Football (Japan) Lost In Translation . . . Relaunched 2012!
Japan Football: Zaccheroni, Samurai Blue, and general J chatter
2018-11<<12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031>>2019-01 ←Navigate Entries with This Calendar
Round 6 Preview
I thought I should take a breath and a moment to look at some of the matchups for this weekend's 6th Round J1 games. Being a Japan football amateur going into the season, it's been really fun watching the teams for the past few months. I prefer to do previews because it gives me reference, but the time constraints... anyway:

Antlers/Jef: both teams have yet to lose a game. With Chiba creeping up the rankings (now 4th). Chiba had been lacking a little stability overall, but with Austrian Mario Haas finally getting into the groove of things and the team performing with speed and spirit in this last game against Jubilo (which they won 3-1), they are a dangerous matchup for relatively slow-paced pass-oriented Kashima. Kashima will have to add better quality crosses to their to-do list; and definitely speed up the timing when the ball is in the opponent goal area (not to mention actually get the ball in the goal).

Marinos/Gamba: Somehow, Marinos have been able to eke out fair results in this past few months even though they had been limping along with many key players (especially forwards) missing. But now Korean international Ahn is back (and has been doing very well), Olympic U-23 Sakata is back, and there are rumors that JapanNT Kubo may be on the way to recovery very soon. I also like the great hustle from Tanaka and Dutra on the sides. Gamba started off the season stumbling on their first game against Omiya (which they lost 0-2), but they have been slowly finding stability. Though they have dangerous goal-getting players all-round (like Fernandinho, Araujo, Oguro, Futagawa, Endo) and have continued to control many of the games they've played, they haven't quite gotten the results. Perhaps their best game content so far was against Antlers (which ended in a 2-2 draw). There is speculation about the future of defender Miyamoto, who has been left on the bench for the past three games -- though coach Nishino says it is a matter of not fiddling with a backline that is working, one can't help but feel a sense of waste there. This will be a really good battle between two teams that have an arsenal of technically gifted and speedy players in offense and experience in defense.

Vissel/Sanfrecce: I'm actually curious about how this game will turn out. Sanfrecce just played a great game against Verdy (4-1), and they had been showing good quality in crosses and counter-attacks but could not find a win until this past Wednesday. Sanfrecce have also done well defensively, giving up only 4 goals so far. Vissel started off with inspiring consecutive goals from Kazu Miura, but the team lacks stability. The red card to Atsu Miura in the Marinos game (1-1) was a blow to the team, and the 1-6 defeat at the hands of Frontale a few days ago just added insult to injury.

FCTokyo/Reds: I don't have to tell ya, but this game will be a hot ticket this weekend. Tokyo are currently in 2nd place after their loss to Nagoya this week; Reds are in 17th place and can't seem to find a win yet. On top of that, there was that incredible Nabisco Cup final last year still fresh in the memories of fans. I would have preferred to have this game happen a little further down the calendar, when both teams weren't in such a poor state -- with lots of key players missing, and both teams exhausted after the tight schedule this week. Reds have the advantage in the defense, as Tokyo are probably going to show up with backup players in the back. There is some speculation that Tokyo may even change their backline to a 3-back. It will be a test to see how well Tokyo can adapt to their unexpected situation, and how well Reds can take advantage of a weakened opponent. Tokyo needs to return to the kind of joyful football they love to play, that's all their supporters demand of them.

On Sunday...
Ardija/Verdy: The Brazilian talent on these teams will be one thing to watch out for -- Ardija's Christian and Verdy's Washington continue to be threatening presences for opponents. Ardija just lost two games away this week, and coach Miura's main task will be to keep the team confident about their style and strategy. Though they did lose, these two recent games showed solid content and contained some sweet goal opportunities. Verdy also just lost two games this week. This last loss to Sanfrecce 4-1 must have been more than a shock to the entire team. In mid-March, Verdy were able to come back after being down by four goals against Frontale; however they were unable to repeat that performance in this last league game. Verdy will be desperate to score first, at least to give themselves a psychological boost. Ardija may have to hang on patiently and wait for Verdy to start showing some wear before moving in for a goal.

Frontale/Nagoya: Frontale is riding a nice high after their 6-1 win over Vissel though it was announced that key forward Juninho will be out to injury for several weeks, and Nagoya is breathing a sigh of relief after their first home win this season against FCTokyo. If Nagoya can put on the same aggressive performance that they showed against Tokyo, they may be able to screw things up for Frontale. Otherwise, we may see another crazy result.
Comment On This Entry
Post Your Comment
Only Show This Comment to Depflight
The Trackback URL for This Entry
Trackback To This Entry
copyright © 2004-2005 Powered By FC2ブログ allrights reserved
copyright 2005 - football (japan) lost in translation