BATE Borisov vs Astana – Europa League Preview

BATE Borisov vs Astana – Europa League Preview

The UEFA Europa League tie BATE Borisov vs Astana is now headed back to Belarus with Astana comfortably in the drivers seat. The Kazakhs handily beat Belarus’ biggest club by a score line of 2-0 in Astana last Thursday, which could mean that BATE may be without European football for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

Indeed, for the Belarusians, losing out on the group stage of the Europa League would be a minor disaster, as the club very much depends on European group stage football in order to attract the best players from the region to play for the club.

BATE, in particular, has become a platform for players who want show their skills to teams from bigger European leagues. The Belarusian’s participation in the group stage of the Champions League and in the Europa League on a regular basis has meant that talented players can place themselves in the focus of bigger clubs, which, in particular, are interested in seeing how players perform under the pressure of UEFA competitions.

The most recent example of a player who has made the jump from Belarus to a big European league is 1. FC Köln’s left-back, Filip Mladenović, who moved from BATE to the Bundesliga last winter.

BATE’s management will try, therefore, to motivate the squad to overcome the result in Kazakhstan, and will strive to do the impossible possible by scoring three unanswered goals at home.

Coach Aleksandr Yermakovich, who is known for a more conservative style, might, therefore, choose to take a more offensive approach to the match and, therefore, it can be expected that BATE will play for an early goal in order to have a fighting chance against Astana.

Meanwhile, for Astana, a second straight participation in the group stages of one of the two major European competitions is now within reach. Indeed, all the club needs to do is to hold on to their 2-0 lead from the first game, in order to reach another major stepping stone towards further establishing football in Kazakhstan.

With the group stage of the Europa League only 90 minutes away, Astana may now be able to hold on to several of their most talented players.

The Serbian star Nemanja Maksimović, in particular, is in high demand in Western Europe, and the defensive midfielder, who will most certainly leave in the winter when the Kazakh Premier League ends, could be tempted to pack his bags early and move this summer.

His teammates are now much more likely to persuade Maksimović to stay—at least till the end of the Kazakh league season. With that end in mind, Stanimir Stoilov can be expected to take a conservative approach to the match in order to secure the 2-0 lead.

Yet with the club

Possible Line-ups

BATE Borisov:

Formation: 3-6-1

Veremko – Dubra, Polyakov, Zhavnerchik – Gordejchuk, Gvilia, Ivanić, Kendysh, Rios, Stasevich – Rodionov

Manager: Aleksandr Yermakovich

FC Astana:

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Eric – Engel, Anicic, Logvinenko, Beysebekov – Maksimović, Cañas, – Muzhikov, Nurgaliyev, Ibraimi – Kabananga

Manager: Stanimir Stoilov

By Manuel Veth –