St. Gallen v Grasshoppers
Sunday 27th February – 1:15PM KO
The season for St. Gallen so far can be split up into two part: the first half, where they struggled often and won only four of their eighteen fixtures pre-winter break, and the second half, where they have three wins from four, have scored fifteen goals and managed a dramatic late comeback against champions YB to earn a point. The team has been aided by new signings and are regaining confidence from their fans as they begin to climb the table.
Grasshoppers’ only win in their last six Super League fixtures came away at bottom club Lausanne, but the promoted side from last season will be in a buoyant mood after they came from behind twice at home to Young Boys last time out to earn a 2-2 draw. The equalizing goal came in the fifth minute of added time via Hungarian loanee Bendeguz Bolla and rewarded the Zurich club with a point that keeps them in contention for a top-half finish.
It is fair to say that St. Gallen have not enjoyed facing Grasshoppers this season, they were beaten 5-2 away at the Letzigrund in October and were then humbled on their own patch as they lost 4-0 in early December. Sunday’s opponents are also the only team to have beaten St. Gallen twice this season.
Despite that, St. Gallen are a transformed side from the one that struggled for any kind of form in the first half of the season. They are scoring more goals and playing better football too. Grasshoppers are a tricky side to navigate but their form away from home is patchy at best. I’m backing FCSG to pick up the three points to continue their impressive form.
Prediction: St. Gallen to Win, 2.0 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Lausanne v Lugano
Sunday 27th February – 3:30PM KO
All hope is not yet lost for Lausanne, but there are few that would confidently back them to find a way out of their current situation. Their relegation clash with Luzern on Sunday will be a pivotal moment, whichever way it goes, for their prospects in the Super League.
Lausanne’s sorry run of defeats was extended last weekend to a sixth game as they lost 3-0 at St. Jakob-Park against FC Basel. That run actually stands at seven consecutive losses if you were to include the cup defeat to second-tier Yverdon and LS have only scored one goal in their last seven matches in all competitions in that time. LS finally dropped to the bottom of the table and the automatic relegation spot two weeks ago and they now trail Luzern by three points.
Luzern are slowly improving after a dismal start to the season that saw them win only one of their first eighteen games in the league, becoming only the fifth team to “achieve” this record in the last thirty years. Thankfully, their narrow 1-0 win over Sion two weeks ago lifted them from the foot of the table and the encouraging signs continued last weekend with a late equaliser earning a draw against Servette in Geneva. Luzern can move six points clear of Grasshoppers at the bottom and possibly begin to look ahead to escaping the relegation play-off spot if they can win at the Tulliere.
Given that both of these sides are cut adrift from the rest, it is clear that one of them will be automatically relegated while the other will have a second chance in the relegation play-off. Luzern are beginning to improve at the right time but still look shaky and this is a game that Lausanne really can’t afford to lose. The previous two meetings this season ended in 1-1 draws and I expect another low-scoring game with both teams on target.
Prediction: Both Teams to Score, 1.65 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
FC Zurich v FC Basel
Sunday 27th February – 3:30PM KO
The thrilling 3-3 draw served up in ‘Der Klassiker’ back in October was one of the best Super League games in recent memory. A stunning goal on the half-hour by Arthur Cabral lit the touchpaper in a match that Basel led three times before a fourth goal was wrongly ruled out in controversial circumstances. FCZ added to that drama by taking advantage and scoring a late equalizer in the fifth minute of added time.
Much has changed since that night just before Halloween at the Letzigrund. Zurich, four points behind in third place at the conclusion of that match, embarked on a nine-game winning streak that has put them on top of the table and ten points clear of both FC Basel and Young Boys. Their 1-1 draw in a feisty match at Sion was their first dropped points since that draw with Basel, and they were let off the hook in the end by Grasshoppers earning a late draw at home to YB to ensure the gap wouldn’t be closed to eight points.
It has been much more tumultuous for twenty-times Swiss champion FC Basel in the four months that have followed. They have won only three matches in the Super League since then and despite one of those wins coming last weekend, they parted company with manager Patrick Rahmen on Monday. The displays and performances hadn’t been good for FCB, but the timing was unusual with Rahmen having only signed a contract extension during the winter break. Spanish coach Guillermo Abascal will now take temporary charge of the team.
These games rarely disappoint and it will be interesting to see not only how Zurich respond to their first setback for months, but also how FCB perform after the departure of their manager. This has the potential to be another high-scoring, dramatic match, but I can’t see Zurich losing against a disjointed FCB at home. I’d back Zurich DNB.
Prediction: Zurich Draw No Bet, 1.65 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
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