Belarus is home of one of the only games in the world, as the Belarusian Premier League continues with the opening weekend in the top football league in Belarus. Okay, that’s not exactly true. If you look hard enough there are other sports playing their leagues, notably in Australia where the AFL, NRL, and A-League are still underway. However, it’s one of the only reputable leagues that are playing in front of fans.
With around 50 confirmed cases, Belarus is going to keep the football action rolling along without any disruptions, at least for the present. The season opened on Thursday with an upset of powerhouse BATE Borisov. After failing to win their 14th straight championship in the Belarusian Premier League, BATE may have been caught slightly off guard against Energetyk-BGU. BATE even went so far to reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League in 2008, the first team to do so.
Is there going to be a change of dominance in the Belarusian Premier League in 2020? It’s unlikely that BATE are going to be going anywhere, but it might be a way more wide open league than it’s typically been in Belarus. Dinamo Brest was certainly the class of the Premier League in Belarus in 2019. They finished with an impressive record of 23-6-1 to finish ahead of the 13-time defending champions.
BATE were still competitive, as they finished with a strong mark of 24-4-4 to get to the final contest against Dinamo Brest. BATE, Dinamo Brest, and Shakhtyor were in a class of their own, while the rest of the Belarusian Premier League was a mile behind them. BATE got out to a slow start in the season opener with a loss, though we’ll see how they respond to the discouraging 3-1 loss versus Energetyk-BGU. There might actually be some value on BATE with that in mind, but it’s doubtful handicappers shy away from them yet.
Isloch competed and did reasonably well last season, but were no match from the top-3 clubs. They completed the 2019 campaign with a record of 13-8-9 to finish behind Dinamo Minsk. Solid year, but just not enough firepower to compete with BATE and Dinamo Brest. That said, Isloch showed nice improvements from their record of 8-9-13 in 2018. They were one of seven teams who completed the season with a goal differential on the + side. Conversely, Neman Grodno locked in a record of 10-6-14 in 2019, as they regressed from 12-7-11 in 2018. Head below for our free Isloch vs. Neman Grodno pick in the Belarsuain Premier League on March 21, 2020.
FC Isloch vs. FC Neman Grodno Betting Odds:
Isloch vs. Neman Grodno Prediction:
Isloch played an average friendly schedule leading up to the start of the Premier League opener. They went 2-3-2 with a couple of wins and losses during their seven friendlies in 2020. Their offence wasn’t in an attacking mood for the most part, and sat back to score 0.71 goals per match. The defence was efficient, though, and looked prepared for the start of the regular season. They conceded only 0.86 goals a match and didn’t allow a goal at home. During the Belarusian Premier League in 2019, Isloch finished with a goal differential of +6, which was the third best in the league. Despite finishing behind Dinamo Minsk, they were two goals better than them.
Neman Grodno could have made a better effort, though. They concluded the season with a -9 goal differential to finish well behind the competition. Their effort on the road wasn’t the best, as they notched just 6 wins in 15 fixtures on the road. However, Neman Grodno didn’t look too bad during recent friendlies in 2020. They went 5-3-2 in ten games, including a 1-1 draw against Minsk in their most recent outing before opening up the season this weekend. Meanwhile, Isloch is coming off two draws against Dinamo Brest. Four of their last seven contests have resulted in a tie.
The last meeting against Isloch and Neman Grodno took place in August during the 2019 Premier League schedule. The fixture went to a 1-1 draw, with scoring taking place at the 66’ and 79’ marks. Isloch got the lead and then gave it back shortly after. Shots on target were just about even at 8 to 7, and each club had 6 shots wide. Isloch led in time of possession with 58%. This is a match featuring two mediocre Belarusian Premier League teams who are going to play second-fiddle to the big boys yet again in 2020. Isloch showed signs of improvement in 2019, though this is still an evenly matched competition. There appears to be solid value on a draw at +264.