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Is the championship Sankt Gallen's for the taking?

The FC Sankt Gallen squad

The National League A football championship could be decided later today, when Sankt Gallen meet Basel. If Sankt Gallen - the season's runaway leaders - come home with a win, the title will be theirs for the first time since 1904.

Sankt Gallen currently have 46 points. A victory would add three points to their cumulative total, moving them into the safety zone, ahead of their nearest rival, Basel, who have 35 points.

A victory for Sankt Gallen would not only give them the NLA championship, it would make amends for their defeat by Basel last year, which also happens to be the last match they lost.

Basel gave them a 4:1 drubbing back in October, which included a hat trick from Kourmantarakis. However, Sankt Gallen picked themselves up from that defeat and had a run of victories, which propelled them to the top of the table.

It remains mathematically possible for Sankt Gallen to slip up. To be totally unassailable, they need to take a total of four points from the five games remaining.

Tonight's game is the most crucial one for Basel, who are the only side with any chance of catching the leaders. They must beat them this evening to have even the slimmest hope of overtaking Sankt Gallen.

Four more victories for Basel would then take them to a full 50 points. If Sankt Gallen manage only a single victory from the final four games, ending the season on 49 points, then Basel can take the title.

An alternative but highly unlikely scenario would be for Sankt Gallen lose all their remaining games, ending the season on 46 points and Basel taking 12 points from theirs, in a combination of wins and draws, to end on 47.

Basel play a tough, physical game, and the pressure to prevent a Sankt Gallen victory is likely to accentuate this style. Sankt Gallen for their part will be looking to their star striker, Ghana's Amoah, who has scored 23 goals this season, to win the game.

swissinfo with agencies

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