BATE vs Qarabag – Tuesday, August 14, 18:00 BST/19:00 CEST – Borisov-Arena, Borisov, Belarus
BATE Borisov are on course to qualify for the playoffs of the UEFA Champions League. The Belarusian club defeated Qarabag 1-0 on the road.
That victory in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku will give the Belarusians a massive advantage ahead of the second leg. The Belarusian Premier League has been on a short summer break throughout August and will return on the weekend.
With 17 games played BATE are currently seven points ahead of Dinamo Minsk, who have one game in hand. BATE have won the last 12 championships in a row in Belarus and are once again looking like the clear-cut favourite this season.
Champions League football would be the cherry on top. But before even dreaming of the group stage BATE have to eliminate Qarabag in this round.
The Azeri side are also domestic champions but the league season in Azerbaijan will only kick off this weekend. Hence, the Champions League qualifiers were scheduled right amidst Qarabag’s season preparations.
Hence, BATE will not only carry the advantage of a 1-0 victory into the second leg but also being in full match fitness. Furthermore, BATE at home are always a tough proposition, even for big teams from Western Europe, and, as a result, the Belarusians will be favourites to go through.
BATE vs Qarabag- Players to look out for:
#1 – Qarabag
Hannes Halldórsson was part of Iceland’s World Cup squad this summer. Following the tournament, the keeper remained in the post-Soviet space joining Qarabag as the new number one keeper. Like many Iceland players, Halldórsson is not just famous as a football player – the keeper has also directed films in the past amongst other things Iceland’s video for their entry to the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.
Mirko Ivanić #10 – BATE
24-year-old Serbian Mirko Ivanić has been BATE’s top player this season. In 17 Vysheyshaya Liga Ivanić has scored six goals and three assists. Signed from Vojvodina in February 2016 Ivanić made the unusual move from Serbia to Belarus as a 22-year-old talented attacking-midfielder. It was the prospect of regular European football that attracted the Serb to play for BATE and scouts will without a doubt keep a close eye on his future development in Borisov.
BATE vs Qarabag – Match Stats
- Azerbaijani champions v Belarusian title holders
- Qarabağ were in the group stage last season
- BATE have been in group stage five times
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: BATE vs Qarabag – 2-1
BATE vs Qarabag – Lineups
Shcherbitski – Volodjko, Filipović, Filipenko, Rios – Dragun, Yablonski, Baga – Stasevich, Signevich, Ivanić
Head Coach: Aleksey Baga
Halldórsson – Guerrier, Guseynov, Sadygov, Medvedev – Slavchev, Garayev – Zoubir, Michel, Delarge – Emeghara
Head Coach: Gurban Gurbanov
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.