All roads lead to the Belarussian capital city Minsk this weekend, as they play host to the Minsk derby when FC Minsk and Dinamo Minsk, the two local rivals, lock horns at the Stadion FK Minsk in shaping up to be a thrilling encounter.
After an inconsistent pre-season, FC Minsk kicked off the new Belarus Premier League campaign with aplomb with a come from behind 3-1 victory away to and will be hoping their brilliant start to the new season continues as they welcome local rivals Dinamo Minsk in the first edition of their derby this season.
Andrey Razin’s men were in imperious form and could not be denied of a rare victory on the road last weekend as they made light work of Belshina after falling behind to a 7th-minute opener from the host. Three quickfire second-half goals spun the game on its head to ensure a perfect start to the season for FC Minsk. The away win was a welcome relief for the coach whose side struggled to make any impact away from home last season, picking up 28 of their 36 points at home.
Their Head to Head against their local rivals does not make for good reading, however. The last time they beat Dinamo in a competitive fixture inside 90 minutes was in 2011. This will also be a maiden home victory for them should they come out victorious. The coach and his charges are motivated to rewrite their horrible derby record and that task for them starts this Saturday.
Razin is largely expected to maintain the team that performed brilliantly at Belshina. Dimitri Prishchepa, who returned from a six-month loan spell at Zenit II, and defensive signings Dmytro Ryzhuk and Aleksey Zaleskiy should all keep their starting places. Vladimir Khvashchinski and Roman Gribovskiy will be in midfield and the on wing with Oleg Evdokimov upfront.
Dinamo Minsk have uncharacteristically had a terrible start to this season. They have inexplicably lost all three competitive matches this season. Having had a poor finish by their standards last season, they lost both legs of their Belarusian Cup tie with BATE Borisov at the start of the season and were beaten 1-0 at home by Rukh Brest in a game many thought they would use to not only bounce back from their cup defeats but also one to put out their statement of intent for this season. But Rukh, playing their first-ever Premier League fixture, were clearly up for the occasion, with Oleksiy Kovtun’s goal securing them a famous win over the seven-time Belarusian champions in one of the biggest upsets of the opening week.
Having failed to impress last weekend, Dinamo Minsk could not have asked for a better opportunity to right their wrongs as they travel a short distance across the Belarussian capital to face FC Minsk in an early-season derby looking to keep up their impressive record against their capital city rivals in the Belarus Premier League. In their last meeting in the Belarusian top-flight Dinamo Minsk defeated Minsk 3-2. They have not lost to them over a 90-minute span since 2011. Dinamo always finds a way to turn up for this derby and will be looking up to this fixture to jump-start their lacklustre start to this season.
Dinamo Minsk side made 10 signings on free transfers in the winter, seven of whom started last weekend, and the manager is likely to keep the faith in the same starting XI. The biggest question will be whether 21-year-old midfielder Ivan Bakhar will start against the club he left in January for Dinamo.
This fixture hasn’t quite been known for producing lots of goals. Six of the 13 fixtures between the sides played at the FC Minsk Stadium have ended in goalless draws. With both sides having a lot to play for, we expect yet another tight encounter. Our first betting tip for the game is Goal Under 2.5 @ 1.72.
The visitors are under a lot of pressure to turn their tide around after a horrible start to the season. They have traditionally performed well in this encounter and we are confident they will maintain the stranglehold on their rivals. 1XBet’s betting app has a Dinamo Minsk Win @ 2.28 and we find some value in that.
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