Dinamo Brest v FK Gorodeya | Saturday 20th June 2020, 16:00
This might be the first Saturday for what seems like forever when most of the major footballing leagues are back in action at the same time, but let us still spare a thought for the likes of the Belarusian Premier League, which has battled on all the way through this coronavirus pandemic. We’re approaching the halfway point of the regulation campaign, so the table is slowly beginning to settle down.
Dinamo Brest are actually the reigning champions of this league, and after a bit of an inconsistent start to their defence they’re now starting to prove why they topped the table in the previous campaign. It is probably a fair statement to say that the Belarusian Cup was a bit of a distraction for them. They did go through a period of winning just twice in eight in all competitions, which ended in defeat to BATE in the final in dramatic circumstances.
However, they bounced back to losing with virtually the last kick in extra time to then win three league games in succession, something which they last achieved back in October 2019. They’re very much fully focused on making it back-to-back titles, and they currently sit third in the table and five points behind leaders BATE. Three points this weekend is really a must.
The reality is that if form is anything to go by then Brest shouldn’t have too many troubles is despatching Gorodeya on Saturday. That is despite Gorodeya winning 3-0 at home to Slutsk last time out, which ended a run of seven without success. It would also be their biggest margin of win since October 2019. Slutsk are five without a win themselves so Gorodeya now face a much stern test this weekend.
The issue with Gorodeya is that they don’t offer a great deal going forward. They’ve actually had the fewest shots on goal of any team in the league this season.
On the flip side, Brest has the highest and by quite a fair distance as well. Despite this being third from top versus fourth from bottom, Gorodeya have only conceded two more goals than Brest. They’ve scored 12 across their last three games though, so as long as they keep scoring they’ll keep winning matches.
That is ultimately what sways this match in favour of the hosts. I mean, the odds suggest they should win comfortably and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. This league can spring up the occasional shock however, and Brest can concede some goals, so that does place some slight doubts in my mind.
Still, I think a bet-builder of Dinamo Brest HT/FT and Over 1 Goal at 10/11 (Bet365) isn’t really to be sniffed out. Gorodeya are likely to play quite a defensive game here and sit back, but that should play into the hands of Brest, who are more than used in facing opponents of this nature. They're in their stride now having won three in a row and averaged four goals per game in the process.
Furthermore, they’ve scored roughly before the 30 minutes mark in all three, too, so they know how to start pretty fast.
Suduva v Zalgiris | Saturday 20th June 2020, 17:00
If you know your Lithuanian football then you’ll be more than aware that Suduva against Zalgiris is really the top game in this part of the world. These two will once again almost certainly battle it out for the league title. The A Lyga crown has been won by one of these teams for seven seasons running, whilst the last three have been claimed by Suduva, with Zalgiris in second.
This was already quite a small league, but this campaigned started with three teams fewer than the previous season. Stumbras became defunct, whilst Atlantas and Palanga after some match-fixing incidents. Therefore, we’ve only got a six-team league right now, so it means these type of games are all the more important when the big outfits face one another.
Four matches in and already we see a familiar pattern of Suduva sitting top and Zalgiris just behind in second. Suduva do have four wins from four to their name, and whilst they are all still games they’d expect to win, they have been tested in some and it will have given them a real morale boost to get through them.
Winning at home to Kauno Zalgiris 1-0, a solid team, and 3-1 away at Riteriai, a club who has given them some problems in recent times, means they’re in top shape right now.
Zalgiris have three wins from four, the last two being hard-earned 1-0 away victories, but a home loss to Riteriai was a big disappointment, but they’ve at least responded quite well since then. The only slight worry would be that they haven’t scored more goals. They do top the league for shots on goal, but only two across their last three games suggest that end product could be better. They’ll certainly have to be clinical against Suduva.
That is the case even more so as Suduva have obviously been the big dogs over the last three seasons, whilst has won the previous four league H2H meetings in succession. Zalgiris however did come out on top when these last met in February in the Super Cup, but that was before the whole coronavirus pandemic really began, and it is best to focus on more recent events.
It is worth mentioning that games in this league are not officially behind closed doors, although only a limited set of supporters are welcome through the gates. Both of these clubs are averaging home crowds in the region of 600, which is only slightly down on Zalgiris’ usual numbers, but Suduva normally had around 1,000 per home clash. There will therefore at least be some atmosphere present, which should make this quite a decent watch.
At the prices, Suduva are the team to be with here. Zalgiris have shown over the last few years that they’re just that little bit off Suduva right now, and a price of 11/10 on a home victory therefore has to be considered a good price. They’re the more likely winners, and are ultimately a more all-rounded outfit.