Preview: BATE v Valencia

BATE Borisov coach Viktor Goncharenko
BATE Borisov coach Viktor Goncharenko. Photo: PA

BATE Borisov coach Viktor Goncharenko is reluctant to look too far ahead even though his side could take a significant step towards the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday when they play host to Valencia.

BATE have been the surprise package of the group stages so far, beating Lille 3-1 to record their first-ever win at this stage of the competition and then following that up with a stunning 3-1 home triumph over German giants Bayern Munich.

Those two victories have left the Belarusian champions three points clear at the top of Group F and another win over Valencia tomorrow would put Goncharenko's men within touching distance of the knockout stages - last season five teams progressed through to the last 16 with nine points or less.

Goncharenko is remaining grounded about that prospect though, saying: "We are not looking at the table. We have a game tomorrow and we will do our best to play well and get the points."

BATE have lost all six of their encounters against Spanish opposition down the years, but Goncharenko is keen to point records are there to be broken.

"Prior to this season we didn't have a victory in the group stage of the Champions League, so I don't pay too much attention to statistics," he said.

"Moreover, I have confidence in this team. We are in good form and sooner or later those runs end, as we said before the match with Bayern."

While BATE go into the match in good form, winning eight of their last 10 matches and suffering just one defeat in 20 competitive outings, Valencia have had an indifferent start to their season under new coach Mauricio Pellegrino.

They are just ninth in La Liga after picking up 11 points from eight games, while in the Champions League they lost to Bayern before beating Lille 2-0 last time out.

However, they enjoyed a morale-boosting result at the weekend when they scored twice in the last two minutes to turn a 2-1 deficit against Athletic Bilbao into a 3-2 victory.

Valencia midfielder Ever Banega: "It was an important victory ahead of the trip to Belarus.

"We are going there to win, the team always has to go out with this mentality."

The Argentina international, who made his first appearance since breaking his leg in February as a late substitute in the Athletic match, is well aware of the threat BATE pose, though.

"They are a difficult team who play very well on the counter-attack, but we need to approach the game with calm," he said.