Friday, July 27, 2007

J.League 2 - round 31 preview




Cerezo Osaka
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Vegalta Sendai
Cerezo hit ground again last round when they were thrashed 4-0 by Tokyo Verdy away. The result don’t tell the whole story though, as Cerezo was in fact the superior team that match according to chances and possession. Tokyo scored 2 goals in each half to win the match pretty convincingly. Cerezo outshot Tokyo 17-10 though, and should have scored a few goals themselves. The Cerezo squad is still very young and haven’t gained that much experience yet, which probably is one of the reason why they lost so big here. With a bit more luck, they could easily have won this, but instead they lost for the 3rd time this season to Tokyo.On the positive side, Cerezo were by no means outplayed, and showed again that they have a very talented squad. It’s up to the coach Culpi now to avoid these errors in the future. Vegalta played Consadole at home, and like Cerezo, lost despite outshooting the opponent. Consadole won 2-0 after being put under pressure for most of the match. The first goal came midway through the 1st half, on a counter-attack after one of many Vegalta attacks. Consadole scored another one right after the restart, and although Vegalta did their best to answer, they failed to find the net. Vegalta deserved atleast a draw here though, if not a win, as they outshot the league leaders 22-6.


The first meeting this season ended with a 2-0 away win for Vegalta. It was in the 2nd round, and the opening game for Cerezo. Vegalta, who were on fire in the early stages, scored one goal early in both half’s to secure the win. Cerezo created most chances though, but as many times this season, they still lost. Cerezo had 14 shots in total to Vegalta’s 7. Cerezo probably think they should have deserved more this game. Vegalta also won the 2nd meeting of the season, 1-0 at home. It was a closely contested match, with lots of shots but few of them were really that dangerous. Vegalta’s goal didn’t came before in the 85th minute, after Lopes, who proved to be more than a handful for the Cerezo defence this game, broke through to slot it home. Again, Cerezo must have felt they deserved at least a draw, as they had 15 shots to Vegalta’s 14. Not the best of displays from either teams though. The teams have met 4 times before, with a 2-0-2 record. Cerezo’s home form is 4-0-2, while Vegalta away got 2-1-3. Cerezo have been quite good since Levir Culpi took over, but tends to lose against the best teams, even though they manage to stay on par with them through the game. Vegalta’s form has taken a dip, and they are now only 1 point ahead of Tokyo in 4th. The game is equally important for both teams, Cerezo need a win to stay within reach of the other teams ahead of them, and Vegalta needs to win to stay ahead. I think home advantage will give Cerezo the upper hand here, as they have been in slightly better form than the visitors as well. Cerezo WIN

Avispa Fukuoka
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Tokyo Verdy 1969
Avispa were on fire last round, atleast in the first half, when they throbbed Thespa Kusatsu 5-1 away. Avispa scored all their goals in the first half, and Alex was the undisputed man of the match with a ”real” hattrick within 23 minutes. Avispa scored their 4 last goals between the 31st and 38th minute, and at that time, Thespa looked really poor. Avispa slowed down in the 2nd half though, and let Thespa more and more into the game. Thespa got their consolation goal from a set-piece midway through the 2nd half, after an Avispa player had been sent off. Actually, Thespa had 15 shots to Avispa’s 11, so all in all it wasn’t as one-sided as the results shows. Tokyo were also outshot, but not outplayed, when they met Cerezo at home. Tokyo scored 2 goals in each half to win 4-0 against the team in pink.
Tokyo proved very efficient though, and scored on what was their only big chances in the game. Cerezo, on the other hand, had more chances and should have scored at least a couple of goals here. Credit to Tokyo for keeping a clean sheet though. Tokyo had 10 shots in total, to Cerezo’s 17.

Both teams are missing some very important players here. The biggest loss for Tokyo will be that Hulk, J2’s topscorer is out with suspension. Avispa are without a couple of important midfielders though, who will be missed as well. The last meeting was back in may, in a game Tokyo won 4-2 at home. It was a pretty even match, but Tokyo never looked like losing it. Tokyo scored 2 quick goals just before the break, which Avispa never managed to equal. Avispa gave a good effort though, and came close on several occasions. All in all it was a deserved win, as Tokyo wanted most. Tokyo outshot Avispa 11 to 9. The first game, in round 7, ended with a 2-1 home win for Avispa. That was actually the first loss of the season for Tokyo, and the start of a 8 games-in-a-row losing streak. Avispa took an early lead, and were the dominant team for most of the game. Tokyo didn’t need much time to equalize though, and for long it looked liked it were going to end a draw. Alex, Avispa’s topscorer and number 3 in the league, scored with just a minute left to give Avispa a deserved 2-1 win. Avispa outshot Tokyo 14-5. That’s the only meetings between them actually. Avispa’s home form is so-so, with 3-0-3 on last 6. Tokyo are very good away, with 4-2-0.Avispa only got 1 win and 3 points from their last 3 matches, while Tokyo have 5-2-0 from their 7 last. It’s a pretty open game we have on our hand here, but Tokyo’s superior form makes them slight favorites.Tokyo are 4 points ahead of Avispa on the table, but Avispa got a game in hand. Tokyo Win
Consadole Sapporo
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Sagan Tosu
Consadole travelled to Sendai for a tough away game with Vegalta, and took a strong 2-0 victory. They may find themselves a bit fortunate though, as Vegalta were the dominant team for most parts of the game. Consadole took the lead against the play in the 19th minute. After that, they defended with all their strength to deny Vegalta any goals. Vegalta had plenty of chances, but for once, poor finishing let them down. Consadole extended their lead 1 minute into the 2nd half, through topscorer Davi. Vegalta pushed hard to get back into the game, but good goalkeeping from Takagi denied them any goals. Vegalta outshot Consadole 22-6 though, and probably deserved more. Sagan didn’t play last round, so their last game was against Tokushima at home where they won 2-1 in a match short on chances. Sagan took the lead midway through the 1st half on one of their first attempts on goal . Tokushima didn’t had a single chance for the entire 1st half, and looked generally poor in attack. Sagan doubled their lead in the 63rd minute, and controlled the game. Neither of the teams created much though, before Tokushima put one back in the 89th minute. Nothing more happened after that, and I guess it was a deserved win.Sagan outshot Tokushima 7-6.


