Schaffhausen v Stade Lausanne-Ouchy
Once upon a time, just a few years ago, Schaffhausen were viewed as a side that didn’t score many goals. They scored just 14 goals in 15 in the first half of the 19/20 season and 34 goals overall. Thankfully, that tally has been creeping up with 59 total goals in 20/21 and 73 in 21/22 when they reached the promotion play-off. They haven’t been quite as prolific in the early stages of this season, their goals seem to come in bursts, and they are struggling to find consistency either with just one victory in seven league games. Just to illustrate their erratic nature, they threw away a two-goal lead against Vaduz at home but also came from a goal down in midweek to draw at a resurgent Neuchatel Xamax.
Stade Lausanne-Ouchy were flying high before the visit of principality club Vaduz on Wednesday. They were unbeaten in six and hadn’t lost by four goals at home since a 4-0 defeat to all-conquering Lausanne in 2020. In the end, Vaduz had too much firepower and SLO could only muster a consolation strike late on. They had the chance to top the league by the end of play but occupy third position and suddenly there are doubts on whether or not they can maintain their title challenge despite the early season promise.
The home side have conceded in their last nine in all competitions and come up against a team with twenty-one goals in twelve games, 12 of which came in six away matches. Schaffhausen did win at the Pontaise earlier this season and while their form has dipped, they can score against a defence that looked more than fragile against Vaduz. I think we’ll have goals at both ends.
Bellinzona v Yverdon-Sport
Just two years ago, Bellinzona and Yverdon-Sport were matching up in the third tier of Swiss football. A promotion each in the subsequent two seasons has them paired together again in the Challenge League. Both of these teams faced some struggles to get here, Yverdon-Sport were eight points clear back in the 19/20 season when the table was voided and were eventually promoted in the following season. Bellinzona actually finished second but were promoted after Breitenrain failed to receive a playing license for the second tier.
There have also been struggles for Bellinzona in adapting to this level. One thing is clear: they don’t really do draws. Their late penalty equaliser at Thun is the only draw of their twelve games to date. This side either wins or loses, and it is often hard to tell which one it will be. They have beaten favourites Lausanne at home but also conceded four at home to SLO. More recently, they lost 4-0 away to previously winless Xamax but also won 5-1 against Wil and 1-0 away to Aarau, a team that had won 4-0 in the reverse fixture, in their last two. Confusing? Perhaps. Entertaining? Most definitely.
Yverdon fall into that entertaining category too. Nine-goal Koro Kone is the top scorer in the league and they too have bounced back from a run of five without victory to register two in a row, scoring three goals in each game in wins against Thun and Schaffhausen.
With this in mind, I think goals will be the theme at the Comunale. All but one of YS’ six away games have had Over 3.5 Goals while Bellinzona have had that outcome in five of their six, the only anomaly being their 1-0 win over Lausanne in the season opener. Historically though, matches between these two have been tight, so I would opt for another close encounter and for Both Teams to Score.
Vaduz v FC Wil
FC Vaduz have caught the media attention like never before since mid-July. They became the first Liechtenstein club to qualify for a European competition and amazingly played all six of their qualifiers and their first three Group Stage matches in the UEFA Europa Conference League before they claimed their first win in the Swiss second tier, a win that came at the tenth time of asking. The principality club is firmly back on track domestically after two emphatic wins over Aarau and, perhaps more impressively, away at Stade Lausanne-Ouchy. Scoring goals was never a problem during this winless run, but nine in the last two is a real statement of intent.
FC Wil suffered a pretty humbling loss to Bellinzona in their last away game but found the perfect pick-me-up in a narrow 1-0 win over Lausanne at home to bring them back level at the top of the table. The manner of that victory was something rare for FCW when you consider that there have been four or more goals in their last four Challenge League matches. It also marked only their second 1-0 victory since March 2021.
Historically, this fixture doesn’t disappoint in the goals department. Seven of the last eight have featured Over 2.5 Goals with all seven having goals from both teams. Vaduz have scored in all but one of their home games this season, conceding in all but one too, and the same can be said for FC Wil. All those ingredients should make for a high-scoring game at the Rheinpark Stadion.
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