FC Wil v FC Thun
After scoring sixty-eight goals and conceding eighty last season there was a clear issue for FC Wil to address if they wanted to improve their league position for this season. So far, the early signs are good. As we enter Matchday 6, FCW proudly sits on the top of the Swiss Challenge League, two points clear of the much-fancied Lausanne who were relegated into this division.
The defensive fragility has, for the most part, been resolved. FC Wil have won four of the opening five league games, a loss at Stade Lausanne-Ouchy being the only blip and they’ve kept three clean sheets too, only three short of their total from all of last season. They continued their good run with a 6-0 demolition of sixth-tier Littau in the cup at the weekend.
FC Thun are the visitors to the Lidl Arena on Friday evening having endured an inconsistent start to the campaign. With only one league victory, a 4-2 result at ninth-placed Vaduz, much better is needed for a club that has been expected to deliver a promotion challenge in each of their last two seasons since relegation from the top-flight.
Wil are in solid form, have kept clean sheets in both of their previous two home games and should have enough to avoid defeat against a Thun side that has conceded nine goals in five games.
Schaffhausen v Yverdon-Sport
“You win some, you lose some” is a very apt description for Schaffhausen after five games of the new season. They sit in fourth with three wins and two defeats. While that isn’t a bad situation to find themselves in, they haven’t won any of those games consecutively. They started the season with victory, lost the next game and that pattern continued on from there.
Yverdon-Sport have been the unlikely entertainers. They have already scored twelve goals in five games, taking half the time it did to reach that tally in the 21/22 season. YS haven’t been able to keep the goals out either, conceding in every game so far, including a rollercoaster 3-3 draw with Vaduz. Their run of games without a clean sheet stretches back to April last season for a total of twelve matches.
Schaffhausen have been pretty efficient in their games, but I think that will go out of the window when Yverdon visit the WeFox Arena. The visitors have shown they boast the firepower to score against anyone in this league, striker Koro Kone has seven goals to his name already. They can’t stop conceding though, so I think Schaffhausen will also get on the scoresheet, especially with the experienced Raul Bobadilla leading the line.
Aarau v Stade Lausanne-Ouchy
FC Aarau followed up their 4-0 victory over Bellinzona last time out in the league by doubling that tally against FC Bischofszwell to advance in the Swiss Cup. New striker Shkelqim Vladi continued his hot streak with a hat-trick at the Communale against Bellinzona, while Mickael Almedia netted four in the cup on Saturday. Despite the standard of opposition in that game, there are goal threats all over an Aarau team that has scored in every game this season.
Stade Lausanne-Ouchy visit Brugglifeld with scars that still linger from four consecutive defeats in the last campaign against Aarau. SLO don’t exactly make this trip in scintillating form either, they lost out at home to Schaffhausen on league duty and while they advanced in the cup against Italien, they conceded twice to the fifth-tier side.
SLO aren’t particularly good travellers, winning only three of their last twenty away matches in the Challenge League and Brugglifeld is usually a daunting task for anyone, even clubs in the top-tier. Aarau have certainly had the number on their opponents recently, and I think they will have too much again here.
Bellinzona v Neuchatel Xamax
After their surprising opening day win over Lausanne at the Stadio Communale, it was reasonable to assume that home comforts would prove vital for newly-promoted Bellinzona as they adapted to the Challenge League. Instead, it has been the opposite. In the two home matches that followed, they shipped eight goals, losing 4-1 and 4-0 to SLO and Aarau respectively. Away from home, they drew with Thun and picked up a victory over Vaduz.
Neuchatel Xamax enjoyed some respite from their poor league start by scoring five goals past ASI Audax-Friul in the cup on Sunday and they’ll be hoping they can take that into their trip to Ticino as they search out their first points of the season. Xamax have also signed Brahima Outtara from OGC Nice in recent days in a bid to strengthen their attacking options.
The home side haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last four games, conceding eleven goals, while Xamax have shipped ten themselves. This is a match between two sides that are in need of a pick-me-up and with a fragile defence on display for both, I think we’ll have both teams scoring here.
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