Consadole can field their best lineup here, while Sagan are without a few regulars.
Consadole won both the previous meetings 1-0. The first one was at home in the 2nd round, and Consadole won after a 1st half goal by Seiya Fujita. Consadole controlled most of that match, and denied Sagan any real chances. Consadole had 15 shots in all, to Sagan’s 8.
The last meeting was in Tosu, and Seiya Fujita was once again the man to down Sagan. The game started pretty slow, and neither teams created much the 1st half. Fujita struck just 1 minute after the break though, and for the rest of the game, Sagan had to play catch-up to try to get an equalizer. They came close on several occasions, and probably deserved to score as well. But no more goals were scored, and Consadole took the win. Sagan outshot Consadole 13-5. Consadole got the upper hand on Sagan, with 3-1-2 on all meetings. Consadole’s home form is 2-4-0, and they have been a little rusty of late. Sagan have varied alot lately, and got 3-0-3 away. Consadole are natural favorites here, and i don’t really see them lose this. A narrow home win seems most probable, and a similiar result to the 2 previous meetings this season might happen again. Consadole Win
Mito Hollyhock
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Thespa Kusatsu
Mito battled it out with Ehime away last round, in a game that ended scoreless, 0-0. Neither teams looked much inspiring up front, and we saw few chances. Ehime were the team most likely to score though, and came close on a few occasions. Mito clearly suffered under the loss of midfielders Muramatsu and Biju, and only managed 5 shots on goal to Ehime’s 9. Thespa’s misery continued when they hosted Avispa last round. Avispa started the game off in a blazing tempo, and by half time the visitors were up 5-0. Thespa looked almost looked ”star-strucked”, and showed too much respect for the more highly regarded Avispa players all through the 1st half. Things got a little better in the 2nd half when Avispa slowed down, and let Thespa more and more into the game. Thespa scored from a set-piece midway through the 2nd half after Nunobe of Avispa received his 2nd yellow card for a blatant foul. Thespa could and probably should have added a few more to their tally, but by then the game were already lost, so it didn’t really matter. Thespa outshot Avispa 15-11 though.


Thespa won the last meeting 1-0 at home, after a late goal. The game were evenly matched all through, and Thespa were a bit fortunate to get the late goal .Mito had the best chances, but as usual failed to capitalise on them. Mito started the game best, and were the superior team in the first half. Things chanced after the break though, as Thespa took more and more over. The most fair result would have been a draw, as Thespa had 12 shots to Mito’s 11. This has been Mito’s biggest problem this season, failing to tip even matches into their favour. Usually Mito only manages to play good for one half each game, but if they don’t manage to score that half, they won’t be picking up many points. The first match also ended with a win for Thespa as they won 3-1 away in the 3rd round of the season. IT was pretty much a similar story as to the other game, as Mito were the best team in the 1st half, only to see Thespa turn it around after the break. This match though, Mito scored an early goal and for long it looked very positively for the home team. They had some other good chances as well, but the single goal was all they managed. After the break, Mito looked a different team and literally rolled over for Thespa to win it. Thespa equalized just minutes into the half, and scored another one in the 60th minute. Thespa finished Mito off with a goal a minute from full time. A deserved away win. All meetings gives us 1-1-4 for Mito, so Thespa are the superior team here.Mito’s home form is 1-0-5, and they’ve lost 5 in a row at home. On the last 8 home and away, they only got 4 points, which they all got from the matches vs Ehime. Thespa aren’t much better though, and they haven’t won in 12 matches. They have 5 losses in a row, and away they only got 0-3-3 on the last 6. It’s a pretty open match we got here, but Mito’s many injuries might tip the game into Thespa’s favour. Although Thespa lost against Avispa, and Cerezo the match before, they were by no means outplayed in either matches. Thespa Win
Montedio Yamagata
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Ehime FC
Montedio won 1-0 away last round to Tokushima. It was a game few on chances, and both teams looked very cautious in their build-up, as they couldn’t afford to lose. The first half especially were dull, and by half time the score were still 0-0. Montedio scored the only goal of the game around the hour mark, after Tokushima conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position. Tokushima chased the equalizer, but Montedio kept their head cool to win their first game in 6 matches. Montedio outshot Tokushima 9 - 7 . Ehime had fellow minnow Mito at home, in a game that ended 0-0. Ehime were the slightly better team, and could have scored on a few occasions. Neither of the teams looked very fond of attacking though, and the 0-0 result gives a good reflection of the game. Ehime outshot Mito 9-5.

Montedio won the last meeting 1-0 away, after a goal in the dying seconds of the 1st half. Montedio looked the best team for the whole match, and shold have won it by a bigger margin. This was in the middle of Montedio’s fine run earlier this season, and they outshot Ehime 14-7. The first match also ended with a Montedio win, this time 3-1 at home. This victory was even more convincing than the other one, as Montedio outplayed Ehime in every single way. All 4 goals came in the 1st half, and Montedio scored first only to see Ehime equalize some 10 minutes later. Montedio geared up a shift after that, and scored 2 new goals to regain control of the game. The 2nd half were not that action-filled, but Montedio should have extended their lead by a couple of more goals. Montedio outshot Ehime 17-3. Montedio have a very good record against Ehime, with 4-2-0 on all meetings. Montedio’s home form is a mere 1-2-3, while Ehime away got a very good ( for a lower half of the table team) 3-1-2 on their last 6. Ehime hasn’t scored much though, and got a 5-7 goal difference on those games.Montedio only got 1 defeat on their last 5 home and away, with 2-2-1. Ehime got 2-3-2 on last 7. I think we’ll see Montedio take the points.
Shonan Bellmare
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Tokushima Vortis
Shonan lost 2-1 away at Kyoto last round, after Kyoto came back from 0-1 to win it. Shonan took the lead in the 30th minute through Jean, and kept it like that till half-time. Kyoto didn’t create much the first half, but came out a complete new team after the break. Within 9 minutes of the 2nd half, they had scored 2 quick goals and were suddenly in the lead. Jean, who scored Shonan’s goal, went from hero to villain as he produced the free-kick on the 2-1 goal for Kyoto. To make things worse, he was rewared with a yellow card which means he is out for this game. Tokushima played Montedio at home, where they lost 1-0. The game were pretty even, and few on chances. Neither of the teams delivered sparkling football, and for long it looked like it were going to end 0-0. Montedio scored from a set-piece in the 60th minute, which forced Tokushima to move a little further up the pitch. They failed to reply though, and saw Montedio get away with all points in the end. Tokushima were outshot 9-7 by Montedio.


