By 90Min
November 07, 2018

Chelsea will make their first ever trip to Belarus to face BATE Borisov in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.

The Blues defeated the Belarusian Premier League champions 3-1 in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge and have the opportunity of sealing their place in the competition's next stage with a win. 


BATE, meanwhile, sit bottom of Group L with one win and will rely on home advantage to earn them an unlikely second on Thursday evening.

Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages

Check out 90min's preview for the match below.


How to Watch

When Is Kick Off? Thursday 8 November
What Time Is Kick Off? 17:55 (BST)
Where Is It Played? Borisov Arena
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport
Referee? Nikola Dabanović

Team News

Chelsea have received a boost upfront, with striker Olivier Giroud returning to full fitness after overcoming muscle fatigue. The Frenchman missed his side's win over Crystal Palace on Sunday and could replace Alvaro Morata upfront against BATE.

Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Eden Hazard returned from a lay-off with a substitute appearance against Palace and is in line to feature at the Borisov Arena. 

Maurizio Sarri could, however, rotate his lineup against BATE ahead of their Premier League game against Everton on Sunday.


Predicted Lineups

BATE Borisov Scherbitski; Rios, Filipovic, Filipenko, Volodko; Baga, Dragun, Hleb; Skavysh, Tuominen, Stasevich.
Chelsea Kepa; Zappacosta, Cahill, Christensen, Emerson; Kovačić, Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek; Willian, Morata, Pedro.

Head to Head Record

This is only the second time Chelsea face BATE following their win over the Belarusian club in the reverse fixture, which saw BATE visit Stamford Bridge for the first time in their history.

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

Ruben Loftus-Cheek enjoyed a hat-trick on the night, earning the Blues the three points which set them up well for progression on Thursday evening.


Recent Form

BATE strengthened their lead on top of the Belarusian Premier League table with a 1-0 win over Neman on Sunday. That represented their third straight win since their defeat at Stamford Bridge and put them well on their way to successfully defending their title with a comfortable 14-point gap between them and second placed FC Shakhtyor.


Their Europa League form has been disappointing, however, as they sit bottom of Group L.

Better fortunes for Chelsea, who top Group L with three wins in the competition. The London club are still unbeaten in all competitions so far and form part of an early three-horse race to be the winners of England's top flight come the end of the season.


Here's a look at how each team has performed in their last five games:

BATE Borisov Chelsea
BATE 1-0 Neman (4/11) Chelsea 3-1 Crystal Palace (4/11)
Dinamo Brest 1-3 BATE (31/10) Chelsea 3-2 Derby County (31/10)
Gomel 0-1 BATE (28/10) Burnley 0-4 Chelsea (28/10)
Chelsea 3-1 BATE (25/10) Chelsea 3-1 BATE (25/10)
BATE 3-2 Gorodeya (20/10) Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United (20/10)

Prediction

That this is Chelsea's first trip to Belarus may present a hint of uncertainty at the possible result of this match and BATE will look to exploit their inexperience in front of the Borisov Arena, as they look to give themselves a chance of progressing from the group.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

However, Sarri's men are aware of the task at hand and it's permutations, so will run out to put in a performance good enough to earn them a win and three points that will seal their place in the next round.

Prediction: BATE Borisov 1-2 Chelsea

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