Servette v Lugano | Sunday 1st March 2020, 15:00
Servette have settled into life back in the top fight of Swiss football rather well. They won the Challenge League last season in rather easy fashion and they find themselves in a race to make it back-to-back league titles. There is an eight-point gap to current top team St Gallen, but Servette are very much still in the picture.
They face a Lugano team on Sunday who are never easily beaten. They very much fit into that middle of the road category in this league. Some games they will look world beaters, almost against all known logic, and then other weeks you wonder why they’re involved in football! That inconsistency does make them hard to predict. They’re in the relegation scrap however, so they’re below average as things stand.
One consistent feature about Servette is that they’ve been excellent at home of late. It is five straight victories at Stade de Genève, and that includes beating the two best teams in Switzerland; Young Boys and Basel. That fact alone just proves how tough a place it is to go, even more so when they have momentum. Since the start of November they’ve only lost twice, although that did include an away trip to Lugano.
A record of won six, drawn eight and lost nine does typify Lugano rather appropriately. I really cannot emphasis how inconsistent they are! Only a few weeks ago they beat reigning champions Young Boys, and this came a week after losing against bottom side Thun.
One problem for Lugano this weekend is that Servette just don’t concede many goals at home. They have a way of being able to control matches at their own pace and tempo to suit.
Being superior to Lugano, this is what sways the game in their advantage. Although they’ve only 17 home league goals, which is 10 less than the three teams above them in the table, they've shipped only seven; which is the best home defensive record in the league.
Goals do follow Lugano about, especially on the road. Eight of 11 has seen Over 2.5 Goals, and playing this rather open approach can work at times, but you’d suspect Servette will be quite glad for them to be the case. They should have a good time playing on the counter attack.
Servette to win and Over 1.5 Goals at 11/10 (Coral) is a price that is just too much to resist. When you consider Servette are short odds to just win alone, you’d fancy them to win anything but 1-0 given Lugano’s open nature. Of 46 games combined that both teams have played this season, 32 contained at least two goals.
Bohemians 1905 v Karvina | Sunday 1st March 2020, 16:00
The Czech top flight is back in full swing after a lengthy winter break. All clubs have played twice since resuming action, and Karvina are one of only five teams to win both encounters. It is especially impressive for them considering they had only won two of 20 matches beforehand, so these six points has given them hope of avoiding the drop.
Bohemians 1905 are the team to stand in their way however, and whilst they’ve won one and lost one in their last two, that solitary victory came at home to runaway league leaders Slavia Prague, and it inflicted they’re only defeat of the season so far. They backed it up losing away to Liberec, which is no disgrace with them winning three in a row and challenging for a European spot.
Bohemians do have a bit of a gap to overcome if they’re to challenge for Europe. A top-ten finish is required and whilst they are 11th, there is an eight-point gap to overcome. Without a doubt their problem this season has been their away record, as they’re one of only two teams yet to win on the road. They’ll therefore be glad to be at home this weekend.
On the flip side, whilst Karvina have won their last two, both of those were at home. They too have their issues away from home, so much so they’ve lost their last five league encounters away and failed to score in any of them. In their defence, it was a tough run, but their two away wins came to bottom side Pribram and Zlin, who are just two points above.
Bohemians are actually only four points ahead of Karvina, so there isn’t that much to separate the two teams in actual fact.
However, the obvious starting point when trying to handicap this game is that it is a good home team against quite a poor away outfit. Bohemians have won six, drew one and lost one at home this season. The slight worry would be if Karvina sits back and plays defensive, but having won their last two they’ll probably be a bit more adventurous.
I just think we’re getting good value on the home win here. It is priced at 13/10 (Betdaq) and I can only envisage that price probably dropping a little the nearer to kick-off we get. I certainly wouldn’t want to touch Karvina away. Bohemians last two home defeats came in 2019, in May and December. They’re tough to beat at home and they’re the value call on this occasion.
Servette v Lugano – Servette to Win and Over 1.5 Goals (11/10 Coral)
Bohemians 1905 v Karvina – Bohemians 1905 (13/10 Betdaq)