The last meeting ended with a 2-0 away win for Shonan. Shonan were the best team for most of the game, and scored 1 goal each half to claim the win. Tokushima didn’t create much danger for the Shonan defence, and all in all it was an easy win. Shonan outshot Tokushima 14-8. Shonan also won the 1st meeting, 2-1 in round. Shonan took control early scored 2 goals within the first 30 minutes of the game. Tokushima got one back right before the half, but that was about all they created for the entire match. The 2nd half saw no goals, but Shonan were the dominant team this half as well. Shonan outshot Tokushima 15-5. Shonan holds the upper hand vs Tokushima, with 3-1-2 on all meetings. Shonan’s home form is only 2-1-3, while Tokushima got 1-2-3 away. On the last 6 home and away, Tokushima have only recorded 1 win and 5 losses. Shonan got 2-1-4 on last 7. Shonan are of course favorites here, simply because they are a much more solid team.Shonan are still very much in the promotion race, but need to improve their form if they want to stay there. Tokushima looks destined for a bottom 4 finish this season( probably bottom 2), and doesn’t have that much to play for. Most likely a home win.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007



Tokyo Verdy 1969
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Cerezo Osaka
Tokyo travelled to Sapporo last round, for their match against league-leaders Consadole The game ended 2-2, after a very thrilling end to the game. By the 85th minute, the game were still scoreless. Consadole scored first, and probably thought the game was won with such a late goal. Tokyo only needed 1 minute to equalize though, through Hulk, who just 3 minutes later scored again to put Tokyo up in a 2-1 lead. The drama wasn’t over yet though, and Consadole replied immediately from a corner kick to take the teams level again. A stunning end to an exciting match. Both teams approached the game with an offensive line-up, and the play almost constantly switched from side to side. Consadole had 13 shots to Tokyo’s 12, so it was a fair result after all. Hulk was once again the MOM for Tokyo.
Cerezo won their match 2-1, against Thespa at home. Rui Komatsu, the young striker, proved to be Cerezo’s hero this game, as he was very much the cause of Cerezo’s first goal which were an own goal and scored the 2nd himself. Thespa took an early and were 1-0 up in the 8th minute. That was about all they did on the offensive front this match though, as they switched to an ultra-defensive tactic for the remainder of the match. Cerezo tried to break through the Thespa wall several times with no luck, before the Thespa defender were unlucky to put the ball in his own net. Cerezo got their 2nd goal early in the 2nd half, through Komatsu, and by then, the game looked all lost for Thespa. They didn’t manage to turn the game around, and never realy came close of equalizing. A fully deserved win for Cerezo, who under Levir Culpi, who took over a few months ago for the sacked Tsunami, seems to have turned things around for the better for Cerezo’s sake. They look a much more consistent good team now, and all the talents seemed to have blossomed under his reign. Still, the team is very young, and the lack of experience might become vital when it really matters.


Tokyo won both the previous 2 matches against Cerezo this season, both with the score 2-0. Their last meeting was in Osaka, where Tokyo scored one goal each half. The game was evenly played for most of the time, but the difference was that Tokyo had Hulk, who scored the 1st, and was influental in the 2nd one as well, which was an own goal. Cerezo weren’t all bad though, and had 10 shots to Tokyo’s 9. The 1st meeting this season was one of the first matches this season, at a time when Tokyo looked like they were gonna win all the matches in the season. Cerezo gave them a hard fight though, and deserved atleast a draw. Both of Tokyo’s goals came within the last 10 minutes of the game, and it was a big blow to Cerezo, who looked like they were at least getting a point. Cerezo outshot Tokyo 9 to 6.
Historically, Tokyo got the upper hand on Cerezo, with 4-3-1 on all meetings. Cerezo are in better form though, with 4-1-1 on their last 6 away. Tokyo got 3-1-2 at home. Cerezo got 3 wins in a row now, and 10 points from their last 4 matches. Tokyo have 4-2-0 on last 6, but have drewn their 2 latest matches.
It’s a pretty open match, but with all the injuries in the Tokyo defence, Cerezo got a good chance of beating them here. Cerezo got many exciting players up front, and for this game, it’s Morishima, the U-20 member, and Komatsu, the hero of the last game that will start. Furuhashi, the current topscorer, switches to his preferred right-wing position. That trio, along with Are in midfield, have the skill to cause havoc in the Tokyo defence. It’s pretty much the same on the opposite side though, and Tokyo’s attack is probably the best in the entire league. Hulk is the man to stop today as well, and if Cerezo don’t manage that, they will struggle to get points from this. I hope for a Cerezo win though!


Ehime FC
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Mito Hollyhock
Ehime travelled to Shonan were they picked up a hard-fought point. The match ended 1-1, after both teams scored within the first 8 minutes of the match. It was Ehime that scored first, after only 2 minutes. Shonan replied 6 minutes after though, to level things out again. Shonan took more and more over as time went by, but lacked skill to break through the for once solid Ehime defence. Shonan looked sharp in the beginning of the 2nd half too, but in the 53th minute defender Hiroyuki Omata were sent off for a blatant foul, and Shonan had to change to a more defensive formation for the rest of the match. With Shonan backing off, Ehime took more and more over and produced several chances. But as neither of the teams managed to put the ball in the net, it ended 1-1. Both teams had 9 shots each, so you can say it was a fair result. Mito played home vs in-form Kyoto and lost out 2-1. Yet again, Mito played some very decent football, only to see the other team get away with all points. Kyoto took an early lead after a wicked goal for Paulinho. Ogura of Mito cleared the ball straight into Paulinho’s leg, and it bounces straight back into the goal to take Kyoto 1-0 up, which were also the score by half time. Kyoto started the 2nd half best too, and scored the 2-0 goal 4 minutes into the half. Mito didn’t gave up though, and put one back in the 56th minute, through Ogura who was the unlucky man on Kyoto’s first goal. At this stage, Mito were clearly the better team, and midway through the 2nd half, they were robbed of a clear penalty, after the impressive Jun Muramatsu were put to ground withing the penalty box. To make things worse, Muramatsu were injured in the fall, and will probably be out for several weeks. Both teams had 14 shots each, and a draw seemed most fair.


The last meeting ended with a throbbing 3-0 win for Mito at home. Mito scored all their goals in the first half, and looked on fire for most parts of 1st half.. They let Ehime more into the game after the break, but their lead never looked like being under threat. Mito had 18 shots to Ehime’s 13. The first meeting this season ended in a nil-nil draw. It was all in all a very even match, with few big chances. Ehime were slightly the better team though, and if anyone deserved the win it was them. All previous meetings gives us 2-2-2, but Ehime have never won at home against them. Neither of the teams are in particular good form, Ehime got 1-1-4 on their last 6 at home, and Mito away only got 1-0-5. Ehime got 2-3-2 on their last 6, home and away though, which isn’t all bad. Mito got 6 losses in a row, and their last win was the 3-0 victory against Ehime actually. Ehime are small favorites.

