Belarus, Burundi, Nicaragua, Tajikistan: what do these countries have in common with each other?

None of these countries have yet had the honour of participating in a World Cup! But we need to talk about them because the Belarusian Premier League, the Burundi Premier League, the Primera División de Nicaragua and the Tajik Higher League are the only professional football leagues in the world (apart from maybe a few of the really very obscure leagues) that have not been halted yet, while the rest of the world is in lock-down.

Of course, we don’t know the ins and outs of the day-by-day situation in these countries and if their situations allow for football to go on, all the better. Still, we hope that the locals in these countries stay healthy, and manage to find a wise balance between footballing entertainment and safety.

As for our members and readers from the rest of the world, we hope you’re healthy and holding on. We said it before and we’ll say it again: this global crisis is a crisis of each and every one of us and only together can we return to relative normality again as soon as possible. Be wise, and try to take care of yourself, your loved ones, and if possible, a stranger in need.

Now, back to Belarus. FanTeam wouldn’t be Europe’s leading fantasy football provider if they were not capable of offering their members and fans some entertainment in these crazy, almost football-less times. Enter the Belarusian Premier League (200+ FanTeam tournaments) and the Belarusian Cup (60+ FanTeam tournaments). Unfortunately, the Burundian, Nicaraguan, and Tajik leagues are not available at the moment of writing.

In other words you can still play on FanTeam and learn about one of Europe’s lesser-known competitions at the same time. Like the other fantasy tournaments on FanTeam, the Belarusian tournaments come in a pay-to-play format. Amongst the available payment methods are even digital wallets, like Skrill and Neteller, that allow cryptocurrencies as a payment option. This is a good option to have, as many people including Premier League footballers invest in bitcoin and players from countries like Belarus would probably like to be paid in bitcoin as well. Not only sportsmen, many celebrities have become fans of bitcoin expecting good returns. However, trading bitcoin manually has become a concern for many of the top level investors and this is the reason they find the automated bitcoin trading software applications like bitcoin profit to be time saving and effective. These bots carry out the trade autonomously even during the non trading hours. If crypto is your preference, all you need to do is transfer the cryptocurrency of your choice to your Skrill or Neteller wallet, select it as your preferred method of payment, and voilà. Your cryptocurrency payments are ready for use.

Belarusian Premier League

Time to get into what you actually came here for, namely our view on the upcoming games in the Belarusian Premier League. We have left out this week’s Belarusian Cup games and we might cover those at a later stage, but for the moment, just keep in mind that they are taking place this week when deciding on your bets for the league games coming weekend.

To start with, the highest domestic football league in Belarus has only just kicked off. At this moment, the teams have played three league games and modest outfit FC Bgu Minsk are the only team with a perfect record so far. Behind last season’s number 12, there are six teams with 6 points. Reigning champions FC Dynamo Brest find themselves in 10th and the country’s second-biggest club, FC Dinamo Minsk are a spot below them. BATE Borisov, Belarus’s record-champions (15 titles, including an unbelievable run of 13 consecutive titles between 2006 and 2018) and probably the best-known Belarusian team, have made a more than disappointing start to the 2020-2021 campaign with a 13th place out of 16.

On FanTeam, you can pick single-game tournaments, a tournament that covers coming Saturday (April 11th) and one that covers coming Sunday (April 12th). Instead of focusing on one or more of these specific tournaments, of which there are more than 200 on FanTeam, we have opted for a more global approach. On Friday, for example, Belshina Bobruisk are playing away against number 8 Neman Grodno. The home team finished 9th last season and have won both of their home games this season (2 goals scored, 0 conceded), while the visitors are currently last with 0 points, 5 goals conceded, and 1 goal scored. In other words, Belshina look like a potential source of fantasy points coming weekend.

On Saturday, three games are taking place with the home game for current number two FK Slutsk against number six FK Vitebsk being the fixture that stands out. In reality, both teams have 6 points after three games, but Slutsk boast a slightly better goal difference (+2 vs. +0). A more telling difference so early in the season is perhaps the fact that Slutsk got six points from a home victory and an away victory, while Vitebsk recorded their six points at home. The away game against Grodno last weekend was lost (2-0). It’s probably too early to make a judgement on any kind of sustainable home/away form, but we can see Slutsk book their second home victory of the season here.

Finally, on Sunday, there are another three games to finish gameweek 4 of the Belarusian Premier League. At first glance, the afternoon game between current 3rd placed FC Minsk and BATE Borisov (13th) stands out, but we think the result of this game between a last season’s number 10 and the country’s biggest club is very unpredictable, due to the underdogs playing at home and the favourites going through a tough start to the new season.

Instead, we would focus on the encounter between FC Smolevichi and Shakter Soligorsk. Soligorsk’s first three games have ended in a victory, a draw and a loss (4 points total), while newly-promoted Smolevichi have taken just a single point over that same run, away against reigning champions Brest in GW1. Despite having played just one away game so far this season, Soligorsk top the table for away games, thanks to their 0-2 victory over FK Gorodeya last weekend. These are also the only two goals the team has managed to score up until now. Smolevichi, on the other hand, have scored just 1 goal and conceded 3 overall. We don’t expect this to be a goal-scoring bonanza by any stretch, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the visitors took at least a point from this one, if not more.