CL Preview: Barcelona v BATE Borisov

Published On: December 5, 2011, 9:37 pm
Author:
Emmanuel McCarthy
-- (m) at 5-12-2011 09:37PM

(2540 | Gistmaniac)

BARCELONA


Probable Line-Up: Pinto, Montoya, Fontas, Pique, Maxwell, Thiago, Dos Santos, Riverola, Kiko, Pedro, Cuenca

Vs.

BATE BORISOV


Probable Line-Up: Gutor, Filipenko, Simic, Yurevich, Bordachev, Volodko, Bressan, Baga, Pavlov, Kontsevoi, Skavysh

TEAM NEWS

Barcelona have already qualified as group winners and are expected to rest 13 first-team players for the last match of this stage. Key players such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, and Xavi are all expected to be given the night off against BATE Borisov.

A number of B team starlets are in line for a Champions League outing. Andreu Fontas and Martin Montoya may be given the nod in defence, and Jonathan Dos Santos and Marti Riverola are likely to be given the chance to impress in midfield.

As for Barca's attacking options, Isaac Cuenca, fresh from a goal against Levante, will feature and he may be joined by summer recruit Kiko Femenia and Pedro, who has missed recent action with injury.

The Catalan side are without Adriano, who pulled a hamstring in last week's win over Rayo Vallecano but the Brazilian should be available for the Clasico if needed. Ibrahim Afellay is a long term absentee with a cruciate ligament injury.


DID YOU KNOW?

The last encounter between Barcelona and BATE Borisov was the first meeting in history between the sides, and ended 5-0 to the Catalan side.

Barca are unbeaten in 12 European home matches since the shock defeat against Rubin Kazan in 2009. Since then they have won 10 matches and drawn two.

Pep Guardiola's side will progress as group winners no matter the result. They have a five-point advantage over second placed AC Milan.

BATE need to beat Barcelona at Camp Nou and hope AC Milan defeat Viktoria Plzen if they are to clinch third place in the group and a place in the Europa League.

The Belarusian side have played Spanish opposition five times, and lost every match.

BATE have never won an away match in the Champions League.