Kyoto Sanga F.C.
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Shonan Bellmare
Kyoto won on a bad day last round, when they travelled to Mito. Kyoto won the game 2-1, but the win could have gone either ways. Kyoto took an early lead in very fortunate matters. Ogura of Mito were about to clear, but hit Paulinho in the foot so it rebounded into the back of the net. Kyoto were the best team the first half though, so all in all it was deserved. Kyoto started the 2nd half in similar manners, and went up 2-0 after only 4 minutes. It seemed the Kyoto players thought they had already the bagged the win, cause after that, it was Mito that ran the show. And it didn’t took them long to score, as Ogura, who were the unlucky man to give Paulinho the first goal, did most of the work on his own 6 minutes later and put Mito right back into the game with a very clever goal. Mito took more and more over now, and were robbed of a clear penalty midway through the half. Both teams had 14 shots, but Kyoto must find themselves a bit fortunate to claim the win on this one. Shonan had Ehime at home, on paper a very easy match. Ehime proved a tougher opponent than first expected though, and the game ended 1-1. Most of the action took place in the first minutes of the game, as Ehime scored as soon as 2 minutes into the game. Shonan replied almost immediately though, and by the 8th minute the score was levelled again. Shonan took more and more over after that, but failed to capitalise on their chances. Just 8th minutes into the 2nd half, Shonan got defender Hiroyuki Omata sent off, and had to change their formation a bit cause of that. They took a more defensice stance, and let Ehime back into the game. Neither of the teams managed to score though, and it ended 1-1.

The last meeting about 1 month ago, Kyoto won 4-2 away. Paulinho in particular were on fire that match, and he contributed with 2 goals. Kyoto were very efficient this game, and scored on almost all their big chances. In total, they had only 9 shots while Shonan had 10. Kyoto scored 2 goals each half, and although Shonan were by no means outplayed, they never looked like getting anything from it. The first meeting was the 2nd match of the season, and it ended in a 0-0 stalemate. Shonan had an ultra-defensive approach to that game, and somehow managed to deny Kyoto any goals. Kyoto were the dominant team though, and should have won it according to chances. Kyoto outshot Shonan 16-8.
Kyoto are in great form, and home they got an impressive 5-1-0 on last 6. Shonan isn’t all bad themselves, and got 4-0-2 away. Kyoto have 7-1-0 on their latest 8, home and away. Shonan have 2-1-3 on last 6, home and away, so their recent form isn’t that good.
Kyoto will most likely start with Andrè on the bench this game as well, and when you look at the results without him, that makes perfect sense. He’s good to have on the bench though. Most probably a Kyoto win.

Thespa Kusatsu
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Avispa Fukuoka
Thespa travelled to Osaka, where they lost 2-1 to Cerezo. Thespa took an early lead though, but after that put all men behind the ball, hoping it would be enough with the single goal. Cerezo immediately put the Thespa defence under pressure, and came close on several occasions. It should take an own goal to break the deadlock however. after Rui Komatsu of Cerezo put a Thespa defender under too much pressure. The same Komatsu proved to be the man of the match for Cerezo, as he put Cerezo one up early in the 2nd half. Now Thespa had to attack again, but they never even got close of scoring. It opened up things for Cerezo in the other end, but no more goals were scored, and Cerezo claimed the win. Cerezo outshot Thespa 12-3. Avispa didn’t play, so their last match was against Vegalta at home 2 rounds ago, which they lost 1-0 . It was a very even match with lots of chances, but surprisingly we only saw the single goal. It was the brazilian MF Lopes who proved to be the difference, as he scored with 15 minutes left to give Vegalta the win. Both teams had 13 shots each, and a draw might would have been the ”correct” result.


Chika for Thespa is suspended yet again, and will be a big loss in the fragile Thespa defence. Avispa won both the previous matches pretty easily. Last match, they won 2-0 at home after a goal each half. An injury-hit Avispa always looked the most dangerous team, and denied Thespa of any really dangerous chances.They outshot Thespa 12-7. The first match was even more one-sided, as Avispa won 3-0 away. Avispa were 2-0 up early, and although Thespa created some chances of their own too, they never really stood a chance. Avispa scored one more in the 2nd half, to claim a 3-0 win. Those are the only meetings ever so far. Thespa’s home form is a meager 1-1-4. Avispa isn’t much better away though, and got 2-1-3. Avispa have 5-1-1 on their last 7 though, home and away. Thespa have gone 10 matches without a win, and are in desperate need of a 3 pointer here. I think Avispa have enough class in the team to overcome Thespa here. They have fallen a few points behind Vegalta who currently beholds the 3rd place, but they got a game in hand. Avispa will surely win this.

Tokushima Vortis
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Montedio Yamagata
Tokushima travelled to Tosu for the match against Sagan last round, and they lost 2-1 in a match short on chances. Sagan took the lead midway through the 1st half on one of their first chances. Tokushima didn’t had a single chance for the entire 1st half, and looked generally poor in attack. Sagan doubled their lead in the 63rd minute, and controlled the game. Neither of the teams created much though, before Tokushima put one back in the 89th minute. Nothing more happened after that, and I guess it was a deserved win.Sagan outshot Tokushima 7-6. Montedio played Vegalta at home, and had to settle for the single point. Montedio took the lead just before the break, after neither of the teams had created much up front earlier in the game. Things got a little better after the break, and the game livened up. We didn’t see another goal before in the 87th minute though, as Vegalta equalized. Montedio had 8 shots to Vegalta’s 7, so it was a deserved result according to play.

Jungo Kono of Tokushima is out with a serious foot injury, and will probably be sidelined for the rest of the season. That’s a major blow for Tokushima, as he has been of their most consistent figures in defence this season.
Last times these met, a couple of months ago, neither teams managed to score, and it ended 0-0. Montedio,who played at home were the much better team though, and deserved the win. They had 14 shots to Tokushima’s 5, but failed to score on any of their big chances. This match marked that Montedio’s luck,which took them at one point to 1st place in the table, ran out and in fact they have only won one game since. The first game was better for Montedio, when they won 1-0 away despite being outplayed by Tokushima, Montedio scored an early goal, and played defensively for the rest of the game. Tokushima outshot Montedio 13-7, and came close on several occasions. At that point, Montedio were on a roll, and won games almost automatically. Both teams are in really poor form, Tokushima at home got only 0-2-4 on last 6. Montedio got the similiar form away. Montedio won 1-0 at home vs Shonan 5 matches ago, but besides that, they haven’t won in 14 games. Tokushima only got 1 win in last 10, which came away at Ehime 4 rounds ago. Montedio got a very good record against Tokushima though, with 5-1-0 on all meetings.
It’s about time Montedio finds back to normal form soon, and if they manage that here, they should win this easily. Tokushima are one of the worst teams in the league, and the previous season they ended dead last. Tokushima got a tendency to draw alot of matches though, and that is a very probable result here as well.

