Belarus PL: Flying start has Slutsk fans daring to dream

Who needs the Bundesliga when you've got the Belarusian Premier League? Our Vysheyshaya Liga expert Ben McNicol looks ahead to another eight matches this weekend.

Ben McNicol

Slutsk’s unbelievable start to the season continued last weekend as they toppled Dinamo Minsk 2-1 on their own patch and some of the ‘Slutsk Army’ have even been dreaming of winning the league.

Vitali Pavlov’s men go in search of their fourth consecutive win this weekend when they welcome Energetik BGU-Minsk to Gorodskoy with the visitors finally ending their losing streak last Friday with a comfortable 2-0 win against strugglers FC Smolevichi.

FC Gorodeya were on the end of a last-minute equaliser against RUKH Brest last weekend but have an excellent opportunity to get back to winning ways as they host FC Minsk on Friday evening.

The away side started the campaign well but have derailed quite badly since and were blown away by Torpedo Zhodino last time out in a 5-2 home defeat.

Struggling Slavia Mozyr managed to put an end to their horrible run of form last weekend as they somehow ran out 3-2 winners away to Vitebsk. However, they will face a stern test against one of the best defences in the league this weekend in Zhodino.

Slavia will have to be at the top of their game if they want to wrap up back to back wins for the first time in a month as the visitors have only lost one of their last seven and it would be no surprise to see them continue that fine run of form this weekend against an inconsistent Mozyr side.

Neman’s poor start against BATE last weekend left them with no chance and although they were the better side for the majority of the second half, you simply can’t give a team like BATE Borisov a two-goal head-start.

But they have an excellent chance to move themselves further clear of the relegation zone on Saturday evening as they host RUKH Brest.

Ivan Vorsovich’s men have an outstanding home record, winning two and drawing one of their three home games, but more impressively they haven’t lost at the Neman Stadium since October 2019.

Combine that with the fact that the visitors have failed to score in their last three away matches means it’s hard to see past a home win here.

Rather than Super Saturday, this weekend sees a Super Sunday as we have no fewer than four live games to look forward to with Isloch hosting Belshina Bobruisk in the first of this quality quartet at 12pm.

Isloch continued to show that they struggle on the road as they recorded back to back away defeats with a 4-0 hammering against Soligorsk and will no doubt be delighted that they are back on home turf this weekend and they face Belshina Bobruisk – one of two teams still yet to win a game this season.

Isloch have played five of their first seven league games at the FC Minsk Stadium and won four of them, with their only defeat coming against league leaders FC Slutsk and should have enough to see off the team currently sitting bottom of the table.

Shaktyor Soligorsk have made a real statement of intent over the last couple of weeks and – following a slow start to the season – have recorded consecutive wins that should give them the confidence to blow away Isloch.

It’s fair to say that hosts Vitebsk blew it against Slavia Mozyr last Sunday, but they have won two of their three home games to nil this season and look more than capable of getting all-three points against Shakhtyor in Sunday’s second fixture at 2pm.

BATE Borisov have got their season back on track in recent weeks and bounced back strongly from their disappointing start to the league campaign and are now unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions; even managing to overcome a one-goal deficit in a cup game against Slavia Mozyr.

Last weekends win against Neman show that BATE mean business and want to regain that title after their long reign as champions came to an end last season and, in all honesty, they should have little problems in downing FC Smolevichi, another team who are yet to win a game this season.

Smolevichi have only managed to score three goals in their opening seven matches and will need to buck up their ideas quick and fast if they want to get anything from Sunday’s fixture.

To wrap up what should be a cracking weekend of football it’s Dinamo Minsk versus Dynamo Brest on Sunday evening and it’s fair to say that Brest’s title defence hasn’t gone to plan so far, as the reigning champions won just two if their opening six before getting back to winnings ways against Belshina last weekend.

Meanwhile, Minsk managed to put an end to their long winless away run a couple of weeks ago with a 3-1 win against Smolevichi, but you do have to worry about their woeful away record as that was their first victory on the road since October last year.

Weekend Fixtures


Slutsk vs Energetyk-BGU 3pm
Gorodeya vs FC Minsk 5pm


Slavia Mozyr vs Torpedo Zhodino 1pm
Neman Grodno vs Rukh Brest 3pm


Isloch Minsk vs Belshina 12pm
FC Vitebsk vs Shakhtyor 2pm
Smolevichi-STI vs BATE 4pm
Dinamo Brest vs Dinamo Minsk 6pm

About the Author

Ben McNicol is a football fanatic who has been a season ticket holder at Hamilton Academical for nearly 15 years. An aspiring sports journalist and has his own blog where he posts all sorts of things such as match reports, player interviews etc.

Groundhopping is also a huge passion of Ben’s and he has enjoyed watching football around Europe in the last couple of years, visiting some amazing stadiums such as the San Siro and The Phillips Stadion to name a few.

Take a look at Ben’s Blog form more great football writing and follow him on Twitter at @ben_hafc18

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