Debrecen host BATE tonight with an away goal advantage, but will have to be wary of the Belarusians who have plenty of European pedigree. (Kick off 20:30 Local Time)
Loki were the better side in last Wednesday’s clash, and deservedly went ahead after Sidibe netted with half an hour to go.
A lacklustre performance from BATE suddenly came to life following the goal. And as they pushed hard for the equaliser, it finally came as Sidibe inadvertently scored his 2nd of the game with virtually the last kick of the match, this time into his own net..
It was heartbreak for Loki but confidence should still be high with the Hungarians and a win is very much expected tonight.
Not one single first team player featured in NBI at the weekend, so a full week’s rest and a full week’s preparation for tonight’s game should stand last year’s champions in good stead.
BATE will be a threat tonight, though and shouldn’t be ruled out of getting a surprise victory. They’ve won the last 6 titles in Belarus, and have qualified for the group stage in European competitions 3 of the last 4 years.
Former Barcelona midfielder Alexander Hleb will undoubtedly be the major threat. He was fairly anonymous last week, but with more match fitness under his belt, he is sure to be play a major part.
I expect Debrecen to go through, especially considering how much better they are at home compared to away, but you just don’t know which BATE team will turn up.