Khatlon vs. Istaravshan Odds, Prediction, and Free Pick – Tajik League, April 5
After only keeping its top-flight status thanks to a win in the relegation playoff last season, Khatlon will be eager to get off to the best possible start this time around. Istaravshan is the opponent on the opening day of the new Tajikistan Higher League season.
Istaravshan finished in mid-table in its first season after winning promotion. It has been a tough few years for the club that was forced to fold just seven years ago and is only now getting back to full strength.
You can find my take on this match in this Khatlon vs. Istaravshan betting preview.
Betting Odds for Khatlon vs. Istaravshan
Given Khatlon’s disappointing season last year, it is somewhat of a surprise that the soccer bookmakers have regarded it as favorites. Istaravshan had little to celebrate in 2019, but it will feel as though at least a point is possible here.
Khatlon’s season fell away dramatically last year as it went winless in the last five games and dropped into the relegation playoff zone. With the league so close — apart from runaway leaders Istiklol — things could have been very different without the sudden poor form.
Istaravshan was unable to beat Khatlon in three games in 2019, although the points were automatically awarded for one of those fixtures. Top goal scorer Bakhtovar Zokirov is still at the club, though, so he should be the main focus of attack for the visitors.
With such a level of parity among the middle of the league, there is a really good chance for one of these two to make a push for the AFC Cup spots, so a win here would start the season on the best foot.
Khatlon vs. Istaravshan Pick
Khatlon to Win+127
Khatlon may be only slight favorites, but it should be able to take the points on the opening day of the season as long as it regains the form of the majority of last year. There hasn’t been that much change to the squad from manager Asliddin Khabibulloev, so he must trust his players to reach the required level of play.
There are two other games in the Tajik League on Sunday, and I’m covering those with betting previews, too.