- Soccer continues in Belarus and this week it’s the two cup semifinal second-leg ties
- Shakhtyor Soligorsk host Dinamo Brest in semifinal 1 and in the other game Slavia Mozyr head to BATE Borisov
- We preview both games, look at the form of both teams, and look at some odds and picks
Most of the sporting world continues its lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, but soccer in Belarus continues apace. This Wednesday, April 29, it’s the semifinal second legs in the Belarus Cup. In the first legs, Slavia Mozyr beat BATE Borisov 1-0, while Shakhtyor Soligorsk lost 2-0 away to Dinamo Brest.
We preview both games, look at the best odds, and offer our best picks.
Semifinal 1: Shakhtyor Soligorsk vs Dinamo Brest Odds
|Shakhtyor Soligorsk||-0.5 (-105)||-105||O 2.0, 2.5 (-104)|
|Dinamo Brest||+0.5 (+115)||+302||U 2.0, 2.5 (-116)|
All odds taken Apr. 27
Home Advantage the Key?
Brest’s 2-0 win in the first leg has put them in pole position for a place in the final but Shakhtyor’s home advantage makes this second leg an intriguing one, especially as they beat Dinamo 2-0 away in the Premier League on Saturday.
A goal in each half from Maksim Vitus and Vitali Lisakovich were enough to give Brest a comfortable away win, a result that will give them a decisive psychological advantage ahead of Wednesday’s game.
Shakhtyor also has the edge overall, with 29 wins from the 60 meetings of the two teams, with Dinamo winning 17. In the three games the teams have played this season, Dinamo won 2-0 in the Belarus Super Cup and 2-0 in the first leg of this semifinal, while Shakhtyor responded with the aforementioned 2-0 win in Brest on Saturday.
So, we should expect another close one, even more so when you consider that both league games last season ended in draws – 0-0 draw in Soligorsk and 1-1 in Brest.
Can Dinamo Hold Their Lead?
Worth noting, however, is that Shakhtyor has an excellent home record in the league and have been unbeaten in 28 of their last 31 home games, although we should caveat that with the fact they have lost two of their last three.
To counter Shakhtyor’s good overall home form, it’s also worth remembering that reigning Premier League champions Brest are undefeated in 17 of their last 18 away games in the league, so despite Saturday’s defeat, they’ll still be confident of seeing this one through.
❌Равный по игре матч заканчивается поражением нашей команды.
FULL-TIME Unfortunately, we loose to Shakhter. pic.twitter.com/2o0ZZdNOXP
— FC Dynamo Brest (@dynamobrest) April 25, 2020
So, a tricky one to call, especially after Shakhtyor’s 2-0 win at the weekend, but Dinamo have their two first-choice central defenders back together – Sergey Politevich was suspended at the weekend – and this could be decisive. I can see this one being a draw, which will be enough for Dinamo to progress to another final.
Pick: Shakhtyor and Dinamo to draw (+225)
Semifinal 2: BATE Borisov vs Slavia Mozyr Odds
|BATE Borisov||-1.0, -1.5 (-113)||-306||O 2.5 (-101)|
|Slavia Mozyr||+1.0, +1.5 (-107)||+924||U 2.5 (-119)|
A Slow Burner for Bate
The Borisov Arena plays host to the second semifinal with BATE trailing Slavia Mozyr 1-0 from the first leg when an early goal from Yuri Pantya gave Slavia the slimmest of leads to take into this game.
For BATE – renowned as the giants of Belarusian soccer – it had been a slow start to the season but following their 2-0 win at Gorodeya at the weekend they are now up to fourth place, just three points adrift of leaders, Slutsk.
Slavia Mozyr’s season began with a defeat at Slutsk, but they followed this up with three consecutive wins that propelled them into the top three. Since reaching those heady heights, they’ve been unable to maintain that form and a draw and two defeats in their last three games have seen them plummet to 13th – just three places off the bottom of the table. The latest of those defeats came at the weekend when they lost 3-1 at home to FC Minsk.
Big Ask for Slavia
In the head-to-heads between these two, BATE lead 23-7, while five games have been drawn, but perhaps even more significant is that, while BATE has won four league games in a row, they have lost both games against Slavia this season – both played in Mozyr. So, while the home side are enjoying the better form, this could be seen as a psychological advantage for the visitors.
— FC BATE Borisov (@FCBATE) April 28, 2020
Slavia also have attacking midfielder Andrey Chukhley and striker Nikita Melnikov available again, both of whom will add attacking thrust to a team that has lacked goals of late.
But it still remains a big ask for the visitors, especially with BATE’s recent upturn being largely based on a solid and uncompromising defense. Add to this their excellent home form, and it’s hard to make a case for even a Slavia draw. I can see them winning by two goals or more in the 90 minutes.
Pick: BATE to win 2-0
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