Winterthur vs Aarau

Free

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Today’s free tip is in the Swiss Challenge League encounter between Winterthur and Aarau.

Last season, Winterthur looked good. Being able to sign former FC Basel man Calla in midfield played a colossal part in that because, even at thirty-odd years old, he was still far too good for this level. Not a bad weapon to have, I’m sure you’ll agree! They were also fortunate enough to loan a couple of very good footballers, namely towering defensive unit Remo Arnold and Albanian wonderkid Sulejmanov. I think it’s fair to say that Alves didn’t do his reputation any harm either. It was a pretty good squad, all things considered. Not enough to challenge the likes of Servette nor Aarau for promotion in a genuine sense but enough to keep them ahead of the rest.

However, as with most things in Swiss football, change happens fast. Now Winterthur is back to being a very average side. As far as I am aware, Calla is still playing for them, which is great news for Winterthur. They’ve also added proven target man Buess to their ranks, which will help ease the pressure on Sliskovic. Tricky Portuguese winger da Silva joined too, which is a plus. That’s where the good news ends, however. Arnold and Sulejmanov were on loan last season and have now returned to FC Luzern and Young Boys Bern respectively. Alves moved to Grasshopper Zurich to help them try and earn a spot back in the Super League. Gazzetta left for Stade Lausanne-Ouchy, presumably wanting to be considered a more integral player. Key Italian midfielder Radice is injured and won’t feature today. Half of their defence is out – Wild and Schattin – as well as defensive understudy Cavar. There are still some good players in this squad but I am sure you can see why I am keen to oppose Winterthur at this moment in time!

The big challenge for Aarau this season is coping without Turkish attacker Tasar, who has joined Servette. Although not a gifted finisher, the youngster was a fast and gifted dribbler so losing someone like that is problematic for a Challenge League team. Much like Winterthur, they also lost some regulars that were on loan (Burgy, Obexer, Nikolic). However, unlike Winterthur, Aarau has depth and the money to reinforce their squad, hence the arrival of defender Thiesson, for example.

The key here is to remember just how good this Aarau side actually is. I don’t expect them to keep clean sheets because they don’t defend convincingly enough to do so and all of their goalkeepers this season are very young. However, I do expect them to outscore most teams at this level, if not all, because of how much money they’ve invested in their attack over the past year or so. They’ve got two excellent target men in Maierhofer and Schneuwly, although I much prefer the Austrian as he’s absolutely unplayable. Rossini is finally back from lengthy injury and is a very experienced alternative. On top of that, they’ve got a Super League level playmaker in Neumayr, and to this day I have no idea why he’s opted to play at Challenge League level after his stint in Turkey. Anyway, his presence here is very helpful for promotion-chasing Aarau, yet again. Therefore, despite the departure of Tasar, I don’t have any issue in trusting Aarau here, not when you consider that Winterthur are missing most of their starting eleven from last season for this game for one reason or another.

It’s early days in the season (this is the opener for both clubs, actually) and changes have been made so I am expecting a bit of a rusty game here. However, Aarau has a clear quality advantage, not to mention the advantage of simply being able to play players in their rightful positions. I don’t see why the visitors would lose this one. Therefore, working on the assumption that Aarau don’t start this campaign in the fashion they started the last one (which is what cost them promotion in the end), backing the away win with draw no bet cover makes a lot of sense here. The bookies aren’t at the races if they think that this Winterthur side are anywhere near the level of Aarau.

Verdict: Aarau to win with draw no bet at 83/100.

Saturday’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.

Belgian Super Cup:

Racing Genk vs KV Mechelen

Brazilian Serie A:

Vasco da Gama vs Fluminense
Bahia vs Cruzeiro
Internacional vs Gremio
Ceara vs Palmeiras
CSA vs Athletico Paranaense

Bulgarian A PFG:

CSKA Sofia vs Cherno More Varna
Beroe vs Ludogorets Razgrad

Croatian Prva Liga:

Rijeka vs Varazdin
Gorica vs Inter Zapresic

Czech Republic Liga 1:

Sigma Olomouc vs Zlin
Opava vs Marila Pribram
Slovacko vs Ceske Budejovice
Sparta Prague vs Baumit Jablonec

Estonian Meistriliiga:

Tammeka vs Tallinna Kalev

Finnish Veikkausliiga:

KPV vs SJK
VPS vs FC Lahti
Ilves vs HJK

Finnish Ykkonen:

Ekenas IF vs Kajaani
TPS vs Haka Valkeakoski

Russian Premier League:

FK Ufa vs FK Krasnodar
Krylya Sovetov Samara vs Arsenal Tula
CSKA Moscow vs FK Orenburg
FK Rostov vs Spartak Moscow

Swedish Allsvenskan:

Orebro vs Falkenberg
AIK Solna vs Helsingborg
GIF Sundsvall vs BK Hacken Goteborg

Swiss Super League:

FC Thun vs Neuchatel Xamax
St. Gallen vs FC Luzern

Swiss Challenge League:

Winterthur vs Aarau
Grasshopper Zurich vs Stade Lausanne-Ouchy
Chiasso vs FC Wil
FC Schaffhausen vs Lausanne Sport

Enjoy your free betting tips!