Three points behind matchday five opponents Vidi, BATE must avoid a fourth straight defeat to stay in contention.
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BATE Borisov trail Vidi by three points in UEFA Europa League Group L and must avoid a fourth successive defeat to keep alive their hopes of reaching the knockout phase. Their Hungarian visitors are chasing a third successive win, which would secure their qualification with a game to spare.
• BATE have lost their last three games, including both at home – 1-4 against PAOK and 0-1 last time out against Chelsea, who also defeated them 3-1 in London a fortnight earlier. The Belarusian champions will be out with another loss against Vidi.
• Vidi have recovered from defeats in their opening two games to move into second place behind already-qualified Chelsea thanks to back-to-back wins against PAOK (2-0 away, 1-0 home). A win at BATE will secure the Hungarian champions' berth in the round of 32.
• BATE kicked off their Group L campaign by defeating Vidi 2-0 in Budapest with goals from Jasse Tuominen and Yegor Filipenko. The clubs had met in one previous tie, BATE prevailing 2-1 on aggregate in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round when they added a 1-0 home win to a 1-1 away draw.
• Vidi have faced no other Belarusian opposition, but BATE have also played four matches against Debrecen, eliminating their Hungarian opponents twice in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. They won one and drew one of the two home fixtures.
• 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 they duly made it 13 earlier this month. They are back in this competition having missed out on UEFA Champions League group stage qualification during the summer, 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 home record in the UEFA Europa League group stage is W4 D1 L6. They have failed to win any of their five European fixtures at home this season, losing each of the last three, and have been victorious in only one of their last nine (D4 L4) – 1-0 against Köln on matchday three last term.
• Vidi were Hungarian champions last season for the third time – after 2010/11 and 2014/15 – and were one step away from a UEFA Champions League group stage debut after qualifying wins against Dudelange, Ludogorets and Malmö – three teams who have also found their way into the UEFA Europa League group stage. However, a 3-2 aggregate defeat by AEK Athens ended that part of their 2018/19 European journey.
• Vidi have reached the UEFA Europa League group stage once before, in 2012/13, but progressed no further, losing all three away fixtures against Genk (0-3), Basel (0-1) and Sporting CP (1-2).
• The club's 12 European games this season have yielded just four wins, but they were undefeated outside Hungary in the qualifying phase, drawing all four away fixtures. Despite their 2-0 win at PAOK on matchday three, victories on the road have generally proved hard to come by, Vidi recording just four in 25 trips over their last eight European campaigns (D10 L11).
Links and trivia
• BATE wrapped up their 13th Belarusian league title in a row – and 15th overall – on 4 November. They are now one title shy of the European record for consecutive league titles, held jointly by Latvian side Skonto and Lincoln of Gibraltar.
• BATE's Aleksandr Hleb scored for Belarus against Hungary in a 5-2 friendly win in Debrecen on 17 April 2002. Vidi's Georgi Milanov has done likewise for Bulgaria against Belarus, opening the scoring in a 2-1 win in a Sofia friendly on 5 March 2014.
• Vidi head coach Marko Nikolić had BATE's Mirko Ivanić on his playing staff at Vojvodina in 2013.
• Although there are 12 reigning domestic champions competing in the UEFA Europa League group stage – a quarter of the field – this is one of only two matchday five ties between them, the other being Rosenborg-Celtic in Group B.
• 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.
• His playing career having been curtailed at an early age through injury, Belgrade-born Nikolić began coaching at various levels with local club Rad and graduated to the position of head coach in 2008. His reputation grew year on year during spells with Vojvodina, Partizan and Slovenian club Olimpija Ljubljana, and he was re-employed by Partizan in August 2016, promptly winning the league and cup double. Further success followed in 2017/18 as he masterminded Vidi's Hungarian league triumph in his debut campaign.