Date: December 10, 2014
Venue: San Mames Barria, Bilbao, Spain
Kick-off time: 19:45 BST
The Champions League group game between Athletic Bilbao and BATE Borisov is the third place fight in the Group H. Bilabao’s form has suffered in early on in the season and that affected their Champions League bid too. BATE Borisov on the other hand were always the outsiders to progress.
Athletic are currently in third place with four points from five games, while BATE are fourth with three points and a depressing goal difference.
Athletic Bilbao form: W-W-W-D-L
Coach Mikel San Jose is confident of grabbing the third place in the group, but is not willing to downplay his opponents. BATE defeated Bilbao earlier in the season that started a string of defeats for Bilbao.
Bilbao won their previous group game against Shaktar Donestk that did not do much good for their hopes of progressing as they were already out of the race.
BATE Borisov form: L-W-W-L-D
BATE Borisov have been the whipping boys of the Group G, losing games by huge margins namely against Shaktar and FC Porto. BATE’s negative 20 goal difference is one disappointing record. The Belarusians had problems scoring goals, but were in their elements against equally appalling Athletic Bilbao side when they met the last time.
To take comfort from their previous encounter with Bilbao, BATE can hope for a win against them.
Athletic Bilbao: Iker Munian
The young Spanish midfielder is the heart of the Bilbao side and as an academy graduate; he is all what Bilbao setup represents. Lightening quick and sharp vision, he can deliver defence-splitting passes with ease. BATE needs to keep him in check.
BATE Borisov: Denis Polyakov
The Belarusian defender is an important part of the stable BATE defence. His contribution to attack as well as defence this season has been decent enough. Needs to step up against Bilbao
Bilbao (1.3) has the better side and with the squad gelling together, there is a good chance that they might get the third spot. A draw is at a tempting 6.0 however with BetVictor and less than 2.5 goals in the game is good value at 2.1.