Luzern vs Grasshoppers by Gustav
Luzern comes into this match after a very difficult game against Sassuolo last Thursday evening in the third qualifying round for Europa League. The team took a strong start and opened the scoreline already in eight minute, thanks to a goal from Schneuwly, but failed to build up on that and suffered equalizer just before the halftime whistle from the penalty kick.
They had some decent chances in the repetition and even missed a penalty kick, ending the game as a 1:1 score which now makes the Italian side surely being a favorite to progress further. As for the domestic league, they opened it in the best possible way last weekend, with a 2:1 victory against Lugano, but are awaiting now much more difficult task when welcoming vice-champions from previous season.
Their coach Markus Babbel has said that he expected a very tough game and since both teams played on Thursday evening, he just expects to see which of the sides has more power early in the season. As for the home team news, they continue to miss injured central defender Francois Affolter (1/0), while defender Jerome Thiesson didn't heal his injury on time.
Grasshoppers, on the other side, comes from a 2:1 victory at home over Cypriot side Apollon, in the first qualifying match of the third round for Europa League. It's probably not the best possible victory for them since the Swiss side conceded a goal, but it still leaves them as slight favorite in front of the second leg played on next Thursday.
As for the domestic league, they have also started the campaign with a victory last weekend, winning over newly promoted Lausanne 2:0 at home. One of the best performers of the match was Brazilian striker Caio who scored both goals and whole club expects a lot from him this season. Their coach has said that the team wants a positive outcome today, since everything else would being negative attention around the club, adding he feels that they are in a good situation early in the season.
Striker Florian Kamberi and midfielder Marko Basic might be involved today, as well as central defender Levent Gulen after all three not being able to play in the first round. Doubtful is striker Haris Tabakovic (1/0).
I expect a very difficult and equal game, since both teams have played on Thursday evening and are awaiting again difficult matches next Thursday. However, in my eyes, players of Grasshoppers have much bigger potential for this season and therefore, current odds represent value for me.