Basel are likely to start this match without Alvarez and Traore which will see their defensive line notably weakened. Traore limped off in the last training session with a foot injury so there is a chance that Riveros will be given a debut. Alvarez returned late from his international duty and could be rested. The hosts were on a superb run until the final game before the international break where they managed to save a point at home with a last minute equaliser. Luzern’s defence has been fairly poor and vulnerable in the recent period so it is expected that a confident home side will be able to create a decent number of chances. Expect to see the hosts playing to win while their supporters will again create a hostile atmosphere. Even a draw here won’t change much the mood in the home team dressing room. The title is likely to be retained as there are no opponents strong enough to seriously contend with them. Currently they have a lead of 11 points ahead of 2nd placed Lausanne.
Luzern will miss suspended midfielder Haas. He is not a regular starter although he’s always close to the best XI. Anyway his absence won’t have a big impact on the strength of their starting eleven. Itten is ill and will not be able to start. An experienced but fairly out of form centre back duo will be retained as Babbel has backed them in his recent press conference. Results have been poor lately as they have lost four out of five last matches, so they’ll travel to Basel with a lack of confidence and belief. The manager is likely to stick with a 4-4-2 formation although they’ll be more balanced than usual. When in possession they look solid, especially with M. Schneuwly in top goal scoring form. Poor form and team spirit as Luzern haven’t won any of their last five matches and have been defeated in four of them. They’ll travel to Basel with a lack of belief and anything but a defeat will please them.
Verdict & Prediction
Basel are a team full of confidence and even them dropping points last time at home to Thun hasn’t changed that at all. Motivation will be high as most of the international players have returned back from their duties and they’ll believe they can defeat a Luzern side who are currently in poor form. The hosts will be big favourites here and anything but a home win will be a kind of surprise.
Prediction: Basel -1.00 AH
Odds: 2.01 Pinnacle
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