Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Chelsea were on the verge of suffering a loss to Manchester United in the Premier League derby, but thanks to Ross Barkley’s late goal the Blues eventually grabbed something from the match. Chelsea now return to contention in the Europa League and they will be looking to cement top position in Group L with a win over BATE Borisov at their Stamford Bridge. Coach Maurizio Sarri is likely to stick to his rotation policy, but regardless of which players will be deployed in the starting line-up, anything but a routine home win will be a major surprise. BATE, on the other hand, aim to make amends for a heavy 4-1 home loss to PAOK, but seeing that the Premier League side made a great start to the season, we predict that the visitors are going to return to Belarus empty-handed from the trip to London.
Highlighted Player (Mateo Kovacic):
Born to Croatian parents in Linz, Austria, Mateo Kovacic spent seven years in the LASK Linz youth academy before joining Dinamo Zagreb, where he showed a great deal of potential shortly after being promoted to the senior squad.
The good return of 7 goals in 43 league appearances saw him secure a high-profile move to Inter Milan, where he acted as both holding midfielder and attacking midfielder, during the three years at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. And despite not exactly impressing in Italy, Kovacic was purchased by mighty Real Madrid, where he has been ever since. The youngster is widely regarded as one of Croatia’s most talented footballers at the moment and he has represented the country on international stage since the age of 19.
In just three years he managed to make over 25 appearances for the national team, playing at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 finals for Vatreni. Kovavic has yet to be given a real chance to impress at Real Madrid, but he has entire future ahead of him.
Highlighted Team (BATE Borisov):
Bate Borisov are a Belarusian club based in Borisov. BATE is an acronym of Borisov Automobile and Tractor Electronics and it has to be noted that club was founded in 1973. One year later BATE Borisov wan Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic title and they won two more trophies in the competition (1976, 1979) before being disbanded in 1984.
In 1996 the club was re-established and they have been dominating the Belarusian Premier League ever since. The Belarusian giants won their 13th domestic trophy in the post-Soviet era in 2016, with the team finishing the season 11 points clear of second-placed Shakhtyor Soligorsk. BATE Borisov qualified for the Champions League group stages for the first time in the 2008/2009 season, but they failed to make it to the knockout stages of the elite competition.
A number of top-class footballers played for the club in the past and the likes of Alexander Hleb, Vitali Kutuzov and Yuri Zhevnon should be mentioned. BATE play their home games in blue shirts and blue shorts, while they wear yellow when playing on the road.