Zurich vs Basel by Gustav
Zurich suffered their biggest defeat this season as they visited Aarau last weekend. The decisive moment of the game happened in the eighteenth minute when goalkeeper da Costa received red card and visitors had to play with ten men for the rest of the match. From that moment only one team was playing on the field and Aarau got more than deserved 5:1 victory.
With two consecutive defeats, also having three in last four matches, Zurich lost touch with the top four teams that are getting European ticket. They are currently at sixth position having seven points less than fourth placed Young Boys and something will have to be changed soon in case they want to remain competitive for the upper part of the table. Many fans are not satisfied with coach Meier and wants replacement for him, while the team has a tough schedule facing Grasshoppers in a local derby next Wednesday. Their today's game won't be any easier as they are facing champions that are undefeated on the road this season, while coach Meier only said that he wants to see his team avoiding mistakes they did against Aarau.
Main goalkeeper da Costa (11/0) is suspended following his red card last weekend, while substitute goalkeeper Brecher (no performance yet) is injured, resulting that Malloth (1/0) will be between the posts, same goalkeeper that came instead of da Costa last weekend and made his first professional game only seven days ago. Striker Gavranovic (8/3) is available again, while midfielder Kukeli still didn't recover fully from long term injury.
Basel, on the other hand, had a very important Champions League game few days ago, as they stayed undefeated away to Steaua in a 1:1 draw. At the beginning of the second half they took the lead with a goal from Chilean Diaz, but payed the price of lack of focus and conceded equalizer only two minutes later.
However, the draw seems to be the most logical and fair result, as both teams had their good phases during the game. Their previous domestic league game saw them winning over St Gallen 3:0 at home, while the team continues being the leader with 7-4-1 record now and with three points more than their closest followers from Grasshoppers and Luzern. They are coming today for a revenge today as they suffered the only loss in this season against Zurich at home with a 1:2 result back in August. Striker Sio (5/3) is serving his second match-ban, while left back Safari (10/0) got injured in a match against Steaua and is highly doubtful for today's game. Offensive midfielder Delgado is expected to start the game.
Hosts should be competitive for some time during the game but without their goalkeeper and with a poor form behind their back, it's hard to see them getting away with something against Basel that should take their opponents much more serious now.