Vegalta Sendai
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Consadole Sapporo
Vegalta drew 1-1 away at Montedio last round, after a late goal by substitute Nagai. The first half was pretty dull, and it didn’t happen much before Montedio scored in the 44th minute to go one-nil up. The game opened up more in the 2nd, as Vegalta had to go forward to chase the equalizing goal. But neither of the teams created that much chances though, and we didn’t see any more goals before in the 87th minute, when the aforementioned Nagai pounced in the equalizer. Vegalta had a chance to steal all points in injury-time, but the gamed ended 1-1, which was a fair result. Consadole played Tokyo at home, in an exciting match where both teams created much. The play shifted between the teams all the time, and it was still very much in the open which team would claim the win. The drama didn’t happen before in the last 5 minutes of the game though. Consadole scored first, after defender Soda headed home the free-kick of Sunakawa in the 85th minute. Within a minute later though, Tokyo equalized with the ever-so-impressive Hulk. He did most of the work alone and fought his way past a few defenders on the first goal, and unleashed a shot from longe-range to give Tokyo the lead 2-1 in the 89th minute. By now, one would presume Consadole to fall apart after being hit by 2 quick goals so late in the game. But the set-pieces from substitute Sunakawa, who was the hero for Consadole this game, created yet another goal as his cross from the corner-flag found Ishii in the box who headed past the crawling Tokyo keeper. All in all a fair result, and a great end to a good game.



The last meeting ended with a 1-0 home win for Consadole. Defender Soda, who got a total of 7 goals already this season, most of them headers, scored after only 9 minutes. Consadole were by far the better team in the 1st half, but things levelled out in the 2nd. Vegalta came close in equalizing on a couple of occasions, but Consadole also had their chances. Consadole outshot Vegalta 10-5, and it was a deserved win. The first match in Sendai, ended 1-1. It was a very entertaining match, and only good goalkeeping kept the scoreline this low. Soda was the man this game as well for Consadole, as he scored from a header to give Consadole the lead in the 41st minute. That looked for long to be the only goal, before Vegalta equalized in the 82nd minute. Vegalta outshot Consadole 15-12, but a draw was all in all fair.
Both teams are in good form, Vegalta got 5-0-1 at home and Consadole got similar form away. Consadole got 9-4-1 on last 14, home and away. Vegalta hasn’t been that consistent, but on last 6 they got 4-1-1. Vegalta have never beaten Consadole, and have a 0-3-3 record against them. Consadole are close to injury-free, and will field their best line-up here. I don’t see them lose this, although Vegalta is a strong team. I don’t think we will see that many goals though, as Consadole will probably lay low, and go for counter-attacks. Vegalta is dangerous up front and one of the highest scoring teams, but Consadole do possess the best defence in the league, and will prove a tough match for the Vegalta strikers.
A narrow win for Consadole.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

J.League 2 - round 29 preview



Cerezo Osaka
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Thespa Kusatsu
Cerezo’s last game were postponed due to bad weather, and took place on wednesday instead. Cereso travelled to Ehime, where they quite easily won 2-0. The game were quite even at the start, but Cerezo always looked the more likely team to score. It was still deadlocked at the break though, but only 10 minutes into the 2nd half Cerezo had the lead through a nice goal by defender Maeda. Cerezo kept pushing for the 2nd goal, and Ehime had enough problems just defending. So, 3 quarters into the game Shinji Kagawa, who just returned from U-20 World Cup popped up to give Cerezo a double lead. Ehime made some half-hearted attempts to get one back, but at the end they never stood a chance. Cerezo outshot Ehime 15-9, and it was a pretty convincing away victory. Thespa had Shonan Bellmare at home, and were unlucky to lose 1-0. Thespa surprisingly enough had the most of play, and deserved at least a couple of goals. Thespa outshot Bellmare 17-9, and looked much improved from their recent outings. However, poor finishing let them yet again down. Shonan’s goal came with only 8 minutes left, which was a devastating blow after dominating much of the match.

Cerezo get alot of important players back here, top goalscorer Furuhashi as well as Are in midfield returns from suspension. Kagawa and Morishima are back from U-20 World Cup. Morishima showed in Canada what great potential he got, and if he can follow up on his form he showed there for Cerezo, it looks bright for the Flaming Pinks. The teams met only 5 rounds ago as well, with Cerezo claiming a 2-0 away win. Both goals came late in game, but Cerezo were the most likely team to score all match. Thespa weren’t all bad though, and produced some big chances as well. Cerezo outshot Thespa 16-14, and all in all it was deserved. Cerezo won the first meeting this season as well, with 1-0 at home. That match was extremely dull, with very few chances. Cerezo took an early lead through Kakitani, and that was about the action we saw there. Those are the only 2 meetings between these teams. After a couple of losses, Cerezo now are back on form, with 7 points from their last 3 matches. They look a much stronger side now, with just about everyone back in the team. They only got 3-0-3 on their last 3 home matches though, but must find themselves as favorites here. Thespa’s misery continues, and they haven’t won since may, or in 10 matches.Their away form is a lowly 0-3-3, and are the 2nd worst away team in the league.
I think we’ll see yet another Cerezo win here, as they are simply a much better side than Thespa.
Consadole Sapporo
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Tokyo Verdy 1969
Consadole’s match last weekend against Tokushima were postponed, and is yet to be played.Therefore, Consadole’s last match was against Avispa at home. Consadole scored early in the game, after Soda, their rock in defence, headed home a corner kick to give Consadole the lead. After that, Avispa took more and more over, and it was deserved when they equalized through Tanaka. Consadole chased for their 2nd goal though, and came close on several occasions. With 10 minutes to go, Davi was fouled inside the penalty box, and Nishitani scored on the following PK to handle Consadole the win. Consadole had 17 shots to Avispa 7, so it was fully deserved. Tokyo Verdy had Montedio at home, and can’t be satisfied with the 1-1 draw. Tokyo started the game best, and should have scored a few goals in the 1st half. Montedio went for counter-attacks, and came close on some occasions as well. Tokyo pushed for the opening goal, but in fact it was Montedio that broke the deadlock, with only 15 minutes left. For long it looked like it was going to be the only goal, before Hulk equalized in te 89th minute. Montedio’s goal came against the play, and although they had some big chances, they probably got more than they deserved. Tokyo outshot them 12-7.

Tokyo are still suffering from major injury problems, and for this round Kanazawa is out as well in defence. Up front they don’t have any major problems, but with close to all preferred defenders out, it might become too hard against the league leaders. Consadole won both the 2 previous meetings this season. Their last meeting was only a month ago, and there Consadole picked up a 1-0 away win. Tokyo probably deserved the win though, and created lots of chances only to see the Consadole GK deny them a goal. Consadole’s goal came at the beginning of the 2nd half, but Tokyo outshot them 17-10, so they should have gotten more from this. The first meeting ended with a 4-3 win for Consadole, after they were up 3-0 by the 16th minute. Tokyo fought back, and the game were level again 15 minutes into the 2nd half. After such a recovery, to see Consadole score again only 5 minutes later, must have been a devastating blow. After that nothing much more happened, and Consadole claimed the win. Consadole’ home for is 3-3-0, but they’ve been giving away points against inferior opposition lately, both home and away. They are still on good form though, with only one loss in the last 13. Tokyo as well have been good lately, especially away. On the last 6 away they got an impressive 4-2-0, and 3 consecutive wins. On their last 5 games home and away, they’ve taken 13 points out of 15 possible.
I think we’ll see an interesting game, but I hold Consadole as favorites here.

