Football in general may be on an enforced hiatus, but for the professionals in the Belarussian Premier League, life continues as normal as the teams continue on with their 2020 season. The season only began in March (the Belarussian season runs from early spring through to the autumn, with the harsh winters experienced in the country making winter football all but impossible).
With so little football on offer, the fact that punters and fans can tune in to watch the action unfold, on services such as bet365 Sport Live Streaming, means that there has been lots more money wagered on these games than usual and fans are also taking an active interest in the teams, with some teams, notably Vitebsk and FC Slutsk enjoying a resurgence in popularity with fans across the globe on social media.
However, it is fair to say that not even the most ardent of football fans and bettors is going to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Belarussian game. Indeed, many people would be hard pressed to name a team from the country, let alone some of the top players that ply their trade in this particular league.
So with that in mind, we have put together a little guide about what punters should know about the Belarussian football league, with the notion that if you are going to enjoy a bet on it, then you should have at least some basic knowledge about the league and its teams to help you.
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Belarus Premier League Table (as of 9th March 2020)
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The fifth round of games in the Belarussian Premier League get underway on Thursday 16th April and run through until Saturday 18th April. The eight games are outlined below in order of kick off times from Thursday through to Saturday.
- Energetic-BGU Minsk v FK Gorodeya
- Dinamo Minsk v Neman.Grodno
- Belshina Bobruisk v Smolevichi
- Shakhter Soligorsk v FC Slutsk
- FK Ruh Brest v FC Minsk
- Isloch v Slavia Mozyr
- FC Vitebsk v Dinamo Brest
- BATE Borisov v Torpedo Zhodino
Betting is available on all of these games right now at bet365 Sport, and you can also bet on which team will eventually win the Belarussian Premier League. If you place a bet within the preceding 24 hours of any of the games above or have a credit balance in your bet365 Sport account, then you can tune into each game via bet365’s excellent and free Live Streaming service. In Play betting may also be available on the games.
Let’s now learn a little more about some of the 16 teams that are in the Belarussian League, focusing on those with the most realistic ambitions of the title. We will start with the team that ended BATE Borisov’s 13 year run of dominance in the league, Dinamo Brest.
Belarussian Title Contenders
Dinamo Brest (Champions) – Located in the south west of the country, the three-time Belarussian cup winners became Champions of Belarus for the first time last season. Founded 60 years ago, the team is managed by Sergey Kovalchuk. The team lost just one game last season in clinching the title. Star Man – Artem Milevskiy – Title Odds – 7/4
BATE Borisov – The 15-time winners of the Belarussian Premier League, and three-time cup winners, BATE have been the dominant force in Belarus football for many years. Since earning promotion to the top division in 1998, they have only finished outside the top two on two occasions. They have also claimed some big scalps in European football over the years with wins over Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Lille and AS Roma to their credit, as well as draws with Paris St Germain, Milan and Juventus. Their head coach is Kirill Alshevsky and they are based in Borisov, which is close to the capital Minsk. Star Man – Ihar Stasevich (5-time Belarus Player of the Year) – Title Odds – 6/5 favourites.
Shakhter Soligorsk – Lying directly south of the capital, Shakhtar Soligorsk have won the Belarussian Premier League title once in the past, back in 2004, although they have lifted the cup on three occasions. The team has a number of imported stars in it, including defender Nikola Antic and midfielder Tin Vukmanic.. They have finished second or third in the table every year since 2010 and are based on a solid defence. Star Man – Darko Bodul – Title Odds – 9/2
Dinamo Minsk – The most popularly supported team in Belarus and the one with the largest stadium (22,000 capacity). Dinamo Minsk have won the Belarussian League on seven occasions, but their last came back in 2004 and before that all their other wins were in the first years of the league. Recent years have seen success thin on the ground and despite a number of talented players including Dominik Dinga, Danilo and Igor Shitov, Sergei Gurenko’s team will have to go some to make a real impact at the top of the table. Star Man – Igor Shitov – Title Odds – 25/1.
Other Belarussian Facts
- Aleksander Hleb is the country’s most famous footballer. He earned 80 caps for his country in a career that only ended at the end of last season when Hleb played his final season for Isloch. Prior to that he had enjoyed a successful career including spells at Barcelona, Arsenal, Vfb Stuttgart and Birmingham City.
- The first league season in Belarus came in 1992, one year after the country was granted independence from the crumbling Soviet Union.
- Four teams have played all 29 seasons in the Belarus top division. Dinamo Minsk, Shakhtar Soligirsk, Neman Grodno and Dinamo Brest. In contrast, Rukh Brest are playing their first ever season in the top flight this season.
*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of 11am on Tuesday 14th April 2020.