Energetik’s 100 per cent record will be on the line as they make the trip to the fairly small industrial city of Zhodino to lock horns with Torpedo Belaz Zhodino.
Zhodino have a had a relatively strong start to this season campaign. They currently occupy the fifth position in the top-flight table after winning two of their first three matches in the Premier League. After Gabriel Ramos’ dramatic opening day injury-time winner against Shakhtyor Soligorsk, they followed that up with another solid 1-0 win at home against Belshina before succumbing to a 2-0 loss away at the capital to Dinamo Minsk on their last outing to cut short their fairytale start to the campaign. Minsk incidentally had lost their previous two games before that meeting. Torpedo, who are now three points behind the visiting league leaders, are one of 6 teams tied on 6 points.
Yuri Puntus’s men’s recent form at home gives them some hope coming into this fixture. Although they have lost two of their last 4 home games, overall, they have lost just those two in their last 11 home games in the league, going back to last season, which is by all accounts a solid record. Their defence has been quite compact this season too. They had kept back-to-back clean sheets in their two wins prior to the loss at Minsk last Friday. Having said that, Torpedo’s head to head encounters against the visitors in the Belarusian League is not good enough. They failed to beat Energetik in either of last season’s games, losing one and drawing the other in their only meetings at this level.
There are no injury issues for Torpedo. They signed, on loan, Brazilian attacking midfielder Velozu from Ukrainian club FC Lviv where he played 13 matches last season. He is yet to make his debut though. Yuri Puntus will, however, be counting on yet another Brazilian attacking midfielder Gabriel Santos to pull the strings up front. He scored the thrilling winner on opening day but has been quiet since then. Torpedo will be hoping he finds his scoring boots yet again to keep their great start going and halt or at the very least stagger Energetik’s momentum.
Energetik scorching start to the season continued with a brilliant 2-0 shutdown at home against FC Minsk last Sunday which took them to the top of the league with a maximum 9 points from the 3 games they have played thus far. They are the only team with a 100% record claiming the scalps of having giants BATE Borisov, Rukh Brest and local rivals FC Minsk in dominant fashion, scoring six goals in the process and their mean defence only allowing one goal in that span.
For a team that barely survived relegation last season, Vladimir Belyavskiy’s men have come out sprinting off the blocks this season like a bullet. Whilst everyone else is trying to digest that, it has been a pleasant surprise to their fans and the contingent of the travelling away fans will be making this trip with an air of expectations – a far cry from last season where they had to endure the pain of watching their team struggling to eke out points all season long.
A big reason for the turnaround in their fortunes this season has been the terrific form of Uzbekistan youngster Jasur Yakhshiboev. After scoring a brace on his debut against BATE on the opening day of the season, the 22-year-old attacking midfielder bagged another goal at the weekend against FC Minsk bringing his tally for the season to three goals in as many matches. That tally took him to the top of the scoring chart in the league and Energetik will yet again be looking up to him to provide the inspiration in their attacking line to unlock the home side’s defence that has proven to be quite solid this season.
Vladimir Belyavskiy does not have any notable injury concerns. This season’s new signings Artem Sokol and Junior Atemengue have continued putting up great shifts and they are expected to maintain their starting XI slots. Sokol provided the assist for Yakhshiboev’s injury-time dagger in the 2-0 win against Minsk. Midfielder David Tweh was quiet in the last game against FC Minsk but he remains a threat with his creative touches from the centre of the pack alongside Aleksey Nosko, who was brilliant, scoring the opener and proving to be a handful for Minsk all through the game. Umarov Shakhboz is expected to come in for Musahagian Aik who picked up a red card in their last game.
This game is a bit difficult to call one way or the other. Both teams have had impressive starts to the season, Energetik winning all three of their games and Torpedo winning two of three. We are tempted to go for an outright away win given how prolific Energetik have been in front of goal. But given Torpedo’s decent defensive record, we will settle for Double Chance Energetik or Draw @1.79 for our first betting tip for this game.
We are also expecting a relatively tight affair. Both teams have been quite solid at the back. They have both kept clean sheets in two of the three games they have played. Additionally, the home team haven’t quite lit it up in the final third this season, scoring just two goals in their three games. 1XBet betting app’s price of 1.87 for Goal Under 2.5 looks like excellent value with these factors in mind and we are backing it for our final betting tip for this game.
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