BATE Borisov (pictured above in training this week) are within three wins of winning another Belarusian Premier League title but this weekend face a crunch game against second-placed Shakhter Soligorsk. Photo by @FCBATE (Twitter).
- It’s Matchday 28 in the Belarusian Premier League with games starting on Friday
- With just three games to go BATE lead Shakhtar by a single point in what is now a two-horse race
- We list the odds for the three top games, offering our best picks for each
With only three games to go, it’s BATE’s title to lose, but their lead at the top of the Belarus Premier League is a slender one. They lead Shakhter by a single point and the two teams meet this weekend in what some see as a title-decider.
There’s also a two-way battle developing for the third relegation place, one that requires a playoff match with the third-placed team in the second division.
We list the odds for all of this weekend’s games followed by a best bet for our top three. As of this writing odds for three of the weekend’s matches have yet to be posted.
Belarus Premier League Matchday 28 Odds
|FC Slutsk vs Gorodeya||+115||+200||+240|
|Dinamo Brest vs Torpedo BelAZ||+105||+270||+195|
|Shakhter Soligorsk vs BATE Borisov||+185||+165||+175|
|Isloch vs FC Minks||-195||+270||+500|
|Vitebsk vs Rukh Brest||-115||+210||+310|
|Smolevichi vs Neman||—||—||—|
|Belshina vs Energetik-BGU||—||—||—|
|Slavia Mozyr vs Dinamo Minsk||—||—||—|
All odds taken Nov 5 at FanDuel
Pick 1: Shakhter Soligorsk vs BATE Borisov
It’s first versus second in Soligorsk, with BATE leading the race by just a single point with three left to play. That single-point lead means it’s BATE’s title to lose as they close in on their 16th title but they also know from experience that getting over the line is often the hardest part of any title-winning campaign.
Two defeats in their last three have hindered Shakhter’s own hopes of winning the league but a win here will put them back in control of their own destiny. There’s also the added incentive of them not wanting to see BATE being proclaimed champions-elect on their own turf; something that would be especially hard to take after going so close themselves.
When these two met back in June it ended 2-2 and everything points to this being equally tight, with the bookies also finding it very hard to separate the home win, away win, and the draw.
💥NEXT MATCH 💥
⚽ FC Shakhter Soligorsk – FC BATE Borisov
🏆 Championship of Belarus, 28th round
🗓 November 7
📺 https://t.co/gFPCX0Hchr, B5
#SHAKBATE #alwaysfirst pic.twitter.com/7eyc0xi6IF
— FC BATE Borisov (@FCBATE) November 3, 2020
Central to Shakhter’s title bid has been an ultra-mean defense that’s only conceded 17 goals all season – by some way the best in the league – but, crucially, they’ve achieved this without compromising their ability to score goals. They’re the third-highest scorers in the league behind BATE and Dinamo Brest.
So, on that basis, I’m going for a narrow home win; one that will throw the title race wide open.
Pick: Shakhter to win (+185)
Pick 2: Dinamo Brest vs Torpedo BelAZ
Dinamo have had a barnstorming end to the season and come into this off the back of six wins and a draw in their last seven games. While this is, on the face of it, title-winning form, a disappointing middle third of the season has left them with only an outside chance of making it into the top three.
This makes for a tricky game for Torpedo who, themselves, still have a chance of making the top three and desperately need a win to keep those hopes alive. Going into this game, Dinamo are just a single point ahead of Torpedo in the table.
When these two met back in June in Zhodino, Dinamo won 2-0 and so, in addition to being at home, have a slight psychological advantage. For me though, with a European place potentially at stake and defeat being unthinkable for both teams, the value here is with the draw.
Pick: Dinamo and Torpedo to draw (+270)
2021 UEFA Champions League Odds Tracker
Pick 3: FC Slutsk vs Gorodeya
As relegation battles go, they don’t come much bigger than this. While the bottom two automatic relegation places are pretty much nailed down – Smolevichi are done and Belshina needs a mini-miracle – the battle for 14th, the relegation playoff place, is still alive.
Slutsk and Gorodeya are currently tied on 27 points – six clear of 15th-place Belshina but six behind 12th-placed Slavia – and so are locked in a two-way battle to avoid that dreaded playoff game.
Back in early June, when these two sides met in the reverse fixture, Gorodeya beat FC Slutsk 3-0 in Haradzeya (Gorodeya’s base), and so know what it takes to beat a Slutsk team that, amazingly, started the season with just one defeat in their opening seven games.
Since those heady days of April and May, Slutsk have found wins very hard to come by – just three in their last 20 – but, and it’s a big but, they did win last weekend; their 2-0 away win at Energetik being one of their best of the season.
Gorodeya also won last weekend – 4-0 at home to bottom-placed Smolevichi – but Slutsk will be extra-buoyed by their win given the trickiness of that game, and I can see them sneaking a narrow win here.
Pick: Slutsk to win 1-0 (+750)
Once just a sports fanatic, fan-turned-writer Gary Gowers has been featured on European television and radio networks to discuss several professional football clubs. His work can be found in an assortment of publications like The Metro, MyFootballWriter.com, and BBC Radio Norfolk.