Tuesday, 12 July 2016

BATE vs SJK Champions League Football Match Preview And Prediction - July 13, 2016

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BATE Borisov have enjoyed a sensational rise to prominence over the past 15 years or so. It was only back in 1996 that they were down in the Belarus 3rd tier, and just 20 years later they find themselves considered regulars in the Champions League group stages.

They have made the group stages of the Champions League in four of their last five seasons and have only been eliminated once at this stage of the competition in the past ten years, with that being a disappointing 2-0 aggregate loss to Shakhter Karagandy in the 2013/14 instalment.

As usual, they are looking like sure fire favourites to top their domestic league this season. They hold an eight point advantage over Shakhtyor after 15 games, and they come into this match unbeaten in five and with four wins to their name during that period.

SJK don’t have the same pedigree in the Champions League as their opponents. In fact, they don’t have any pedigree in it whatsoever. This is their first ever appearance in the Europe’s top club competition after they won their first Finnish title last season.

They made their first ever Europa League appearances last season as Icelandic champions FH beat them 2-0 on aggregate, but now they’re facing a much tougher task.

SJK aren’t even performing well in the Finnish Veikkausliiga at the moment either. They sit in 7th position in the table with just 23 points from their opening 17 matches. They have lost three of their last seven in all competitions.

I’m expecting BATE to build up a healthy lead in this first leg, and they have generally been good at home in the Champions League over the years. They have won seven of their last 11 home Champions League games, including victories against Roma and Athletic Bilbao. This makes a prediction of a BATE -1.5 Asian Handicap look excellent value at 1.950, and I’m going for a comfortable 3-0 correct score prediction at 13/2 as well.

Centre back Nemanja Milunovic and striker Nikolai Signevich are both sidelined for BATE.

SJK are hoping for a clean bill of health on Tuesday.

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