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Champions League Group F preview: BATE host Valencia

BATE Borisov will hope Valencia’s poor run on the road in the UEFA Champions League continues when the two sides meet on Tuesday.

Valencia have not won away from home in five Champions League matches and head to Belarus three points behind BATE, who are the surprise packet of Group F.

BATE pulled off a 3-1 win away to Lille in their opening game of the Champions League group stage and then stunned Bayern Munich by the same scoreline when the German club visited Belarus earlier this month to go top of the group.

Having won the past six Belarusian league titles, BATE are on track for a seventh in a row, leading the competition by seven points with five rounds to play.

Valencia head coach Mauricio Pellegrino will hope his team can finally put together a decent performance away from their home stadium as they have not won a competitive fixture on the road this season.

The last time the Spanish club won away in the Champions League was in September 2010 when they thumped Turkey’s Bursaspor 4-0.

Valencia sit ninth in the La Liga standings with 11 points, having defeated Athletic Bilbao 3-2 on Saturday, while BATE won 2-1 away to Slavia in their latest game.

BATE’s strength has been playing on the counter-attack having conceded the majority of possession in both their group-stage matches so far, while being very clinical in front of goal.

Viktor Goncharenko’s team have scored six goals from 11 shots on target in the Champions League.

Lille are set to host Bayern in the other Group F match and the French club desperately need a victory to still have a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Rudi Garcia’s side are point-less through two games and have a goal difference of minus five and will face a tough task against the runaway Bundesliga leaders.

After eight rounds in Germany, Bayern still have a perfect record and have scored 26 goals, while conceding only two.

Bayern crunched Fortuna Dusseldorf 5-0 on Saturday with Mario Mandzukic scoring the opener, his eighth goal of the season, while Lille drew 1-1 away to Bordeaux in Ligue 1.

Mon 22 Oct, 2012
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