It was against LOSC Lille on 19 September that FC BATE Borisov finally recorded their first UEFA Champions League group stage win at the 13th attempt and they will hope to make it a double on matchday five.
• In Group F's first round of matches, BATE scored three first-half goals at the Grand Stade Lille Métropole through Aleksandr Volodko (6), Vitali Rodionov (20) and Edgar Olekhnovich (43), with Aurélien Chedjou's second-half header scant consolation for LOSC.
• That first victory was swiftly followed by a second for BATE as they beat FC Bayern München by the same 3-1 scoreline at home, before Valencia CF brought them back to earth with a 3-0 away success in Minsk. The return ended 4-2 to the Spanish side to leave BATE third in the section on six points, three behind Bayern and Valencia.
• LOSC lost 2-0 at Valencia on matchday two and then suffered a third reverse when Bayern won 1-0 in northern France. The return fixture with the German team two weeks later finished in LOSC's heaviest European defeat as they were overwhelmed 6-1, ending their UEFA Champions League aspirations for the season; they must now win by a greater margin than 3-1 at BATE to have any hope of overtaking their opponents for third place.
• The matchday one encounter was the sides' first ever meeting while previous experience of opposition from the other team's country is also scarce.
• BATE faced Paris Saint-Germain FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Cup round of 32 and went out on away goals. The games ended 2-2 at the Dinamo Stadion, Renan Bressan scoring BATE's first goal, and 0-0 in Paris.
• LOSC played FC Dinamo Minsk in the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round, winning 2-1 at home before a 2-2 away draw.
• BATE lifted a sixth straight Belarusian title in 2011 – and clinched a seventh on 11 November – to earn a chance of claiming their third appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage. They overcame FK Vardar 3-2 at home and on aggregate in the second qualifying round, and then relied on an own goal in a 1-1 draw with Debreceni VSC in Belarus before a 2-0 away success.
• A 2-0 home win against Hapoel Kiryat Shmona FC put BATE in control of their play-off tie, before a 1-1 draw in Israel sent Viktor Goncharenko's side through 3-1 on aggregate.
• Remaining unbeaten at home in UEFA Champions League qualifying maintained a trend for BATE, who did the same in 2011/12 (two wins, one draw) and 2008/09 (one win, two draws), prior to their two previous group stage appearances.
• However, beyond the qualifying rounds it is a different story: including this season, their two preceding group stage campaigns and their UEFA Europa League participations of 2010/11 and 2009/10, BATE's home record is W4 D2 L8.
• At home in last term's UEFA Champions League group stage the Belarusian outfit lost 5-0 to FC Barcelona and 1-0 against FC Viktoria Plzeň, and drew 1-1 with AC Milan.
• LOSC overcame FC København in the play-offs to make the group stage for the fifth time, losing 1-0 in Denmark before a 2-0 extra-time triumph in the return, the first European match at their new home.
• Les Dogues drew 1-1 at Trabzonspor AŞ in this competition last season, lost 2-1 at FC Internazionale Milano and won 2-0 at PFC CSKA Moskva.
• Rio Mavuba was in the France team that beat Belarus 3-1 in a FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Stade de France on 11 September. Mickaël Landreau was an unused substitute, with Artem Radkov, Bressan, Denis Polyakov and Rodionov all starting for the visitors. Aleksandr Gutor remained on the bench.
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