Thun v Winterthur (Challenge League)
Friday 18th February – 7:15PM KO
The second-tier of Swiss football is highly competitive but very unforgiving. Just last weekend, FC Thun were very much in contention in the promotion race as they trailed the top two by just five points, and with a game in hand too. However, after their 2-0 defeat away to Aarau, they now trail the league leaders by eight points and are six points adrift of second place. It is a situation that they can still salvage, but their home match with Winterthur on Saturday is already looking crucial in maintaining their ambition of a return to the Super League.
Winterthur continue to impress in recent weeks under Alex Frei. It is now seven points from nine in the three matches since he took over during the winter break and his side have found the scoring touch that FC Wil, Frei’s former club, have possessed for much of the season. More crucially, they aren’t leaking the same number of goals that FC Wil did under Frei either. Their 3-0 win at home last weekend marked a third clean sheet in a row and brought their goals tally for the three games to seven goals.
Despite their improved form, Winti are yet to really prove themselves away from the Schutzenwiese this season. They’ve only failed to score in three of their last ten away matches, but having also conceded in eight of those ten matches, I expect goals at both ends with FC Thun also scoring freely (9/10) and conceding regularly (7/10).
Prediction: Both Teams to Score, 1.45 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
SC Kriens v Aarau (Challenge League)
Saturday 19th February – 5:00PM KO
A goal in each half was enough for FC Aarau as they made it two wins in a row in the Challenge League with their 2-0 victory over FC Thun. The result stretches their unbeaten run from November to seven matches and has propelled them to the top of the table. The confidence is flowing and they seem to be peaking at just the right time ahead of their visit to play the bottom club in the league, SC Kriens.
Kriens hopes of staying up have long since been extinguished. They took a surprising lead at Stade Lausanne-Ouchy last Friday, their first goal in three matches, but ultimately succumbed to a 2-1 defeat. Kriens have now tasted defeat in their last nine consecutive matches in the Challenge League and their last victory, their only league victory to date, came at the end of October.
It is a sorry run for a squad that is simply out of its depth in the Swiss second-tier and there seems to be little end in sight. The visitors come into this match on good form and are behind only Vaduz for the best away record in the league. They were held to a frustrating home draw to Kriens in early October but were winners at Kleinfeld in December. The three points should be heading back to Brugglifeld
Prediction: Aarau to Win, 1.70 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Lugano v St. Gallen (Super League)
Saturday 19th February – 5:00PM KO
Despite their crushing 3-0 defeat to FC Zurich at the Letzigrund last time out, FC Lugano are flying high in the Swiss Super League this season. There aren’t many who would’ve predicted the club from Ticino to be comfortable in fourth position, just four points behind FC Basel in third, at this stage of the season. It is even more surprising after the shock departure of Brazilian manager Abel Braga after just two months and five matches.
St. Gallen make the lengthy journey to the border with Italy in extremely high spirits after their demolition of Servette at kybunpark last time out. They recorded their second 5-1 win in their last three matches and have scored thirteen goals in total in those games, something they last achieved back in the 1992/93 season. It is in stark contrast to their five-game winless run prior to the winter break.
There is no side in the Super League that relishes a trip to the Cornaredo. FC Lugano have lost eight games this season but only two of them, against league leaders FC Zurich and Swiss champions YB, have come at home. They boast a superior record on their own patch than FC Basel and have won five of their last six at the venue.
As good as St. Gallen have been lately, they have only picked up three wins on the road so far, one at FC Basel and twice at whipping boys Lausanne. It is possible that FCSG take something from the game but Lugano shouldn’t lose to a side that they’ve already beaten at home this season.
Prediction: Lugano Double Chance, 1.40 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
FC Basel v Lausanne-Sport (Super League)
Saturday 19th February – 7:30PM KO
A flash of the red card by referee Urs Schnyder in the direction of Wouter Burger and the title aspirations of FC Basel this season went up in smoke. Michael Lang had given FCB the lead in their crucial showdown with Young Boys in Bern last weekend and while the twenty-time Swiss champions were pegged back by a wonderful Vincent Sierro strike just before the break, they were very much on course to take something from the game. The two yellows for Burger allowed YB to take command as a quick-fire double by Ngamaleu and Siebatcheu kept FC Zurich in sight at the top, leaving FCB trailing by twelve points with ten games to go.
The visit of troubled Lausanne on Saturday is an opportunity for Basel to reset and get back on track after only one win in their last seven matches. Lausanne’s season took another turn on Sunday as they were comfortably beaten at home by Grasshoppers. The result marked a fifth straight defeat, the third game in a row without a goal, and dropped them to the bottom of the table after Luzern finally picked up a win themselves. All signs point towards relegation for a club whose fans have long since lost patience, releasing a statement on Wednesday calling for the firing of their sporting director.
FC Basel did toil against Lausanne at St. Jakob-Park in early December, and while results haven’t been great since, LS have completely fallen apart since then. FCB should return to winning ways in a confidence-boosting performance.
Prediction: Basel Win & Over 1.5 Goals, 1.67 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
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