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Champions League | First Qualifying Round | 1st Leg
Jul 10, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
Varosi Stadion (Mezokovesd)

Dinamo Minsk
0 - 0

Pigas (60'), Alfred (74'), Demchenko (79')

Melikyan (52'), Vakulenko (55'), Enrique Caraballo Rosal (65')

Preview: Dinamo Minsk vs. FC Pyunik - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Dinamo Minsk and FC Pyunik, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The first qualifying round of the 2024-25 Champions League gets underway this week, and on Wednesday evening, we will see Dinamo Minsk take on FC Pyunik in a first-leg encounter.

Varosi Stadion will be the venue for the first match between these sides while the second leg will take place on July 16 at the Banants Stadium in Yerevan, Armenia.

Match preview

FC Smolevichi v FC Dinamo Minsk action shot from the Belarusian Premier League© Reuters

Dinamo Minsk are returning to Champions League qualifying for the first time since the 2005-06 season having clinched the Belarusian Premier League title last season, seven points ahead of Neman.

They have, however, been a regular in the Europa League, featuring in every qualifying campaign between 2013 and 2021, though they only managed to reach the group stage twice during that period, back-to-back in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

The Bisons enjoyed an excellent league campaign in 2023, dropping points in only six of their 28 games (W22 D3 L3) while romping to the title with 12 wins in their final 13 matches of the season.

Vadim Skripchenko's side have continued their impeccable form this term as well, currently leading their domestic league with 35 points, and they are also the only team in the Belarusian top flight that are still unbeaten after 15 matches.

Minsk's major strength this season has come from their defensive unit which has only conceded a total of eight goals so far, and they are likely to prioritise keeping a clean sheet here on the home patch which will put them in an advantageous position heading to Yerevan next week.

Meanwhile, Pyunik performed admirably in the Armenian top division last term, winning a tight race against Noah to reclaim the domestic league crown, and they will have high hopes for the Champions League qualifiers as well.

Over the course of the 2023-24 league season, the Armenian outfit recorded 24 wins, 10 draws and just two losses, ending the campaign with six wins in a row and unbeaten in their final 12 matches.

They are now set to feature in their 12th Champions League qualifying campaign, though they have never made it to the main draw, with their best-ever performance in qualifying coming in 2022-23 when they reached the third round.

While this will be the first competitive match that Pyunik will play since the final day of last season, they have made a few key player acquisitions over the offseason, and it will be interesting to see how they perform after two months out and with new personnel in the side.

Dinamo Minsk form (all competitions):

FC Pyunik form (all competitions):

Team News

Belarusian top flight - FC Dinamo Minsk's Vladislav Klimovich in action, despite most sport being cancelled around the world as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues© Reuters

Pavel Sedko scored and was then withdrawn with an injury last weekend against Dinamo Brest and he is likely to be replaced by Nigeria international Raymond Adeola in the starting 11 in midweek.

Uladzimir Khvashchynski and Artyom Shkolik both made impressive cameos off the bench last time out and will be hoping to feature from the start in this in one.

As mentioned, Pyunik have been busy in the off-season with the likes of Vladyslav Kulach, Martim Maia, Joao Paredes, Taron Voskanyan and Agdon joining the club in the summer transfer window.

Centre-forward Luka Juricic is the only known injury absentee for the Armenians in this match and he is expected to miss a fair chunk of the start of the season as he recovers from knee surgery.

Dinamo Minsk possible starting lineup:
Lapoukhov; Oliveira; Hawrylovich, Politevich; Pigas; Bykov, Podstrelov, Khvashchynski, Selyava, Demchenko; Adeola

FC Pyunik possible starting lineup:
Buchnev; Bratkov, Kovalenko, Juninho, Neves; Udo, Dashyan, Goncalves, Villela, Davidyan; Vakulenko

SM words green background

We say: Dinamo Minsk 1-0 FC Pyunik

Minsk will enter this opening round of Champions League qualifying as the more match-fit side considering they are already midway through their domestic league campaign, while the visitors have not played a competitive match in two months. We are expecting a close contest but fancy the hosts to edge this first-leg encounter.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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