Football: 9th place in the Super League: what do the oldies think?

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Servette, Grasshopper, Sion and Lucerne can all inherit 9th place, synonymous with a barrage against relegation. The opinion of four ex-players of the clubs involved.

Sion (Dimitri Cavare, left) and Grasshopper (Dominik Schmid, right) are currently tied on points and under threat from Lucerne.

Marc Schumacher/fresh focus

On Sunday evening, there is only one bad ending. For now, Servette, Grasshopper, Sion and Lucerne can all inherit the unenviable 9th and play-off spot in the Super League. Servette (6th with 42 points in total) still has a comfortable stack compared to Grasshopper (7th with 37 points), Sion (8th with 37 points) and especially Lucerne (9th with 36 points).

So who will have to fight second in the Challenge League (Winterthur for now)? To find out, LeMatin.ch chose to give the floor to four former players of these four clubs.

Eric Pédat (ex-Servette FC): “Servette 9th? Unimaginable!”

Eric Pédat defended Servette's goals for a total of 11 seasons.  Seen here in March 2000.

Eric Pédat defended Servette’s goals for a total of 11 seasons. Seen here in March 2000.

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Eric Pédat, could Servette end up being a roadblock? “I don’t think so. If Servette were to fall to 9th place, that would be a real disaster scenario. With one point to collect in two games, the Geneva club has everything to get by. And the sooner the better, it would be good if he could get rid of this potential concern against Basel this Thursday evening, so he should pick up the item he needs at home, which would allow him to go to Sion on Sunday with a free spirit.

Who will be the barrage? “Even if FC Lucerne has had a very good second round and has been showing a very good frame of mind for a while, I still think it will be him who will be sentenced to the play-offs. On the other side I see the people van Lucerne keep their place in the Super League without too many problems.Over two games, with their audience, they will manage to manage things, especially because they are in good dynamics.

Andy Egli (ex-Grasshopper): “Yes, there is great danger for GC”

Andy Egli wore the Grasshopper jersey for 11 years (here during the 1988-1989 season).

Andy Egli wore the Grasshopper jersey for 11 years (here during the 1988-1989 season).

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Andy Egli, can Grasshopper finish in play-off? “Sportingly, you can imagine everything, even the fact that Grasshopper could be relegated. This situation can be explained by many factors, in particular the fact that there have been enormous movements within the sports management. We must not forget that the club has said goodbye to four of its former players, including three ex-internationals (Editor’s note: Ricardo Cabanas, Marc Hodel and Sascha Müller)† How do you want to build under these conditions? How do you want us to work in continuity? It’s been a long time since GC has represented much, at least not what it was in the past.

Who will be the barrage? “I think it will be FC Sion. Lucerne, the current play-off, has regained some consistency, especially psychologically. The people of Lucerne are in a good phase and will remain so. So I can’t see Sion escape the roadblocks In my opinion Winterthur will be the second Challenge League club But the Walliser club has enough experience and routine to get out of this trap.

Johann Lonfat (ex-FC Sion): “It’s played between Sion and Grahhopper”

Johann Lonfat wore the FC Sion shirt for six years.  Seen here in action in 1998.

Johann Lonfat wore the FC Sion shirt for six years. Seen here in action in 1998.

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Johann Lonfat, Can Sion finish in play-off? “I already said that Sion would be in danger even when they were seven points ahead of Lucerne, so now that they are only one point ahead, yes FC Sion is clearly under threat. The Wallis club has had great difficulty in recent weeks to to gain a certain superiority when I had to. I also have the impression that he always reacts and rarely takes action. So given his current form, I am even less serene. You could imagine Sion presenting himself by this Thursday evening in Lausanne, just to show his intentions right away, but I’m afraid that’s not the case.”

Who will be the barrage? “In my opinion it will be between Sion and Grasshopper. And I think in the end it will be GC that will finish in ninth place. I see Lucerne taking four points, so a lead over the two clubs currently ahead of them.”

Xavier Hochstrasser (ex-FC Lucerne): “

Xavier Hochstrasser played for FC Luzern for three years.  We see him here during his last season in Central Switzerland, in 2014.

Xavier Hochstrasser played for FC Luzern for three years. We see him here during his last season in Central Switzerland, in 2014.

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Xavier Hochstrasser, can Lucerne finish as play-off? “Of course, and the ranking proves it. In fact, Lucerne has been in danger since the start of the season. But the people of Lucerne were able to raise the bar this year, while at the same time GC and Sion started to perform poorly. This allowed Lucerne to return to the race. I thought the Lucerne team was very weak until Christmas, but the change of coach (note: Mario Frick replaced Fabio Celestini) caused a click and Lucerne found the game.

Who will be the barrage? “Lucerne in spite of everything, even if it is not what I want. But as Romand, I wouldn’t want Sion going into the jump-off either. Because these dams are always complicated to manage. Regardless of the teams present, it will be 50-50.

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