Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Kazakhstan and Belarus, the two former Soviet republics, face each other at Astana Arena in the Nations League round 5. The Kazakhs have been performing above expectations in Group 3, and a win over Belarus will see them cement top position in the standings. A man to keep an eye on in the home side will be Astana attacker Abat Aymbetov, who has netted three goals in the process.
The Belarusians, on the other hand, have yet to record a win in the new Nations League campaign, and given their difficulties up front, we believe that there is a big value in betting on the home side. When the two teams met in Novi Sad earlier in the process they played out a 1-1 draw, but home win should be considered this time out. Kazakhstan back-line should have Dinamo Minsk striker Ivan Bakhar at bay.
Highlighted Player (Dmitri Shomko):
Born in Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan on March 19, 1990 Dmitri Andreievich Shomko is a defender who plays for Astana. Shomko is a product of his home-town club Ekibastuzets, but he started his senior career at Batyr Ekibastuz.
As expected, the 182-cm tall footballer returned to his boyhood club and it has to be noted that he made nine appearances in the league for Ekibastuzets. Dmitri Shomko then moved to Irtysh Pavlodar and he played for the Kazak club from 2009 to 2014. In 2011 he was sent on loan to Astana and three years later he signed a permanent deal with the Blue and Yellows. His main position is left-back, but he is used as a left midfielder as well.
Over the years Shomko has established himself as a first-team regular at Kazakhstan national football team and he made his debut for the Hawks on February 2, 2011 in a 1-1 draw with Belarus. Shomko came as a substitute for Nurgaliev in the 85th minute of the match. He has 17 caps for the U21 team as well.
Highlighted Team (Belarus):
Belarus national football team have been competing on the international stage since 1992. The Belarusians played their first match against Lithuania on July 20, 1992, but the game was not FIFA-recognized. The White Wings faced Ukraine in their first official match, with the team sharing the spoils with the fellow former Soviet republic.
Belarus have yet to qualify for a major tournament and they have slim chances of booking their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Belarusians recorded their biggest win on September 4, 2014, with the team rolling over Tajikistan 6-1 in Borisov and speaking of their biggest loss, they were hammered by Austria (0-5) on June 11, 2003.
Alexander Hleb is the most famous footballer who played for the Belarus national team and it is well known that he spent four seasons at Barcelona. Belarus play their home games at Borisov Arena and they wear white shirts and white shorts when welcoming their rivals. The colour of their away kits is black.