St. Gallen vs Lugano


We’re always looking for new recruits to help us so please click here if you want to find out more about the ways you can help us (e.g. local input, watching games)!

There are 7 bankers & 8 value tips in the Members Section today so feel free to sign up here to see them + team news!

Today’s free tip is in the Swiss Super League encounter between St. Gallen and Lugano.

I’ve got to hand it to Zeidler, you know – I’ve not seen a manager in Switzerland before get a team so up for a game when the odds are stacked against them. It feels like every time St. Gallen are up against it, they produce some miraculous display or other and either record a positive result or deserve one. That was certainly the case in the capital last weekend; they more than matched Young Boys Bern despite five of their most important players this season all being out. Truth be told, the title hopefuls were lucky to win the game; Stergiou’s own goal came at a time when the game had all but died.

For today’s game, St. Gallen welcome almost everybody back; only Schubert remains out, and he will be for a while yet too. That means Stillhart and Maglica will presumably be their centre-backs again, von Moos will partner either Akolo or Guillemenot in attack, and Witzig’s return to midfield should see Schmidt move to left-back. They’re almost at their strongest, in other words. I don’t think Karlen can do the same job as Schubert but they’ve had enough time without the Austrian to get used to life without him for a bit so I’m not worried.

Essentially, I’ve developed a lot of trust for St. Gallen. I penned them as dark horses pre-season, partially because of how unconvincing the supposed title favourites were, and partially because of how good Zeidler’s transfer activity has been throughout 2022. They’ve gone from strength to strength, and now have at least two solid performers per most positions. They’re mentally tough, very fit, and each shares this unshakable desire to win. I can’t praise St. Gallen highly enough, really. That’s why I’ve opted to back them against a Lugano side that I hold in the highest regard thanks to Croci-Torti’s tactical acumen.

Truth be told though, I suspect Croci-Torti is under a bit of pressure behind the scenes. Tactically, he’s been excellent since taking over, especially for a young manager. However, this is now a very rich club, at least by Swiss standards. Although it’s a long-term project that they’ve got in southern Switzerland, chances are good that the American investors expect more of a return than what’s been evident thus far because Lugano have spent quite a bit of money pre-season. Fair enough – it’s not like they’re in the relegation zone or anything; they’re only fourth! It’s just that this has not been a dominant campaign for any team, and with striker-less Servette above them in the table, you have to wonder if he’s feeling it behind the scenes.

I really like the squad he’s now assembled. I don’t just like them individually; I recognise how flexible they all are system-wise. Sure, I can pick holes in a couple of positions if you really want me to, but this is the most complete and convincing Lugano squad I’ve seen since Alioski was there. Good things are coming to them, sooner or later – but based on their displays recently, I’m inclined to side with the latter. Yes, they’ve been winning games but only by virtue of nicking the first goal and sitting, and that approach won’t always work in an attack-minded Super League.

I have particularly big concerns about the approach working today too, largely because their defence doesn’t convince me. I don’t believe Croci-Torti knows his best defensive line-up, in other words. Saipi in net and Doumbia/Sabbatini shielding – there’s no doubts about those three. The back four/three (formation dependent) though? I don’t think he knows, and nor do I for that matter. On paper, it should be easy enough but it’s not. Arigoni can’t get himself fit so he’s not been playing much. Instead, they’ve pulled Valenzuela over from left-back to cover for him – earlier in the season it was midfielder Durrer playing there. In turn, that’s led veteran defender Ziegler to play at left-back instead. Five years ago, no problem – but now? He’s a centre-back because of his lack of speed so it’s a problem when he’s played out of position. Croci-Torti doesn’t seem to want to play Hajrizi just let after his long spell out though, and with Daprela out and Arigoni possibly going to be benched again, options are really running thin at the back.

The boon for Lugano is that they’ve got the classy Steffen to run the show for them in the final third now. Between him and Bottani, the team will never be short of chances but unless they sort their defence out in northern Switzerland today then I think they’re in real trouble because St. Gallen will simply pick them off if they get the chance to make this game open. It may also be prudent to note that this is the first time St. Gallen have hosted Lugano since Lugano beat them 4-1 in the Schweizer Pokal final last season – a touch of revenge may be on the agenda. 

Verdict: St. Gallen to win at 9/10.

Sunday’s Thoughts

As ever, if there are any explanations required then please feel free to post a comment! For the remainder of my thoughts on today’s games, see below, although I feel compelled to write that the below are not necessarily my tips but merely my thoughts. For confidence ratings, you’ll need to go to the members section here.

