BATE Borisov vs. Valencia, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Preview and TV Schedule

Martin Rose

Surprise group leaders BATE take on Valencia in Minsk as they attempt to keep their momentum going in the Champions League.

BATE Borisov continue their remarkable bid to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League as they take on Valencia in Minsk.

The Belarusians won a remarkable victory over Bayern Munich in their last game and currently sit top of their group, although they still have much to do before being able to qualify. Coach Victor Goncharenko took the opportunity to rest players in his side's last game on Thursday, and combined with a fully-fit squad, will mean that fatigue is no concern for the home side.

Valencia, by contrast, scraped a fiercely-fought 3-2 win over Athletic Bilbao at the weekend, but still had the opportunity to give some key players some time off, with Ever Banega only making a substitute appearance. The Argentine playmaker could start tonight, and coach Manuel Pellegrini has suggested that he may deploy a back three in order to adapt to the absence of Jérémy Mathieu.

Goncharenko has vowed that his side will be aiming for a victory, but having already overachieved, he will be aware that a draw may be enough to keep them in with a good chance of qualification. Valencia have a tough test in store against an opponent that is flying high and raring to go - a BATE victory here would have been a surprise two months ago, but not any longer.

BATE injuries and suspensions


Bayern Munich injuries and suspensions

Out: Jérémy Mathieu (heel) In Doubt: Vicente Guaita (illness)

As well as the home advantage, BATE will have the bonus of a fully fit squad to face Valencia, with no injuries or suspensions affecting the Belarusians.

Valencia also have a relatively fit squad, although Mathieu has not travelled and Guaita may not be ready to come back from illness. Manuel Pellegrini has suggested that Valencia may cope with Mathieu's absence with a three-man defence, and has also insisted that striker Nelson Valdez is fully fit.

Match Date/Time: 9:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Dinamo Stadion, Minsk, Belarus

TV: DirecTV Soccer (U.S.), Sky Sports Events Centre (U.K.), C+ Liga de Campeones / HD, Canal+ Yomvi (Spain)

Online: FOX Soccer 2 Go (U.S.), Sportsnet World Online (Canada)

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