Mito Hollyhock
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Kyoto Sanga F.C.
Mito didn’t play last round so their last match were against Shonan away. Shonan won quite comfortably 2-0, but Mito started the game pretty good. As usual though, Mito failed to find the net. Shonan took more and more over as time passed by, and it was fully deserved that they took the lead with only 5 minutes to go through their brazilian defender Jean. Shonan put one more behind the Mito goalkeeper, this time by fellow brazilian Adiel,and won fully deserved. Shonan outshot Mito 21-8 and probably should have scored even more goals. Kyoto won 1-0 at home to Sagan last round. Kyoto looked the much stronger team for most of the match, but didn’t score before in the 78th minute. IT didn’t happen much in the first half, but things got better in 2nd. Sagan had a very defensive approach for this game, and it for long look liked they would succeed with it. All in all it was a deserved win for Kyoto, who outshot Sagan 12-7. As a positive sidenote, Kyoto’s prolific goalscorer Andrè returned to action after a couple of months out. He came off the bench right after Kyoto scored their goal, and it won’t be long before he’s back in the first team. He will probably start this game on the bench, but even to have him as a late substitute is a plus.


Kyoto won both the 2 previous meetings this season, 2-0 and 2-1. The last match were only 1 month ago, and Mito actually gave Kyoto a good run for the points. Kyoto took an early lead, but minutes into the 2nd half Mito scored through an own goal to level the score again. Kyoto didn’t need much time to get back into the lead, and it was Paulinho, who with Andrè absent has been on fire lately, scored the decisive goal. A deserved win after all. The first meeting this season was a much easier win for Kyoto, who dominated most of the time.
Mito’s home form is only 1-0-5, and they look doomed to finish last this season. They play some very attractive football at times, but when the results don’t go their way, there’s not much hope for them to improve. Luckily for them, relegation is currently not possible in J2. Mito have now 5 losses in a row. Kyoto on the other hand, have been great lately. on last 12 home and away, they got 9-1-2, and away, they got 4-0-2 on last 6. They have climbed all the way up to 2nd now, and are only 3 points behind Consadole in first, though Consadole got a game in hand. I think Kyoto will continue their fine run here, and win pretty easily.
Montedio Yamagata
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Vegalta Sendai
Montedio travelled to Tokyo where they met Verdy last round. Although the home team was overall the best team, Montedio fought hard for their point. Montedio approached the game with a counter-attacking tactic, and it looked like working pretty good as well. Montedio took the lead late in the 2nd half, only to see Tokyo equalize with 1 minute left. Tokyo outshot Montedio 12-7, and probably deserved to win it as well. Credit to Montedio though. Vegalta’s game were postponed to Sunday, and they took a much needed 1-0 away win at Avispa. It was a very even match with lots of chances, but surprisingly we only saw the single goal. It was the brazilian MF Lopes who proved to be the difference, as he scored with 15 minutes left to give Vegalta the win. Both teams had 13 shots each, and a draw might would have been the ”correct” result.

Montedio get important defender Shogo Kobara back for this game, which has been clearly missed lately. Vegalta won the last meeting 2-0 pretty easily at home. Vegalta took the lead ater only 9 minutes, and by half time they were up 2-0.Montedio never really managed to get back into the game, and Vegalta controlled in the win. The first meeting ended 3-3 in Yamagata after Vegalta had taken the lead on 3 occasions, only to see Montedio equalize every time. Vegalta proved to very effective in front of goal, and scored on what really was their only 3 big chances. Montedio outshot them 16-8 and probably deserved more.
Montedio have only recorded one win in their last 13 matches, and have fallen all the way down to 9th place. Promotion seems a far-fetched goal now, and a mid-table position seems like the most they can hope for now. Home they got 1-2-3 on their last 6. Vegalta have won 4 of the last 5 matches, but have been varying in their performances lately. Their away form is only 2-0-4. All meetings gives us 1-3-2 for Montedio.
I think we’re in for a pretty open match, but I hold Vegalta as favorites due to their superior form.
Sagan Tosu
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Tokushima Vortis
Sagan travelled to Kyoto, where they were beaten 1-0 by the home team. Sagan took a very defensive stance to this game, and their only chances came from counter-attacks. It proved very efective, at least in the first half as Kyoto struggled to break down the Sagan defence. With 12 minutes left though, Kyoto finally broke the deadlock to take the win. A fair result, and Kyoto outshot them 12-7. Tokushima’s match against Consadole were postponed due to weather circumstances. Their last match were against Cerezo Osaka away, where they lost 3-1 to Cerezo away last round after Cerezo scored 2 withing the last 5 minutes. Tokushima must feel gutted to see the point slip away like that, and they played quite good as well, and might should have deserved a point. Cerezo took the lead right before the break, but Tokushima equalized midway through the 2nd. Tokushima actually outshot Cerezo 13-12, but Cerezo’s chances were genereally more dangerous than Tokushima’s.

Their 2 previous meetings this season ended with a 1-0 win for Sagan, and a 1-1 draw in the 2nd. The 1-0 win was Sagan’s first win of the season, after 4 consecutive wins. That Sagan only won 1-0 that is a riddle, as they dominated the game from beginning to end. Tokushima didn’t produce anything at all, and only had 1 shot at goal. Sagan had 16, but poor finishing let them down. The 2nd meeting,which was in May, ended 1-1 after Tokushima equalized in the dying minutes. Sagan took an early lead, and kept it like that for most of the game. Tokushima never looked that dangerous, but scored on one of their few visits with 7 minutes left of the game. Sagan probably deserved more than the single point.
Sagan got 4-0-2 on their last 6 at home, and got 4 wins of the latest 5, home and away. They are stuck in the middle of the table, still some points behind the top teams. If they keep their fine form throughout the rest of the season, we might see them higher in the table at the end. On their best, Sagan can beat anyone. Tokushima on the other hand, is not really setting the world on fire with their football. Away, they still got a decent 2-2-2 on their last 6. but they have only picked 10 points from their last 12 matches, which is not really that much. They currently find themselves in 12th place with only Mito behind them, trailing Thespa and Ehime with 1 and 2 points respectively. All meetings between Sagan and Tokushima gives us 4-2-0 for Sagan.
It’s no doubt this is a game Sagan should win, and probably will as well.
Shonan Bellmare
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Ehime FC
Shonan were lucky to get away from Thespa with all points after Thespa had been the better team for most of the game. Shonan scored with only 8 minutes left, to claim a 1-0 win. Thespa were the superior team this match though, and outshot Shonan 16-7. Good defending and some impressive goalkeeping kept Thespa from scoring.
Ehime played Cerezo at home, where they lost 2-0. Both of Cerezo’s goals came in the 2nd half. Ehime defended well in the first half, but didn’t create much themselves. Cerezo always looked the more likely team to win this one, and it was a deserved victory for the visitors. Cerezo outshot ehime 15-9.

