The Belarusian Premier League went ahead and kicked off their season on Thursday despite the threat of the novel coronavirus. There were two fixtures being played Thursday, with Torpedo BelAZ and Energetyk-BGU both getting out to quick starts with wins in their season openers. Not only is the Belarus Premier League going ahead, they are allowing spectators into stadiums to watch. This might be one of the only notable leagues in the world that are playing with fans in the stadium.
As it currently stands, Belarus has 51 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with no national emergency announced, thus officials feel that it’s okay to start the season with fans present. Of course, it’s impossible to identify every possible case of the virus. That’s only the official number. In any event, if you’re looking for a league that is still operating with some normalcy, the Belarus Premier League is for you. The Australia A-League is still playing albeit without fans in attendance.
FC Dinamo Brest are coming off their first title in the Belarus Premier League, and the first time a different team has won the championship since way back 2005! I’ve never seen a run like that by a professional sports team before, and it’s not like there are only five or six teams in the league. So, it had to be refreshing for Belarus football fans to see somebody other than BATE Borisov raise the trophy in 2019.
Having said that, it’s not like BATE fell off the map in 2019. They finished with a record of 22-4-4 with 70 points, which put them 5 points behind champion, Dinamo Brest. Do not discount BATE in 2020 despite not winning an unbelievable 14th straight championship. They’re going to be a major threat to get back on track and win their 14th and 15 seasons. That said, BATE Borisov opened the season with a loss against Energetyk in a surprising showing. It was a surprising defeat for the powerhouse, but it’s only one game.
There is a newcomer to the Belarusian Premier League after Ruh Brest was promoted to the top league in Belarus. Previously a member of Belarus Second and First League, Ruh Brest will see if they have what it takes to compete with the bigger boys in Belarus. Ruh Brest opens the year against a mainstay of the Belarusian Premier League, Dinamo Minsk. Head below for our free Dinamo Minsk vs. Ruh Brest pick in the Belarus Premier League on March 20, 2020.
FC Dinamo Minsk vs. FC Ruh Brest Betting Odds:
Dinamo Minsk vs. Ruh Brest Prediction:
Ruh Brest needs some new competition after an easy route in the Pershaya Liga. The competition became a bit too simple for them. Not bad for a team that was founded in 2016 as an amateur outfit. They have been having success recently in friendlies against international competition, with wins over HIFK of Finland on March 10 and Obolon Kyiv on March 7 by scores of 2-0 and 2-1.
However, they were less successful against Altyn Asyr of the top division in Turkmenistan, 1-0. They also fell against RFS of Latvia by a score of 6-4 on February 24. This was a nice tune-up as they get ready for better competition in the Belarusian Premier League. It’s been evident that whenever they play opponents with superior talent, they tend to fold and can’t compete as well as they did in the Second League.
Going from Pershaya Liga to the Belarsuian Premier League is a big leap. That goes for any football leagues around the world. Finding success in an inferior league does not equate to wins at the next level. Oftentimes there can be a steep learning curve. Ruh Brest has their work cut out for them, and aren’t going to be winning championships at this level of play like they did before, at least initially.
For their first meaningful fixture versus a club, they’ll have to contend with one of the better teams in the league. They won’t have the luxury of drawing a pushover club to begin the 2020 campaign. Dinamo Minsk are coming off a fairly solid season, as they finished 4th out of 16 teams with a record of 15-5-10 and 50 points. Competing with the top three teams, Dinamo Brest, BATE, and Shakhtyor was too much, though.
Ruh Brest scored an average of 1.7 goals per match and conceded 1.7 goals a match in club friendlies in 2020. They made a nice living at pounding on the weaker clubs, though couldn’t find the same success against the better opponents. Expect that to continue as they venture into better competition. Dinamo Minsk fits into the better opponent category. Especially on the road at Stadyen Stadium, this should be a tough assignment for Ruh Brest in their first Belarusian Premier League fixture. It’s a hefty price, but this looks like a 1-0 or 2-0 win for the home squad on Saturday. The match is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. EST.