The second week of the Belarusian Premier League wraps up on Sunday with a couple of matches in Belarus. There’s already been another major shocker in the Premier League with BATE falling to 0-0-2 on the season. This is a club that has come close to losing just two matches in a year for the past 15 seasons. Before losing the finals last season, BATE won the league for an incredible 13 straight years before coming up short a season ago.
These were two winnable games for BATE. Could there be a changing of the guard in Belarus? Perhaps it’s time for more parity in the Belarusian Premier League after BATE made a joke out of everyone else. BATE finished 2nd behind Dinamo Brest with a record of 22-4-4 and 70 points. Two fixtures into 2020 and they’re only two losses away from matching that loss total.
There’s still a lot of football left to be played, but BATE hasn’t been able to find their game thus far. Minsk, Energetyk, and Torpedo are the hottest teams out of the gate at the start of the Premier League in 2020. BATE can be found at the bottom of the table. Don’t expect to see BATE getting demoted to the First League or anything, but they no longer look like the contenders like once were.
This has to be the most widely followed football league now as a result of the coronavirus. The Belarusian Premier League would only be a blip on the map if the world was operating normally. It’s an opportunity for Belarus to be in the limelight when they otherwise wouldn’t be getting this attention. If the pandemic drags on, the Belarus Premier League might have the biggest betting handle of football leagues in the world. As unbelievable as that sounds.
Belarus shows no signs of slowing their sports down and allowing spectators, so they could be in it for the long haul. Isloch and Smolevichi will play their second matches of the season on Sunday. Isloch was on the winning side with a 1-0 victory over Neman Grodno, while Smolevichi was good enough for a 1-1 draw versus Dinamo Brest.
That’s not a bad draw at all for Smolevichi against the defending champs of the Belarusian Premier League. Smolevichi was playing in the First League last season, so it was a nice debut for them in 2020. Head below for our free Isloch vs. Smolevichi pick on March 29, 2020.
FC Isloch vs. FC Smolevichi Betting Odds:
FC Isloch vs. FC Smolevichi Prediction:
FC Isloch had a fairly productive 2019, as they finished 13-8-9 with 47 points. They were no match for the three heavyweights of the Premier League, but held in there to finish 5th out of 16 clubs. It’s unlikely they were able to get over the hump in 2020, but should continue to improve from last season. If BATE is out of the way and they regress significantly, that would certainly help nicely. Isloch were one of only four teams that finished with a goal differential greater than +5 in 2019. With 3rd ranked Shakhtyor with a +38, there is still plenty of work to do if they want to compete with those teams.
Smolevichi was able to pick on a Dinamo Brest club that did not take their opponent seriously. On Dinamo Bret’s best day, they likely don’t have issues against Smolevichi. It was probably a case of going into it without much focus, while Smolevichi were excited to be there. Having said that, it’s not like the final score was indicative of how the match progressed. Dinamo Brest registered 7 shots on target, and Smolevichi managed only 2 shots, with one of them fortunately landing in the back of the net. Smolevichi committed more fouls than Dinamo Brest with 19 as opposed to 12. If Dinamo Brest truly cared and the match was important, we likely see a 2-1 or 3-1 win for them.
Isloch has had an impossible defence to penetrate. Heading into the Premier League opener, Isloch didn’t allow a goal in three straight matches in Cup and friendly competition. That trend continued against Neman Grodno, as they didn’t give up a goal in a 1-0 victory. Despite finding a goal against Dinamo Brest, Smolevichi had issues generating consistent pressure. They didn’t have too many dangerous attacks. It’s likely going to be a problem on Sunday as well. Expect a 1-0 or 2-0 win for Isloch at Stadyen Dynama in this one.