Quarantine, the abolition of mass events, fights for toilet paper – this is not about Belarus. While the whole world goes dead at home and thinks what to do, Belarusians can go to currently the best football tournament in Europe – Belarus Vysshaya Liga. Yes, Belarus is a tough country, which President believes that ‘tractor therapy’ can cure a deadly virus.
Belarusian Premier League is what we deserve
If you have been sleeping for the last month or just did not care about football matches and opened the upcoming matches list, I can’t even imagine your surprise. When I opened soccer events for the weekend 27-29 of March, I saw only Nicaragua, Burundi and Belarus Leagues. So I let myself no choice but to dig deep into this strange world of Belarusian football to prepare myself for watching the best European football championship this weekend.
The first what I came into was Alexandr Hleb’s interview to The Sun and Fox Sports Australia. Hleb is probably the most famous Belarus football player. He played in three best leagues in the world: Bundesliga – Stuttgart, English Premier League – Arsenal, LaLiga – Barcelona. Nevertheless, Hleb finished his career in the native league just one year ago. His last professional club was BATE Borisov. So, in the interview to the Australian news portal, Alexandr Hleb commented on coronavirus in Belarus and new opportunities for Belarusian football.
“In Belarus, it’s like no one cares (about coronavirus). It’s incredible,” Hleb, amused. “All the world now watches the Belarusian league. Everybody should go to their television and see us. “When the NHL closed the season, a lot of ice hockey players went to Russia to play. Maybe Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo might come to the Belarus league to continue. You know?” – said Alexandr Hleb.
Belarus takes a completely different approach to world pandemic virus than the whole world. Therefore, I hope that Belarus football league will stay with us in these desperate times and every true football fan will have some football to watch on the weekends. Despite almost 100 recorded cases of COVID-19 in Belarus, the President has shocked the world with outstanding speech. ‘Belarusians do not suffer the same psychosis as those in Western Europe’ and in the country ‘no one is talking about the virus. In the villages, the tractor will heal everyone. The fields heal everyone.’
The season of Belarus Vysshaya Liga has just started. The teams have already played one matchweek with viewers. Let’s take a close look at Belarus League teams, players, and the schedule of the upcoming matches.
Belarusian Premier League best teams overview
FC Dynamo Brest
The last season champions, FC Dynamo Brest, is the most hyped team in the League. The fans always overcrowd club stadium, so the matches are full of emotions and goals. Five years ago, the team didn’t even have money to buy a 3G modem, however, now such stars of the post-Soviet space as Yevgeny Khacheridi and Artem Milevsky are coming to Brest. Over the past three seasons, the team has consistently shown one of the best football performances in the country, and outside the football field, it could give a solid competition even to top Russian and Ukrainian clubs.
The club owner had a long-term project to build a solid European team. He even invited Diego Maradona to club management. Diego worked in the club for half a year and it was clear for everyone that he was invited only for marketing purposes. The team collected many experienced Belarus, Ukrainian and Russian players last season. Enhanced with young and talented African players and lead by classic Czech coach Licka, FC Dynamo Brest won the Belarusian Premier League last season. However, nowadays the team is in a deep crisis. Experienced Belarusian players like forward Drahun and goalkeeper Hutar have left the club and moved to direct competitors. Moreover, being unsatisfied with team management, Czech coach Licka also left the team. Furthermore, the club president picked up one more team in Belarusian Premier League and seems like now he cares more about his new toy than about FC Dynamo Brest. Nevertheless, the team still has one of the strongest line-ups in the League and its ambitions are as high as in the previous season.
FC BATE Borisov
BATE was the strongest Belarus football team for ages. They often played in Champions League group stage and even got great results with the strongest European teams like Bayern Munich, when they defeated German football grand 3-1 at home in 2012. Nevertheless, every era sooner or later comes to an end. After the death of the club president, the prominent club role has come to his son who showed himself as a less skilled manager. Nowadays, BATE Borisov is no longer the strongest team in Belarus, but it only makes the competition for the Belarusian Premier League trophy even more interesting. BATE still have great footballers in the attack, so that I expect this team to score in every match.
FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk
The third power in the Belarusian Premier League is FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk. The main club sponsor, as of other Belarus clubs’ is a huge factory that is located in the same city. Last year, the club could well finish with the championship trophy, but the club president has fired team coach because of personal conflict. As a result, the team results dropped down significantly and finished in third place. This season, the team has started with former Zorya Luhansk coach, whose team showed a great football performance in the last season of Europe League. The club has reinforced its line-up with experienced CIS players and young European footballers, including former FC Ajax player. All in all, FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk should compete for the trophy this season, but nobody knows what is in mind of the club president.
FC Dynamo Minsk
Minsk team is called to make a solid competition for the three powers of Belarus football this season. The team was great in Soviet times but got ruined when the capitalist times come. Moreover, the former club president Hurenko was accused of match settlement and has to resign from his position. Starting from the last season, the club aims to return to the leading roles in Belarus. Dynamo Minsk has no star players this season, even in terms of the Belarus League. However, the club evolves the academy and lets young players play for the main team. The club has reloaded ahead of the season start and now looks like a fresh new team with young talented players and attractive playing style.
Upcoming matches schedule
The second matchweek of Belarus Vysshaya Liga starts on Friday, March 27. You can check the match schedule and sports odds on X-Bet.co. The most interesting games of Week 2 should be Rukh Brest – Energetik-BGU Minsk, March 27, 19:00 CEST. Rukh Brest is the most rapidly evolving Belarus team right now and Energetik-BGU Minsk or so-called ‘students’ play in the most beautiful football behind the top-4. The odds on teams to win the match are almost equal, so expect a tough competition on Friday.
Saturday will feature two interesting games as well. SFC Slutsk – Dynamo Brest is one of them. While the reigning champions go as a big favorite (odds 1.38), SFC Slutsk is a tough nut to crack and I would rather pick Asian Handicap SFC Slutsk +1.25 with X-Bet.co Sports odds 1.8. The other match is Minsk derby FC Minsk – FC Dynamo Minsk. This season Dynamo should be much higher than FC Minsk in league standings, as they are much better-organized team. Providing the odds are nice, I would pick Match Winner – Dinamo Minsk in this game with X-Bet.co Sports odds 1.96.
Sunday will feature only two matches. I recommend you to watch the game Smolevichi STI – Isloch Minsk that starts at 13:00 CEST. Isloch has ambitions to end the season in the European Cups zone. The team is a mix of experienced Belarus player and young African footballers lead by Belarus coach who is managing the team since it was in amateur leagues. Smolevichi should be at the bottom of the league, they do not have a strong squad or coach and the team plays in unattractive defensive football. Therefore, in this match, I would pick Match Winner – Isloch Minsk with X-Bet.co Sports odds 2.04.
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