Anything other than three points would increase the doubts lingering over Scotland women’s 4-0 defeat against Group 1 top seeds Iceland.
That performance was sandwiched between Gordon Strachan’s side losing to Italy and France and a characteristic of all three games was that the opposition goalkeepers were hardly tested.
“The most important thing is that we attack in numbers against Belarus,” the Scotland women’s coach, Anna Signeul, said. “We need to be brave, we need to take risks.”
The reward for a win will almost certainly be automatic qualification for next summer’s European Championship in the Netherlands – although, depending on results elsewhere, that may not be confirmed until September.
The obvious cause for optimism is that Scotland won the corresponding game 7-0 at Fir Park in October.
Rachel Corsie, who scored in that game, is a doubt tonight because of a foot injury , while Signeul will definitely be without Arsenal left-back Emma Mitchell, who injured her knee against Iceland.
Today’s game, at FC Minsk Stadium, is again being played on an artificial surface and Signeul is concerned that the home side will refuse her request to water it.
“With the new rules the home team has the last say,” the Scotland coach said. “I don’t think they will water it and that means the surface will be slow.”