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Preview: Torpedo-BelAZ vs. Smolevichi - prediction, form guide, head to head

:Headline: Preview: Torpedo-BelAZ vs. Smolevichi - prediction, form guide, head to head:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Belarusian Premier League clash between Torpedo-BelAZ and Smolevichi, including predictions, form guide and head-to-head records.

Torpedo-BelAZ have the perfect opportunity to get their Belarusian Premier League title charge back on track when they face strugglers Smolevichi on Friday.

A surprise defeat in their last outing left Torpedo third in the table, while a point for Smolevichi in their most recent match did little to boost their survival hopes.

Match preview

Last week's 3-1 reverse to lowly Neman may well have killed off the momentum Yuri Puntus' side had been building, having previously gone six matches without defeat.

Torpedo now find themselves three points off second-place Energetik-BGU and four behind leaders BATE, but Friday's home clash with Smolevichi provides a chance to bounce back.

Smolevichi held Rukh Brest to a goalless draw last time out - just the fourth time that they have avoided defeat this season.

Four draws from their nine outings is a poor return and means that Aleksandr Brazevich's side are seemingly set for an instant return to the second tier.

The gap on safety now stands at six points and it is clear which area the visitors must improve if they are to have any hope of bridging that gap.

No team has scored fewer goals than Smolevichi's six this season, with half of those coming in a 5-3 defeat to BATE earlier this month.

Torpedo, by comparison, have found the net 13 times, though they have played out three goalless draws in their last six league matches.

Incredibly, supporters are still allowed to attend matches in the Belarusian top flight and that is proving to be a good thing for Puntus' side.

They have won three and drawn one of their four matches at Torpedo Stadium this term, whereas Smolevichi have three points from a possible 12 on their travels.

The visitors do have the ability to grind out the occasional point, but already the pressure may be on to start turning draws into wins if they are to avoid being cut adrift.

Torpedo-BelAZ league form: DDWDWL

Smolevichi league form: DDLLLD

Head To Head

Given Smolevichi's limited history in the Belarusian top flight, meetings with Torpedo have been scare.

Friday's visitors are without a win in their three previous competitive encounters with Torpedo, most recently losing 2-1 in July 2018.

We say: Torpedo-BelAZ 2-0 Smolevichi

Smolevichi are already starting to get cut adrift and are in desperate need of a first league victory of the season. That is unlikely to come this week, however, as high-flying Torpedo will be desperate to return to winning ways and close the gap on top spot.

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