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Preview: Isloch vs. Belshina - prediction, form guide, head-to-head record

:Headline: Preview: Isloch vs. Belshina - prediction, form guide, head-to-head record:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Belarusian top-flight clash between Isloch and Belshina, including predictions, form guide and head-to-head records.

Belshina's search for their first victory of the 2020 Belarusian Premier League season will continue on Sunday when they make the trip to Isloch.

The division's basement side have only picked up two points from their seven matches thus far to occupy 16th in the table, while Isloch are fifth as things stand with 12 points from their seven fixtures.

Match preview

The Belarusian Premier League has been allowed to continue despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and there are currently no signs that the campaign will be called to a halt.

The season is actually now seven games old, with Slutsk sitting top of the division entering week eight, while Belshina prop up the table. Isloch, meanwhile, have collected 12 points from their seven matches to sit fifth, just four points off the summit ahead of Friday and Saturday's action.

Isloch opened their 2020 campaign with back-to-back victories over Neman and Smolevichi before suffering successive defeats to Slutsk and Dinamo Brest to drop down the table. They responded with two more wins over Slavia and Vitebsk, though, before a disappointing result last weekend.

Indeed, Vitaly Zhukovsky's side suffered a 4-0 defeat away to Shakhtyor Soligorsk last time out to make it three losses for the season; it has still been a solid start from the Minsk-based outfit, though, and they will be eyeing another three points against a struggling Belshina.

Isloch have actually only been a top-flight side since 2015, and they finished fifth last term, managing 13 wins in their 30 matches, collecting 47 points in the process during a successful campaign.

Belshina, meanwhile, have drawn two and lost five of their seven league matches this season to sit bottom with a goal difference of minus eight, which is a concern, even at this relatively early stage.

Eduard Gradoboyev's side won the second tier last season to earn promotion back to this level, but it does appear that they will be in for a difficult campaign. Indeed, the Bobruisk-based outfit only won five league games during their 2016 campaign and are yet to get off the mark this term.

They started their 2020 campaign with three straight defeats, before picking up two points in successive draws with Neman and Smolevichi in the middle of April. A 3-2 defeat at Slutsk arrived at the end of April, though, before suffering a 3-0 loss at home to Dinamo Brest last weekend.

Belshina have worryingly not picked up a victory on their travels in the Belarusian Premier League since the end of September, while Isloch have won four of their last five league games in front of their own supporters.

Isloch form (Belarusian Premier League): WLLWWL

Belshina form (Belarusian Premier League): LLDDLL

Head To Head

Belshina have actually won two of the last five meetings between the two teams, suffering just one defeat in the process. Isloch's only victory during that run was a 4-1 success in the second round of the Belarusian Cup in September 2017, which was also their last clash.

These two teams have not actually locked horns in the Belarusian Premier League since September 2016, when they played out a goalless draw. Belshina, though, beat Isloch 3-2 away from home in May 2016.

We say: Isloch 2-0 Belshina

Belshina's recent record against Isloch is actually pretty good, but it is difficult to look past the home side in this fixture considering how both teams have started the season. Belshina have really struggled for results this term, and we fancy Isloch to collect all three points in fairly routine fashion.

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