the group stage by overcoming Olexandriya in the play-offs, having lost to Slavia Praha on away goals in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

• Second in Serbia last term, Crvena zvezda – who were UEFA Cup runners-up in 1978/79 – last reached the group stage in 2007/08, when they lost all four matches.

Highlights: Crvena zvezda 1-1 BATE

Links and trivia
• The journey from Belgrade to Borisov is around 1,200km.

• BATE's Montenegrin international Mirko Ivanić played in Serbia with Vojvodina (2012–16), where Crvena zvezda's Nemanja Supić (2012–13) and Srdjan Babić (2014–15) were among his team-mates.

• BATE's Stanislav Dragun and Crvena zvezda's Milan Rodić played together at Russian side Krylya Sovetov Samara in autumn 2015.

• BATE possess two Serbian players in their ranks – forward Anes Rušević and centre-back Nemanja Milunović.

• With one game to go, BATE are one point adrift of both Dinamo Minsk and Shakhtyor Soligorsk in a three-way tussle for the 2017 Belarusian title. Should they miss out, it will be the first time in 12 years that the championship crown has eluded them.

• Crvena zvezda are one of three teams to have made it all the way from the first qualifying round to the group stage this season, along with Skënderbeu and Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

• Crvena zvezda's Richmond Boakye was the joint-top scorer in UEFA Europa League qualifying this season with seven goals – level with Trakai's Maksim Maksimov.

• Suspended for next match if booked: Stanislav Dragun, Nemanja Melunović, Nikolai Signevich (BATE); Guelor Kanga, Srdjan Babić (Crvena zvezda).

The coaches
• Aleksandr Yermakovich has been on the staff at BATE since joining as a midfielder in 1998. He won Belarusian titles as both player and assistant coach to Viktor Goncharenko – since supplemented by four championships after he took sole command in 2013.

• Vladan Milojević returned to Crvena zvezda in June 2017, having played for the club in 1996. He spent much of his playing career in Greece with Panathinaikos and Iraklis, and headed back there as coach of Panionios in 2016–17.