BATE Borisov plan to use lessons learnt from last season’s 6-0 defeat by Arsenal and Videoton’s performance against Chelsea when they visit Stamford Bridge on Thursday evening.
While Maurizio Sarri’s team are pursuing a third victory from three in Europa League Group L, his BATE counterpart Alyaksey Baha takes encouragement from his belief that Videoton were unfortunate when they lost 1-0 at the same venue earlier this month.
Eden Hazard’s absence through injury also offers further cause for confidence, and though they could again face Olivier Giroud — who scored twice against them last season for Arsenal — the experience of their last visit to London means they feel better prepared.
“We have followed all the games Chelsea have played,” said Baha. “Videoton played well, had plenty of chances and could have got a different result. They are an example for us.
“We analyse the games (against Arsenal) so we learnt from our mistakes. Now, a year later we are here in England, in London, playing against a top club, and we hope for a better result this time.
“It is kind of good news that Hazard is not playing, but it will still be a very strong line-up. Chelsea is the kind of team with so many players that will be capable of replacing Hazard with no problem.”
The influential Mikhail Gordeichuk and Nemanja Milunovic are absent through injury, and BATE are also still troubled by the recent death of long-serving chairman Anatoli Kapski, who last month died of cancer at the age of 52.
Asked if the fact his team, who have won 12 successive Belarusian league titles, have been playing consistently since April represents an advantage or disadvantage, Baha responded: “Our season started much earlier than here.
“But obviously the speed of the game and the level is so much higher in England, and the players here are on a different level. We shouldn’t be discussing any advantage that we have.”