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Chelsea v BATE background

Two 1-0 wins have given Chelsea six points and first place in Group L; they next welcome BATE to Stamford Bridge.

Álvaro Morata is congratulated after scoring Chelsea's winner on matchday two
Álvaro Morata is congratulated after scoring Chelsea's winner on matchday two ©Getty Images

Chelsea will hope to maintain their perfect start to UEFA Europa League Group L as they take on BATE Borisov at Stamford Bridge, the Belarusian side having won one and lost one of their opening two fixtures.

• A pair of 1-0 wins – away at PAOK, at home to Vidi – have put Chelsea in command of the section, with BATE trailing them by three points after following up a 2-0 win in Hungary with a 1-4 home defeat against their visitors from Greece.

Previous meetings
• The clubs have never previously crossed swords in UEFA competition, with Chelsea yet to face opponents from Belarus.

• BATE's first visit to England – at Everton on matchday six of the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage – resulted in a 1-0 win, but last season they were beaten 6-0 by Arsenal in London, also in their final group fixture, having already lost 2-4 to the Gunners at home.

Highlights: Chelsea 1-0 Vidi

Form guide
• Chelsea could finish only fifth in defence of their Premier League title last season, but booked a first ever place in the UEFA Europa League group stage twice over by winning the FA Cup for the eighth time, defeating Manchester United 1-0 in the final.

• Although the west London side are new to this stage of the UEFA Europa League, they won the competition on their only previous participation, in 2013, having crossed over to the knockout phase in mid-season from the UEFA Champions League. Their route to the final in Amsterdam, where they defeated Benfica 2-1, incorporated three successive 3-1 wins at Stamford Bridge.

• Chelsea ended a run of three successive European home draws with their 1-0 win against Vidi on matchday two. They have not lost a European group game at Stamford Bridge since Basel defeated them 2-1 there in September 2013; the 12 such fixtures since have yielded nine wins and three draws.

• Midway through competing in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage BATE clinched the Belarusian league title for the 12th year in a row – and are well positioned to make it 13 this autumn. They are back in the same European competition having missed out on UEFA Champions League group stage qualification, a pair of 2-1 aggregate victories over HJK Helsinki and Qarabağ preceding a heavy play-off defeat by PSV Eindhoven (2-3 home, 0-3 away).

• BATE are in the UEFA Europa League group stage for the fourth time and the second year in a row. They advanced to the knockout phase in 2010/11 but have been unsuccessful in the other two campaigns, finishing bottom of their section last season after taking just five points from their six games against Crvena zvezda, Arsenal and Köln.

• The Borisov club's away record in the UEFA Europa League group stage is W3 D3 L4, the victory at Vidi having ended a four-game winless sequence that included last season's 6-0 loss at Arsenal – the club's joint heaviest European away defeat. They have, however, won three of their four European fixtures on the road this season.

Highlights: BATE 1-4 PAOK

Links and trivia 
• Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud scored for Arsenal in both group games against BATE in last season's UEFA Europa League.

• BATE are one of 12 reigning domestic champions in this season's group stage, while Chelsea are one of ten domestic cup holders in the field. The London side are also one of only two previous UEFA Europa League winners among the 48 clubs, the other being three-time champions Sevilla.

The coaches
• Named as the new Chelsea boss in succession to his fellow Italian, Antonio Conte, in July 2018, Maurizio Sarri is widely considered to be one of Europe's most progressive coaches. He paid his dues in Italy's lower leagues with a multitude of clubs before getting his big break at Empoli, whom he steered into Serie A, before replacing Rafael Benítez at Napoli in 2015. Three seasons in Naples all brought top-three finishes, his entertaining side running Juventus close for the Scudetto in 2017/18.

• Handed the position of BATE Borisov head coach in June 2018, as a replacement for Oleg Dulub, Aleksei Baga was an internal appointment, having served the club as assistant coach for seven years. A former defender, he also spent most of his playing career at BATE, winning league titles in 2002 and 2006, the latter coupled with a domestic cup victory, before ending his career – after a brief spell in Latvia – with rival club Dinamo Brest.