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Preview: Belshina Bobruisk vs. Smolevichi - predictions, form guide, head-to-head record

:Headline: Preview: Belshina Bobruisk vs. Smolevichi - predictions, form guide, head-to-head record:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Vysheyshaya Liga clash between Belshina and Smolevichi, including predictions, form guides and head-to-head records.

Bottom-of-the-table Belshina Bobruisk will play host to fellow strugglers FC Smolevichi on Friday in the fifth gameweek of the 2020 Belarusian Premier League.

Both sides are without a win after four games during the current campaign and will no doubt see this week's clash as an invaluable opportunity to pick up three points at this early stage of the season.

Match preview

It is fair to say that Belshina have been given a harsh welcome back to life in the Vysheyshaya Liga following their three-year stint in the second division.

Indeed, Eduard Gradoboev's side sit rock bottom of the table having lost three of their opening four fixtures, picking up their first point in the top flight last Friday as they drew 1-1 with Neman Grodno.

Belshina enjoyed a strong run of success during the late 1990's and early 2000's, winning the league and cup double in the 2001 season after consecutive top-three finishes between 1996 and 1998.

However, the three-time Belarusian Cup champions have just made their return to the big time following their triumphant campaign in last season's second division, but Gradoboev's side will be at risk of a swift return to the Pershaja Liga if results do not improve.

Should Belshina pick up their first victory of the campaign, they could rise out of the relegation places if Dinamo Minsk lose to Neman on Thursday.

Similarly, Smolevichi are also looking for their first win of the season following two draws and two losses from their opening four games.

Aleksandr Brazevich's side finished runners up to Belshina in last season's Pershaja Liga and are enjoying only their second-ever stint in the Belarusian top flight since the club's inception in 2009.

Smolevichi impressed during the first gameweek of the season as they kicked off with a 1-1 draw away to current champions Dinamo Brest, but Brazevich's men have failed to build upon that positive result and now lie 15th in the table.

Vladislav Mukhamedov's opener against Dinamo remains Smolevichi's only goal of the season thus far, as they have now gone three games without finding the net in the league.

Rukh Brest are the only other side with a solitary goal during the current campaign, and Smolevichi would overtake Aleksandr Sednev's side for at least 24 hours with a victory on Friday.

Belshina Bobruisk Vysheyshaya Liga form: LLLD

FC Smolevichi Vysheyshaya Liga form: DLLD

Head To Head

The two clubs have met five times in all competitions, with Belshina recording two wins compared to one for Smolevichi since the sides first met in the 2013-14 Belarusian Cup.

Smolevichi took the spoils in this fixture last season with a 2-0 victory at the Stadyen Spartak, and the pair played out a 1-1 draw during their most recent meeting.

We say: Belshina 1-1 Smolevichi

Both sides will be determined to walk away from this fixture with all three points, but we feel that a draw is the most likely result between two clubs struggling for form during the early stages of the campaign.

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1BATE BorisovBATE24154552242849
2Shakhtyor SoligorskSoligorsk24137443142946
6Rukh BrestRukh Brest2499641271436
8Dinamo Minsk23103102721633
10Slavia MozyrSlavia Mozyr227693041-1127
11FC MinskFC Minsk2274112742-1525
16Dinamo BrestDinamo Brest104151313013
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