Having taken everyone by surprise with their blistering start to the season, Belaurssian Premier League leaders Slutsk head to the capital this weekend to take on Dinamo Minsk.
Despite being 6 places above their hosts, Slutsk go into this game as underdogs, and history does suggest this is for good reason. Slutsk have never beaten Dinamo Minsk on their own patch, but given their form so far this season an upset could be on the cards. Ahead of Saturday’s kick off at the Dinamo Stadium, we’ve taken a closer look at things to provide you with our expert betting tips for this fixture.
Though Dinamo’s form so far has been under par, with 3 wins and 3 loses, they do look to be gaining momentum having won their last 2 on the bounce. All of their losses have only been by a single goal and they have kept a clean sheet in 2 of their 3 victories. However, they conceded 3 in the Minsk Derby a few weeks back, so they’re not airtight at the back. Dinamo have scored 5 in their last 2, with striker Evgeni Shikavka netting 3 of them, so we’d back him to score anytime. Shikavka tends to leave it late though, so we wouldn’t bet on him as first scorer.
Slutsk have gotten off to a flying start this season. After 6 games they sit at the top of the table with 13 points, having won 4, lost 1 and drawn 1. However, upon closer inspection it does seem that this form could be about to end. Slutsk have edged all of their wins by a single goal and have conceded in all 6 games so far this season. They have sealed 2 of their 4 victories with 10 men, which does show a strong mentality. Having netted 3 in his last 2, we’d back Nigerian midfielder Umar Bala Mohammed to score anytime.
The home side have come out on top in each of the last 5 meetings between these 2 teams, and Slutsk have never recorded a competitive victory at the Dinamo Stadium. With that in mind it’s hard to see anything other than a home win despite Slutsk’s blistering start to the season. The last 3 meetings between the 2 sides have all been decided by a single goal, so we do expect the margins to be tight here.
Dinamo Minsk won this fixture 2-1 back in September, with their Brazilian-born Belgian winger Danilo bagging both goals. Danilo returned to the squad last weekend following his suspension, coming off the bench in their 3-1 away win over FC Smolevichi. Slutsk won their home fixture last season 2-1 as well, with goals from Murat Khotov and Artem Dudik who have both since left the club.
While Slutsk are still rightly pitted as the underdogs here, this does look to perhaps be the best chance they’ve ever had to grab that elusive away win at the Dinamo Stadium. It is a big ask though, as having conceded 8 goals this season, Slutsk will almost certainly have to rely on their fire power, rather than their defence, if they are to turn over the home side.
Going all the way back to 2011, there hasn’t been more than 3 goals scored in a meeting between these 2 sides, but we’d back that trend to change this weekend. With 21 goals between them, both teams have been in fine goal scoring form, but having conceded a combined total of 14, we can’t see either side keeping the other out.
Dinamo’s winger Danilo has a history of scoring against Slutsk, while Evgeni Shikavka has formed a formidable partnership with Ivan Bakhar since arriving at the club from Greek club AE Larissa. Slutsk’s goals this season have come from a range of different sources most recently from midfielder Umar Bala Mohammed, who as we mentioned has 3 in his last 2.
Both sides have scored 5 in their last 2, but Dinamo have only conceded 1 to Slutsk’s 3. If you’re looking for an exact score bet, we ‘d go for a 3-1 home win.
Having looked at the 2 team’s history together plus their form so far this season, we’re going for a home win with goals at either end for this one. Our betting tip for this is Dinamo Minsk to win & over 2.5 goals to be scored, which is available ad 2.7 with Bet365. At 5.5, the outside bet on an away win does seem tempting given their form so far this season, but it does look as if Slutsk’s bubble is about to burst in this fixture. As much as we’d love it to happen, it just doesn’t look likely that Slutsk will “do a Leicester” this season.