Young Boys v St. Gallen
Time will tell just how important YB’s ninety-fourth minute winner away to Luzern last weekend will be, but it was a goal that moves the Bernese club three points clear at the top of the table and a further five points clear of their opponents on Saturday. After exiting European competition in August and losing out to St. Gallen in early September, YB have bounced back to record three wins in a row and remain the favourite of many to reclaim the league title that they surrendered so meekly last season.
St. Gallen and Peter Zeidler have earned a lot of plaudits for the way their youthful team has approached the season. They play attacking football and do it well, however, the early season promise that has them challenging for the title has faded a little after defeats to Sion and Basel in their last two games. Of course, they still scored in those matches and were unlucky against Basel with a man disadvantage for much of the contest.
This fixture almost always serves up a thrilling contest and I expect no different here. There hasn’t been less than three goals in the last five in a row with scorelines raging from 2-1, 3-3, 4-1 and 3-1. St. Gallen’s last six have also featured Over 2.5 goals while eleven of the last twelve matches at home for YB have had at least three goals. The two top-scoring sides in the league should produce again.
Grasshoppers v Sion
It appears that these two just can’t seem to get away from each other. Both teams suffered disappointing campaigns in 21/22, finishing narrowly outside the relegation spots and separated by a single point with GC in ninth and Sion in eighth. Nine games into the 22/23 season and it is going much better for both with Sion in fourth and GC in fifth, separated by a single point once again. Saturday evening’s opening match in the Super League allows the opportunity for one of them to pull away and continue to chase the leading pack.
Grasshoppers are still searching for more consistency when it comes to winning games. They have won only one of their last six in the league despite scoring in nine consecutive games. The 1-1 draw with Zurich last time out was another game that they will have felt they could’ve taken something more from if they could tighten up defensively. The record Swiss champions have managed only one clean sheet in that run, their goalscoring prowess would pay dividends more often if the goals weren’t leaking so frequently at the other end.
Sion produced two highly impressive wins over FC Basel and in-form St. Gallen before inexplicably becoming the first team to lose to promoted Winterthur last weekend. Mario Balotelli did score his first for the Valais club, equalising on the cusp of half-time, before Winti scored a further two goals in the second half. They are in a similar position to their hosts, scoring in their last four, keeping only two clean sheets in their first nine matches and conceding in their last five in a row.
GC and Sion have shown they can find the net with regularity, they even shared a point in a 2-2 draw at the Tourbillon earlier this season, but they still lack defensively. I don’t expect that trend to change here, and I would predict Both Teams to Score in this one.
Servette v Luzern
It was a weekend to forget for high-flying Servette as they suffered only their second defeat of the season. Their loss away to Lugano coupled with a late win for YB against Luzern has left them three points adrift in second. Still, there aren’t many that would’ve had SFC down as title challengers and their early season form can only be classed as a success for a manager and team that came under criticism for a disappointing campaign last year.
Those two defeats on the road have really been the only significant blips for the Genevan club. Their other loss was a 3-0 defeat in Bern to Young Boys which, given YB’s excellent home record, isn’t overly surprising. They will be glad to return to the Stade de Geneve for the visit of Luzern, a venue where they are unbeaten in six and have won their last four in a row. Last season probably stripped away the “fortress” tag that this place had built up since their Super League return but they’re going some way to restoring it with their 100% record so far.
Luzern have been inconsistent, to say the least, failing to string two wins together since May. They have had some big results, including their biggest-ever away win in the topflight at Winterthur in early September, but have also suffered a heavy away defeat at St. Gallen and lost at home to Servette. Their three wins away from the swissporarena this season have all come at sides in the bottom four.
SFC had won their last five in all competitions before their trip to Ticino last weekend, and I believe they can bounce back against a Luzern side that have won only once in Geneva since 2018. I would take Servette DNB here.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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