BATE Borisov vs Milan

October 31, 2011
By: John Hansen

Lowly BATE Borisov sit rock bottom after three rounds with just one point, and even though they have virtually lost all chances to qualify for the knockout stages, the Belarus side are eager to pick up as many points as possible to beat Viktorial Plzen to the third place in the group. Milan, on the other hand, have a great chance to come one step closer to winning the first place in the group, with the Rossoneri hot favourites to win this clash.

Milan and Barca too strong for BATE

BATE Borisov have really raised the club’s profile over the last few years, with the Belarus minnows becoming regular in top European competitions. With some very talented Belarus players in the squad and not too much foreigners, Viktor Gonacharenko’s side did well to qualify for the Champions League group stages, having eliminated Linfield, Ekranas and Sturm Graz, but they have found it really hard to cope with sides like Milan and Barcelona. The 5:0 home defeat to Barcelona proved that BATE are miles away from Europe’s top sides, and they could do nothing to avoid defeat at San Siro as well. The team have since secured the league title in Belarus, meaning they will be able to fully focus on this clash, but that is unlikely to help them achieve a respectable result against high-flying Milan.

Yegor Filipenko, Evgeni Kuntsevich, Alexandr Pavlov and Vitali Rodionov are all long-term casualties.

Milan back in business

Numerous injury problems prevented Milan from making a flying start to the new season, but the most important thing is that the Rossoneri have recently hit the ground running. Milan are currently on a five-match winning run, with their impressive performance against Roma showing that everything is now in perfect working order, so BATE players have every reason to fear this clash. The Rossoneri are scoring goals for fun at the moment, having bagged at least three goals in four of their last five games, and they are now determined to secure their place in the Champions League knockout rounds as soon as possible. With Serie A game against Catania due five days after the BATE clash, coach Maxi Allegri has no reason to rest his starters in Belarus and everything suggests that he will field his strongest possible line-up. Several important players are still out through injuries, but that shouldn’t be too big a problem.

Antonio Cassano is unlikely to feature after spending last few days in a hospital, while Mexes and Antonini are also out. Gennaro Gattuso and Mathieu Flamini remain long-term worries, but Clarence Seedorf and Alexandre Pato return to contention.

Verdict

This is a real no brainer for me as BATE simply don’t have enough quality to stop in-form Milan. With the Rossoneri likely to take this game very seriously, they should have no problems recording comfortable win and making a giant step towards the Champions League knockout rounds.

Our prediction: Milan with -1 Asian handicap

Odds: 2.10 (11/10)

Bookmaker: 188BET

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