Preview: BATE Borisov vs. Sheriff Tiraspol

Preview: BATE Borisov vs. Sheriff Tiraspol

BATE Borisov will attempt to overturn a massive deficit of four goals when they play host to Sheriff Tiraspol in the second leg of the Europa League third qualifying round on Thursday evening.

After winning the first leg 5-1, Sheriff are in a commanding position and have already set one foot in the playoff round, where they will face the winner of the match between KI Klaksvik and Molde.

The hosts have a mountain to climb in this encounter despite Sidi Bane managing to score the Belarusian side’s only goal with their solitary shot on target in the 50th minute of the first-leg encounter last week.

BATE finished the regular season in third place last term, but following league winners Shakhtyor and second-placed Energetic-BGU’s points reduction, they were bumped up and found themselves competing in the Champions League qualifiers this season.

They beat Albanian league winners Partizani Tirana 3-1 in the first qualifying round but were handed an 11-5 beating by Cypriot First Division champions Aris Limassol in the second round at the start of the month.

Kirill Alshevskiy’s side’s league form has also taken a notable dip this season as they are currently in seventh place and have managed just six wins in their 14 matches, along with four draws and four losses.

While their chances of closing the deficit in this one look highly improbable, the hosts have been in good goalscoring form and will need at least one goal early on to keep their hopes alive. However, the more difficult task for them will be keeping a clean sheet.

Preview: BATE vs. Sheriff Tiraspol – prediction, team news, lineups
Meanwhile, perennial Moldovan League champions Sheriff are well on their way to defending their domestic league crown for a seventh consecutive season after beating Spartanii Selemet 2-0 over the weekend to take them to the top of the standings in the very early stages of the season.

Like their opponents, Sheriff were involved in Champions League qualifying over the last few weeks, which began with a closely-contested opener against Farul Constanta, where they had to come from a goal down in the first leg but managed to secure a 3-1 win a week later with Jerome Ngom Mbekeli and Peter Ademo scoring in extra time.

However, in the second round, it was Roberto Bordin’s men that found themselves losing out to two extra-time goals against Maccabi Haifa after his side were reduced to nine men late in the second half of the second leg.

The visitors have been ever-present in the European cups over the years, finishing third in their group in this competition last season and reaching the last 16 in the Conference League thereafter before being knocked out by Nice.

With a commanding lead, the Wasps are heavily fancied to reach the playoff round, but they need to ensure they do not slack off, as their opponents are likely to come flying out the blocks in search of an early goal.

BATE Borisov Europa League form:

BATE Borisov form (all competitions):

Sheriff Tiraspol Europa League form:

Sheriff Tiraspol form (all competitions):

We say: BATE Borisov 1-2 Sheriff Tiraspol (Sheriff Tiraspol to win 7-2 on aggregate)
Having already secured a comfortable lead, Sheriff will likely look to keep their clean sheet intact for as long as possible, and an early goal for them should bring an end to any lingering hope for the hosts. We fancy BATE to get on the scoresheet in front of their home fans but expect Sheriff to get the better of them once again.

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