Slavia Praha vs BATE Borisov – Tuesday 18:00 BT/19:00 CET at Eden Arena, Prague.
Slavia Praha is perhaps one of a fascinating football projects in the Czech Republic. Recently purchased by the CEFC China Energy group Slavia was able to make some significant investments during the offseason bringing in players like Halil Altintop (FC Augsburg) and Danny (Zenit).
Altintop and Danny spearhead Slavia’s attempt to reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in nine years. They will now try to overcome a BATE Borisov side that has plenty of Champions League experience.
The Belarusian champion is currently on course to win their 12th Belarusian title in a row—unlike the rest of Europe Belarus uses the spring to fall calendar year schedule. The club last qualified for the UEFA Champions League in the 2015-16 season but failed to reach the group stage of either the Champions League or Europa League last year.
One of the best-organized clubs in the post-Soviet space BATE Borisov have one of the most modern stadiums in the region. Furthermore, despite having a small budget are known for producing top players on a regular basis.
Slavia Praha vs BATE Borisov – Player to look out for:
Danny #7 – Slavia Praha
After spending 12 years in Russia with Dinamo Moscow and Zenit Saint Petersburg, Danny has left Russia and joined Slavia Praha this summer. The Portuguese midfielder, who was born in Caracas Venezuela, left Russia as a legend. In 177 games for Zenit he managed 52 goals, and in 2012 he was appointed the captain of the club. But injuries have significantly slowed down Danny in recent years, and with Zenit hiring Roberto Mancini this summer the club was looking to free up foreign roster spots for new superstars. Now at Slavia Danny is expected to use his experience to help Slavia reach the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Aleksey Rios #17 – BATE Borisov
Aleksey Rios is an exciting player. Of Peruvian and Spanish decent Rios has been with BATE Borisov since the 2015 season. Having played with Shakhtyor Soligorsk the now 30-year-old Rios has become one of the most reliable right-backs in Belarusian football and has therefore been called up to the Belarusian national team. A bit of a late bloomer Rios (or Ryas to use his Belarusian name) will want to use the Champions League as a last attempt to make the jump to Western Europe.
Slavia Praha vs BATE Borisov – Match Stats
- BATE Borisov eliminated the Armenian side Alashkert in the second qualification stage of the UEFA Champions League.
- This is the first time that the two club’s play each other in a competitive UEFA match.
- BATE’s only match against Czech opposition was in the 2011-12 group stage of the UEFA Champions League. They drew Viktoria Plzen away and lost 1-0 at home.
Futbolgrad’s Prediction: Slavia Praha vs BATE Borisov 3-1
Slavia Praha vs BATE Borisov – Possible Lineups
Lastuvka – Svento, Bilek, Deli, Boril – Soucek, Ngadjui – Altintop, Danny, Rotan – Skoda
Manager: Jaroslav Silhavy
Shcherbitski – Polyakov, Milunovic, Yablonski, Rios – Volodyko, Dragun – Stasevich, Ivanic, Gordeychuk – Signevich
Manager: Aleyksandr Yermakovich
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist and social media junior editor at Bundesliga.com. He is also a holder of 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 will be available in print soon. 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.