Ehime are missing their top striker Tanaka, who himself have scored 1/3 of Ehime’s goals this season. Shonan won the last meeting 4-0 away, after dominating the game from beginning to end. Shonan scored 2 in each half, to claim a very convincing victory. Shonan outshot Ehime 16-9. The first meeting ended in a 0-0 draw, aftet neither teams looked very fond of attacking. Shonan were marginally the better team though, and probably deserved the win. Shonan got 2 wins in a row now, both away. Their home form is 3-0-3. Ehime away also got 3-0-3, and they’ve won their 2 latest away matches. Without Tanaka, it’s hard to see where the goals will come from, and I think Ehime will struggle here.All previous meetings gives us 3-1-2 for Shonan. Win for Shonan.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ehime - Cerezo postponed





The match with Ehime and Cerezo Osaka is postponed due to a taiphoon in the Northern Shikoku region. The match is scheduled to be played 18th of July instead, which is the upcoming wednesday. It's never fun when these things happen, but it might be a good thing for Cerezo, as they will get some players back from short-term injuries.

Round 28 - Previews! ( Finally back)



Ehime FC
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Cerezo Osaka

Ehime climbed 2 places with their emphatic win over Sagan last round. One might argue Sagan were the better team, and probably deserved at least a draw, but for once Ehime’s defence looked quite good, denying Sagan any real chances. Ehime’s goal came midway through the 2nd half which took the air out of the Sagan balloon who failed to come up with much in their attempt to level the score. Sagan outshot Ehime 10 to 7, but all in all it was a fair result. Sagan can only blame themselves for their poor outing. Cerezo won as well, 3-1 home against Tokushima Vortis. Cerezo went 1-0 up just before half time, after Tatsuya Furuhashi broke the deadlock. Tokushima weren’t all lost this game though, and levelled the score with only 15 minutes left to play. Tokushima looked quite good this game actually, and put Cerezo under a lot of pressure at times. As time ran out, and it looked liked it would end a stalemate, Rui Komatsu, who got back from injury for this game, scored 2 nice goals in the dying minutes to give Cerezo a much needed win. Cerezo are still in the middle of nowhere in the table, but they are at least in touch with the teams that lies just above them. Tokushima outshot Cerezo 12-11 though.

Cerezo are missing almost a whole team, but they can still field a decent starting eleven. It might be an even younger team than usual, but they are fully capable of beating Ehime.
Ehime won the last meeting though, 2-0 away. Cerezo were by far the best team, but some sloppy finishing let them down. Ehime netted early in both half’s to secure the win. Cerezo outshot Ehime 17-10, which gives a proper picture on the balance of play. The first meeting also ended with a 2-0 win, but this time for Cerezo away. A well-deserved and quite easy win for Cerezo. Ehime have been quite good away recently, but home they only got 1-1-4 on last 6. And they’ve only managed to score 2 goals on those matches. Cerezo got 3-1-2 away, and are favorites for this one. They have played good and entertaining football lately, and except the losses against Vegalta and Tokyo, they have a good record as well. It looks like Levir Culpi, the coach that took over a couple of months ago, have succeeded in making his team play the way he wants them to.
CEREZO WIN
Avispa Fukuoka
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Vegalta Sendai

Avispa travelled to Sapporo last round, where they lost 2-1. Consadole went up 1-0 already in the 9th minute after a nice header from a corner kick. After that, Avispa got more and more into the game, and kept pushing for an equalizer. The efforts paid off, and around the half-hour mark, the teams were levelled after a fine goal by Tanaka. For long it looked like the game would end as a draw, cause although Consadole pushed for their 2nd goal all through the 2nd half, the Avispa defence withstood the pressure. With 10 minutes to go though, Consadole were awarded a penalty, and as usually this season, Nishitani converted it with ease, to give Consadole the win. Consadole outshot Avispa 17-7, so all in all it was a deserved win. Vegalta somewhat surprisingly fell to a visiting Tokyo Verdy side last round, and lost 4-1 at home. One man were the difference between the teams, and the prolific Verdy forward Hulk scored 3 neat goals to give the away side a very important win. It was a a very entertaining match, with both teams creating tons of chances. If Vegalta also had a player like Hulk in his current form, they might have won this. Both teams had 17 shots each, but Tokyo never looked like losing.


Vegalta won both 2 previous meetings, which both came earlier this season. Both matches were very evenly played, with Vegalta as marginalyl the better team. The first one, early in the season, Vegalta won 2-1 away after going down 1-0 at the start of the 1st half. The 2nd one, only 7 rounds ago, Vegalta won 1-0 at home after scoring in the beginning of the 2nd half. Avispa could easily have gotten both 1 and 2 goals, and maybe deserved more from the 2 matches after all. Avispa’s home form is only 3-0-3, but they have clocked 3 home wins in a row now. On the last 7 home and away, they got an impressive 5-1-1. Vegalta have varied a bit lately, but they have 3 wins out of the last 4. Away, they only have 2-0-4 on last 6 though.
Vegalta are still missing their GK and Shirai in central defence, which shows in their defensive record of lately. With Avispa literally on fire now, minus the ”accident” in Sapporo, they have here a golden opportunity for grabbing an important win.If they win this, they will only be 1 point behind Vegalta, who currently lies in 3rd.
VEGALTA WIN
Kyoto Sanga F.C.
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Sagan Tosu