Australian A-League:

Wellington Phoenix vs Central Coast Mariners 
Macarthur FC vs Adelaide United 
Western United vs Sydney FC

Austrian Bundesliga:

SCR Altach vs Hartberg 
Sturm Graz vs Wolfsberger AC
Austria Vienna vs Salzburg

Belgian Eerste Klasse:

Standard de Liege vs Antwerp
AA Gent vs KV Mechelen
RSC Anderlecht vs Club Brugge
KV Oostende vs Union Saint-Gilloise

Brazilian Serie A:

Ceara vs Cuiaba
Palmeiras vs Sao Paulo
Botafogo vs Internacional 
Juventude vs Atletico Goianiense 
Avai vs Fluminense
Athletico Paranaense vs Coritiba 

Bulgarian A PFG:

CSAK 1948 Sofia vs Spartak Varna
Septemvri Sofia vs Levski Sofia

Croatian Prva Liga:

Dinamo Zagreb vs Varazdin
Rijeka vs Lokomotiva Zagreb 

Czechia Liga 1:

Banik Ostrava vs Slovacko 
Baumit Jablonec vs Viktoria Plzen
Zlin vs Slovan Liberec
Slavia Prague vs Mlada Boleslav 

Danish Superligaen:

Brondby vs FC Copenhagen 
Viborg vs OB
FC Nordsjaelland vs AGF
FC Midtjylland vs AC Horsens 

English Premier League:

Aston Villa vs Chelsea 
Leeds United vs Arsenal 
Manchester United vs Newcastle United
Southampton vs West Ham United 
Liverpool vs Manchester City

Estonian Meistriliiga:

Nomme Kalju vs Flora Tallinn

Faroese Betrideildin:

AB vs Vikingur Gota
B36 Torshavn vs HB Torshavn
EB/Streymur vs KI
NSI Runavik vs B68 Toftir 
Skala vs 07 Vestur Sorvagur 

Finnish Veikkausliiga:

FC Lahti vs HIFK
IFK Mariehamn vs VPS 
AC Oulu vs Ilves 
HJK vs KuPS 
FC Honka Espoo vs Haka Valkeakoski
Inter Turku vs SJK

French Ligue 1:

Toulouse vs Angers SCO
AJ Auxerre vs OGC Nice 
FC Nantes Atlantique vs Stade Brestois
Stade Rennais vs Olympique Lyonnais
Troyes vs AC Ajaccio 
AS Monaco vs Clermont Foot 38
Paris Saint-Germain vs Olympique de Marseille 

German Bundesliga:

Koln vs Augsburg
Union Berlin vs Bv09 Borussia Dortmund
Bayern Munich vs SC Freiburg

German Bundesliga 2:

Holstein Kiel vs Heidenheim
Kaiserslautern vs Magdeburg
Paderborn 07 vs SV Sandhausen 

Hungarian Liga 1:

Debreceni VSC vs Ujpest
Mezokovesd-Zsory vs Ferencvaros 

Italian Serie A:

Internazionale vs Salernitana
SS Lazio vs Udinese
Spezia vs Cremonese
SSC Napoli vs Bologna
Hellas Verona vs AC Milan

Italian Serie B:

Perugia vs Sudtirol 

Dutch Eredivisie:

Sparta Rotterdam vs NEC
PSV Eindhoven vs FC Utrecht
FC Twente Enschede vs FC Groningen
AZ vs Feyenoord Rotterdam
AFC Ajax Amsterdam vs Excelsior Rotterdam

Norwegian Eliteserien:

Aalesund FK vs Hamarkameratene
Kristiansund vs Haugesund
Sandefjord vs Jerv
Valerenga Oslo vs Bodo/Glimt 
Viking Stavanger vs Sarpsborg 08
Lillestrom SK vs Molde FK

Spanish Primera Liga:

Celta de Vigo vs Real Sociedad
Real Madrid vs Barcelona
RCD Espanyol vs Real Valladolid
Real Betis Balompie vs Almeria 

Swedish Allsvenskan:

Djurgarden vs AIK Solna
Mjallby Solvesborg vs Hammarby

Swiss Super League:

St. Gallen vs Lugano
Servette vs FC Basel 
FC Zurich vs Young Boys Bern

Swiss Challenge League:

Vaduz vs Aarau 

Turkish Super Lig:

Istanbul Basaksehir vs Istanbulspor
Besiktas JK vs Trabzonspor 

Enjoy your free betting tips!

The Footy Tipster logo

Sign up to our email newsletter to receive free tips

We will send our latest tips straight to your email inbox. We typically send 5 free tips per week.

Get free tips