Aris Limassol vs BATE Borisov Prediction, Preview, Team News, Lineups Jul 26, 2023 – Aris Limassol, the champions of Cyprus, will be hosting BATE Borisov from Belarus at Alphamega Stadium on Wednesday during the second round of the Champions League qualifiers.

While Aris is set to debut in Europe’s top club competition, BATE is a regular presence in the continental scene and has already defeated one contender for a group-stage spot earlier this summer.

Match preview

Last season, Aris, the third-largest team in Limassol, defied all expectations and defeated city rivals Apollon and AEL, as well as capital clubs Omonia and APOEL Nicosia, to claim the Cypriot First Division title.

After experiencing a miserable cycle of demotion and promotion in the past, the Light Brigade managed to rise to the top of the table during the championship round of the 2022-23 campaign. This campaign had started with their first-ever European adventure, although it was short-lived.

In the qualifiers for the Europa Conference League last summer, Aris made their debut in UEFA competition. However, despite winning the first leg 2-0 on home soil, they exited in the second round to Neftci Baku.

The investment made by Belarussian president Vladimir Fedorov has made such an uplift possible – he will now witness his club competing against the champions of his home country on Wednesday. Additionally, highly-rated head coach Aleksey Shpilevsky is involved in this achievement.

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The latter, who was unsurprisingly voted ‘coach of the season’ in Cyprus, recently led his team to victory in the Cypriot Super Cup last weekend. Despite a pre-season campaign featuring two wins and two defeats from five games, the 35-year-old helped his team succeed with a 2-0 win against Omonia.

Now, they are embarking on an improbable quest to reach the prestigious Champions League group phase, but a squad of experienced BATE Borisov players is standing in their way to secure a spot in the third qualifying round.

The side that emerges as the winner after two legs will face the victor of a tie between Rakow Czestochowa and Qarabag, while the losing team will be relegated to the third round of Europa League qualification.

BATE, recently victorious against Partizani Tirana, progressed from the first round. They achieved this by drawing 1-1 in the Albanian capital and subsequently winning 2-0 in Hungary, which serves as the Belarussian club’s home for European matches due to Ukraine’s conflict.

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During the second half at Mezokovesdi Varosi Stadion in last Tuesday’s decider, Vladislav Malkevich and Aleksandr Shestyuk scored, securing their progress and a trip to Cyprus this week.

In contrast to Aris, the Zholto-Sinie have made four appearances in UEFA group stages in the past decade. However, they are now making their first appearance in Champions League qualifying since 2019, when they were eliminated in the second round.

Kirill Alshevsky’s current team is currently in fourth place in their domestic top flight after playing 14 games. They will now travel to Limassol, having achieved a five-match unbeaten streak in all competitions.

Team News

Aris coach Aleksey Shpilevsky will have to make a minimum of one alteration to the team that began the Super Cup victory last week because English midfielder Morgan Brown, previously associated with non-league Stratford Town, will be unable to participate in Tuesday’s match due to suspension.

Veljko Nikolic might enter the starting lineup, while Matija Spoljaric could also be seen in the hosts’ midfield.

Vana, the Brazilian goalkeeper, once again assumes his position behind a defensive line of four players. However, Aleksandr Kokorin, who was last season’s top goalscorer with 13 goals and also won the Cypriot League MVP award, has returned to Fiorentina as his loan agreement has come to an end. As a result, Mariusz Stepinski and Mihlali Mayambela, who both scored in the Super Cup, are expected to form a striking partnership.

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Meanwhile, BATE will rely on Dmitry Antilevsky and Vladislav Malkevich, a Belarus international winger, for inspiration in the forward position.

Ruslan Khadarkevich, who was recently acquired from domestic rivals Dinamo Minsk, is expected to start in central defence. Valery Bocherov, on the other hand, will captain the visitors from midfield.


Aris Limassol possible starting lineup:
Vana; Medioub, Brorsson, Sane, Urosevic; Montnor, Nikolic, Szoke, Spoljaric; Mayambela, Stepinski

BATE Borisov possible starting lineup:
Kudravets; Nechaev, Khadarkevich, Bane, Jimoh; Gromyko, Bocherov, Grechikho; Malkevich, Antilevski, Kontsevoy

Prediction Is: Aris Limassol 2-1 BATE Borisov

Aris, somewhat of an unknown team in continental competitions, have made wise investments in recent years and are potentially ready to advance in Europe. Despite BATE having the advantage of being well into their domestic season, the home team’s small but passionate fan base, along with a few talented players, should be sufficient to secure a favorable lead in the first leg.

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