Let’s don’t beat around the bush. When Ambrì-Piotta and Lugano face each other games aren’t like any other. Both for the fans and the players. The derby scheduled for this Friday February 15th, is no exception.
Yet, in our opinion, this particular derby more than ever should be taken as a game like any other. That’s for the simple reason that it’s not crucial – it would be dangerous to think like that – but it’s just “only” one of the crucial game to play from now to the end of the season.
Langnau 3rd placed and Lugano 10th are separated by as little as 9 points. In other words, there are 8 teams who are battling to grab one of the 6 spots that allow to make the playoffs together with Zug and Bern. 8 teams that will still face each other several times from now until the end of the season and therefore will steal points to each other.
Ambrì-Piotta and Lugano are among these 9 teams. On the eve of this season, The Leventinesi would have dreamed of being in such situation at this point… the Bianconeri instead would have liked to avoid being in such situation today.
Anyway, it would be crazy to consider this derby a crucial one. In fact, it can be considered a double edged sword.
Certainly a win would be a huge confidence booster and this is very important for the last part of the season. Moreover, if the Biancoblù win this derby the Bianconeri’s margin of error would be very small from now on… yet, it would be very dangerous to be too enthusiastic in case of a win.
No one can forget in fact that Ambrì-Piotta will travel to Langnau on Friday night for another game, as much important as this one. No one can forget also that Lugano will host Genève Servette on Sunday afternoon for another equally important game.
To win the derby and then lose the next game… would only allow you to be at the same place. To lose the derby but then win the next game would mean exactly the same thing.
Having said that, let’s talk about this derby. About this game that in our opinion is a double edged sword.
Ambrì-Piotta have every intention to make another step towards the playoffs. They’re among the most consistent guys of the NLA in terms of performances and have proved already capable of defeating every opponents. Lugano for their part have every intention to confirm their recent progresses and want to earn a 4th win in their last 5 games. Greg Ireland’s troops are 10th placed, right… in terms of potential, however, they’re a title contender.
The key factor
The system of play – Whenever Ambrì-Piotta follow their system of play and do it throughout the 60 minutes of play… they have good chances to defeat anyone. Obviously, Lugano included.
The key player
Dominik Kubalik – The Czech top class player is yet to score his first goal this season against Lugano after 5 games. In Ambrì everybody wishes that it was his time…
Ambrì-Piotta are coming off the 1-0 overtime home win earned against Servette that followed the 4-3 home win – always after overtime period – earned against Zug. The Leventinesi won 3 of their last 5 games and always after overtime.
The key factor
The “better” – Lugano are capable of everything and its opposite. They’re capable of being the “best” and the “worst”. If the Bianconeri will show their better side – in terms of intensity, dedication to the cause, spirit of self-sacrifice and quality – can surely earn the 3 points.
The key player
Maxim Lapierre – The playoffs are approaching and Maxim Lapierre can surely smell them. It’s the time of the year he becomes on fire… his personality is crucial for Lugano!
Lugano are coming off the 3-0 home win earned against Zug and they have just delivered arguably one of their best performances of the season. It was, moreover, the second consecutive win and the 4th one in their last 5 games. It’s clear that the Bianconeri have been improving a lot lately… maybe right on time to play a leading role also during the playoffs.
Have fun guys… and may the best team win!