Kyoto won again last round, when they travelled to Montedio. However, it was the home team that took the lead, and Kyoto looked kinda off for most parts of the 1st half. Paulinho turned things around though, when he scored just before the break. Probably much because of that, Kyoto looked muh stronger in the 2nd half, and it was fully deserved that they went 1 up with 15 minutes go to. Montedio failed to answer, and saw the away side take a deserved win. Kyoto played with black armband this game, to honour their former player Alemao who just recently died in a car accident. That might explain why Kyoto looked kinda off early in the game as well, as it was many of today’s players former team-mate.
Sagan surprisingly lost 1-0 to Ehime at home, after what must go down as one of Sagan’s poorer games this season so far. Ehime were good though, but that doesn’t deny the fact that Sagan looked off-form for most of the game. Sagan did created some chances, mainly in the 1st half, and probably should have gotten a goal or 2 from them. Ehime withstood the pressure though, and when they scored midway through the 2nd half, Sagan didn’t have much to answer with.
Sagan won the last meetig 2-0 at home, quite deservedly. Both of Sagan’s goals came in the 2nd half, and although Kyoto were the best team in the 1st, Sagan turned things after the break. Sagan had 12 shots to Kyoto’s 13, and I guess they ”owned” each half, with Sagan proving to be the best team that day. The first meeting in Kyoto, ended 1-1 after Kyoto had been the best team for most of the game. Sagan opened best though, and went 1-0 up after only 10 minutes. Kyoto didn’t take much time to equalize, but they failed in their hunt for the 2nd goal. Kyoto oushot Sagan 17-10 though.
Kyoto has 4-1-1 at home on the last 6, while Sagan got 3-1-2 away. Sagan have lost their last 2 away matches though. Kyoto have a great 5-1-0 on their last 6, and the single draw came in the last home match against Cerezo Osaka.
Kyoto are of course big favorites here, and both teams are missing some important players. Kyoto are still without their star striker Andrè, but the way Paulinho have filled his shoes have been a joy to watch. I think Kyoto will tighten their grip on 2nd place here, and maybe even close in on Consadole in 1st, and win this quite comfortably.
KYOTO WIN
Thespa Kusatsu
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Shonan Bellmare

Thespa didn’t play last round, so their last game was against Sagan 2 rounds ago, where they lost 2-0 away. It was a pretty easy win for Sagan, as Thespa never looked like getting anything from it. Sagan outshot them 14-7, and always looked the better team. Sagan now finds themselves as low as 10th, and only have Tokushima and Mito below them.
Shonan won quite comfortably 2-0 away at Mito midweek. Mito started the game pretty good though, but as usual failed to find the net. Shonan took more and more over as time passed by, and it wa fully deserved that they took the lead with only 5 minutes to go through their brazilian defender Jean. Shonan put one more behind the Mito goalkeeper, this time by fellow brazilian Adiel,and won fully deserved. Shonan outshot Mito 21-8 and probably should have scored even more goals.

Shonan looks like they will start the game without Adiel, who has arguably been their most important player all season. I haven’t seen him on any injury list, but Yahoo Japan, who is usually very accurate in their preview lineups, has ruled him out of the game.
Shonan won last time these teams met, 3-2 at home in a thrilling game. The game shifted in play from one minute to another, and both teams looked like they could win this. Shonan created most chances though, and it was only fair that they took the lead in the 83rd minute. Thespa came close of equalizing once again, but didnt manage to get the ball in the net. Shonan outshot Thespa 10-4. The first meeting this season Thespa won 2-0 at home, after 2 goals in the 89th minute. It was a closely contested battle, and neither of the teams looked like they would score before Thespa broke the deadlock with 1 minute to go. A fortunate win, but also a very important one. All meetings gives us 1-2-3 for Thespa. Thespa have never lost against Shonan at home though. Thespa only got 1 point from their last 5 matches, and their home form is only 1-1-4, with only 2 goals scored. Shonan have varied a lot lately, and got 3-0-3 on last 6 away.
THESPA WIN

Tokushima Vortis
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Consadole Sapporo
Tokushima lost 3-1 to Cerezo away last round after Cerezo scored 2 withing the last 5 minutes. Tokushima must feel gutted to see the point slip away like that, and they played quite good as well, and might should have deserved a point. Cerezotook the lead right before the break, but Tokushima equalized midway through the 2nd. Tokushima actually outshot Cerezo 13-12, but Cerezo’s chances were genereally more dangerous than Tokushima’s. Consadole won again, this time to Avispa Fukuoka at home. Consadole scored early in the game, after Soda, their rock in defence, headed home a corner kick to give Consadole the lead. After that, Avispa took more and more over, and it was deserved when they equalized through Tanaka. Consadole chased for their 2nd goal though, and came close on several occasions. With 10 minutes to go, Davi was fouled inside the penalty box, and Nishitani scored on the following PK to handle Consadole the win. Consadole had 17 shots to Avispa 7, so it was fully deserved.

The first meeting this season ended with a 3-0 away win for Consadole. All of Consadole’s goals came in the 2nd half, and it was actually Tokushima that looked sharpest before the break. Consadole showed great composure in the 2nd half though, and turned the game around to take the win. Last meeting ended with a 1-1 draw in Sapporo. Tokushima took the lead 10 minutes into the 2nd half, only to see the home team equalize minutes after. It was a pretty dull match, with Consadole as slightly the better team. Tokushima had 11 shots to Consadole’s 10. All meetings gives us 0-3-3 for Tokushima, and Tokushima have actually never scored against Consadole when they’ve played at home.
Tokushima only got 0-2-4 on the last 6 at home, and are in awful form at the moment. Consadole away got an impressive 5-0-1. All of Consadole’s wins have been by a single goal though. I can’t see Tokushima get much from this, and an away win seems very likely. Whether it will be another 1-0 or 2-1 win for Consadole, or a 3-0 throbbing like last time is hard to say.
CONSADOLE WIN
Tokyo Verdy 1969
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Montedio Yamagata
Tokyo won pretty convincingly 4-1 away against Vegalta last round. The Tokyo fans have only one man to thank though, Hulk, who scored 3 goals and were a constant threat for the Vegalta defence. Vegalta weren’t all bad themselves though, and might have gotten more from this if it wasn’t for Hulk’s performance. Both teams had 17 shots each, But Tokyo got the lead early in the game, and never looked like losing it. Montedio however, continued their poor run and lost again to Kyoto at home, 1-2. In front of a season record-low attendance, Montedio started the game quite good, and took a deserved lead around the 30th minute. Kyoto answered with a goal right at the break though, and in the 2nd half Montedio looked a much poorer side than the one we saw in the 1st. Either that, or it was the Kyoto players that made them look poor. Either way, a deserved win for Kyoto.

Both teams are missing alot of important players, mainly in defence. The last meeting ended with a 1-1 draw in Montedio. Both goals came midway trhough the 2nd half, and if anyone deserved the win, I would say Tokyo, who created the biggest chances. The first meeting this season ended with a 1-0 win for Tokyo at home. Tokyo scored as early as in the 5th minute, through Hulk. After that, not much happened through the game, and Tokyo had 8 shots to Montedio’s 6. A deserved win after all. All previous meetings gives us 4-1-1 for Tokyo. Tokyo got 4-0-2 at home in their last 6, but haven’t been that consistent lately in their performances. Montedio away only got 1-1-4 on last 6, and they’ve only scored 3 goals from those games. The missing players here are mainly defensive ones, which might open up the game in both ends. Montedio are though without Toyoda, who is their current top goalscorer.
TOKYO WIN