The final match of the day on Saturday in the Belarusian Premier League features a good contest between BATE Borisov and Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino. BATE have been the class of football in Belarus since the mid-2000’s, but couldn’t record their 14th straight championship in 2019. It was about time somebody took the torch from BATE and a new winner came to the forefront in Belarus.
That team was Dinamo Brest, as they finished with a record of 23-6-1 and 75 points. It was an incredible run to end a historic 13-year championship streak by BATE. BATE started this year looking a bit hungover, with two losses to open the season. Despite not winning last year, BATE still went 22-4-4.
In just two weeks, BATE were already halfway to matching their loss total from a season ago. They did wake up against Rukh Brest and Minsk. BATE recorded a 1-0 win for their first of the season, and then followed it up with their best win of the season, 3-0, over Minsk last week. Sandwiched between those two matches, they lost a Cup match against Slavia. That wasn’t a good look for them, but I think it’s all about motivation for them.
When BATE wants to play, we get the product from last week against Minsk. They pounded Minsk for their first complete effort of 2020. BATE put 9 shots on target, with only 2 shots sailing wide of the mark. The match was over in the first-half as they went into halftime with a 2-0 lead on Minsk. They likely could have won by more than 3 goals, but preferred to sit back and relax with a comfortable lead.
Torpedo-BelAZ will be a nice measuring stick for BATE on Saturday. We’ll see if that win was a fluke, or BATE is really turning a corner and getting their confidence back. Torpedo have been playing confident football in 2020, as they look to build on a record of 3-0-1 record going into Saturday. They are tied with Gorodeya and Energetyk for the No. 2 spot in the Belarusian Premier League. A tough task awaits them on the road on Saturday. Head below for our free BATE Borisov vs. Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino pick for April 18, 2020.
BATE Borisov vs. Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino Betting Odds:
BATE Borisov vs. Topedo-BelAZ Zhodino Prediction:
BATE didn’t win last season, but were still one of the major threats in the Premier League. In a usual season, they probably win again, but Dinamo Brest had an exceptional season that went above and beyond. While BATE have been slow starters in 2020, I think they can change the tide and put their stamp on this season. The rest of the league might believe that BATE is done terrorizing the Belarusian Premier League, and while parity is likely going to continue, BATE is not going anywhere.
The loss against Slavia in Cup competition might have served as their wake up call. They looked like an entirely different team last week against Minsk. They won every category on the pitch, with time of possession, less fouls, shots, and the most important in goals. Statistically they’ve been average with 1.5 goals scored per match and 1.25 goals conceded. They’ve played better in Cup play in 2019-20, with 3.6 goals scored per match and 1.4 conceded defensively. At home they’ve been unbeatable, with 5.5 goals a game and 1.5 surrendered. I think it’s only a matter of time before those average numbers begin to improve for BATE.
Torpedo is a formidable opponent for BATE, as they’ve been playing in good form in 2020. They have netted 1 goal per match, while allowing 0.5 goals. However, in two matches on the road, Zhodino have not been as effective. As a visitor, they’ve notched 0.5 goals per match and conceded a goal in two matches on the road. In their most recent meeting at BATE, Zhodino were blown off the pitch for a 4-1 loss. Don’t expect to see a result like that on Saturday. BATE will face some resistance, but they should have enough in them to register a 2-1 win for their third straight win in the Premier League in 2020.