Luzern v Lugano
The highs and lows of being an FC Luzern fan have been on full display over the last month or so. An emphatic 6-0 away win at Winterthur was a high point of the season until a rocky few weeks that has brought along a fair share of bad luck. They were very unfortunate to lose out late to YB in a match that began a four-game winless run featuring an encouraging draw away to Servette but also a timid away defeat to Sion and the most recent 3-3 draw with St. Gallen in midweek. That match was one that FCL will feel they could’ve won, eventually surrendering the lead with eight minutes to play.
Lugano have also enjoyed a run of good form, a run that has been bookended with two heavy defeats to league leaders YB. There were plenty of positives in between as the Ticino club grabbed home wins over Servette and Basel and an away draw at St. Gallen. It is certainly an improvement from the early stages of the season when, despite their potential, Mattia Croci-Torti’s men failed to get off the starting grid.
Goals have been a fairly constant theme for Luzern and Lugano. Luzern rarely fail to score at the swissporarena and played out that entertaining draw with St. Gallen on Wednesday. Lugano shipped four goals to Young Boys and have kept only two clean sheets in their last fourteen away games. They’ve also scored in all but two of their last thirteen. For those reasons, I think it’ll be another high-scoring game. There have also been Over 2.5 Goals in the last nine meetings in a row.
FC Zurich v Grasshoppers
Just nineteen days after they last met, FC Zurich and Grasshoppers will reconvene for the 280th edition of the Zurich Derby at the Letzigrund on Sunday afternoon. This typically fiery contest will have an added edge with both sides struggling towards the bottom of the Super League table and desperate to end their winless ways.
It may only be baby steps, however, FC Zurich can take a lot of heart from their first two league performances under Bo Henriksen. Spirited draws at home to Young Boys and away at FC Basel, where they were down a man for over seventy minutes, brought their unbeaten run to four games. The reigning champions are nowhere near where they were expected to be three months into the campaign, but they seem to be slowly heading in the right direction having lost six of the eight games prior to this current unbeaten streak.
Grasshoppers were a surprise package until mid-September. The record champions of Switzerland, tipped for relegation, rubbished those predictions with a run of form that had them rubbing shoulders at the top, just like in the old days. Recently though, their form has dipped and they have not claimed a victory in five games. A 3-2 loss at home to Servette was made even more frustrating given that they had come from 2-0 down to draw level with twenty minutes remaining.
FCZ were actually unlucky not to win in Basel with the chances they created at the end of the match. I think they will get back on the scoresheet against a GC team that has kept just one clean sheet and conceded 14 goals in their last 5. I’d back Both Teams to Score as GC have only failed to score themselves in 2 of their last 23 games at the Letzigrund. The last seven in a row between these two have also finished this way.
St. Gallen v Servette
It is the first time since the 1999/2000 season that St. Gallen and Servette both occupy a spot in the top four of the Super League after twelve rounds. It isn’t always unusual to see these two at this end of the table, it just isn’t something they have done at the same time for many years. That should make for an exciting and ultra-competitive game at kybunpark on Sunday.
St. Gallen have tailed off a little after their electric start to the season and haven’t claimed a win in five matches. It is worth noting that three of those matches came away from home, two at Young Boys and FC Basel, and the other at Luzern’s swissporarena in midweek. That particular game ended in a pulsating 3-3 draw with FCSG salvaging a point in the closing stages. Peter Zeidler’s men will be happy to return to kybunpark, a ground they’ve made into a fortress as of late, a rare blip against Sion in September being their only defeat at the venue this season.
Servette have surprised a lot of people as they sit up in second, still looking to chase down leaders Young Boys. They flirted with disaster in their 3-2 win at Grasshoppers in midweek, throwing away a 2-0 lead before eventually finding the winner to secure only their second away victory in their last eleven trips.
I’m backing St. Gallen draw no bet here. FCSG have been unlucky in recent games and are strong at home. They’ve also lost only one of thirteen home matches against Sunday’s opponents, winning 10 of those, including a 5-1 thrashing last season. SFC’s away record also doesn’t make for pretty reading with just 3 wins and 9 defeats in 15.
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