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JLeague FC Tokyo - Omiya Ardija

Omiya Ardija are newly promoted and do not immedately look to have added much by the way of top flight quality and look like a JL2 team in JL1 and we have seen a number of those in recent campaigns. I do not want to immediately write them off, but this is a tough start. FCT have already played two AFC Champions League games having had to qualify, they so they been playing competitively for two weeks and that, at least for now, is a huge advantage in my opinion. They finished fourth last year and the loss of Yoshinori Muto mid season, cost them a lot of goal threat, they were well organised under Massimo Ficcadenti, whom we discussed almost weekly , but he has been replaced( what will we talk about now on Friday afternoon?), paying the price for boring football, with not enough end product, you cannot do both, without paying the price! Returning boss Hiroshi Jofuku will get the benefit of a defensively solid squad and will look to bring a little more flair, he will miss Kosuke Ota who has also left for Europe. They opened with a 9-0 win over Chonburi in their qualifier, which was little more than shooting practice, but good for confidence. FCT lost 2-1 in midweek at Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, but were quite impressive and were tactically solid, pressing high up the field and allowing a good opponent few real chances, they were also denied an equaliser by the woodwork. Jofuku will be very keen to win on his second home J-League debut

FC Tokyo -0.5 ball 2.13 asian line/Sportmarket

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  • 5 months later...
J League: Gamba Osaka - Vissel Kobe

Gamba posted a fine 2-0 win at Jubilo Iwata last week, the breakthrough and then second goal took a while to come, but they were well on top and could have won by at least two more goals and it feels like someone is in for a bit of a hiding soon.

My notes on last week's game can be read in full below the "good luck", Gamba have got a little swagger back and have been talking all week about their Stage 2 title "charge", they trail leaders Urawa by five points, which is very do-able with the pair due to meet on Matchday 14, but there can be no let up now. Vissel Kobe might argue that they are still in with a slim chance too , being four behind Gamba , but that is a little far fetched and despite me talking a lot about Kobe as a potential challenger for honours in the future, that is more likely to be in the cup(s) or next season in league terms and they need to pick up a little on the road. They will not lack for motivation in the Kansai derby, but Gamba have won 4 of five meetings in Osaka and the last three wins have all been by 2+ goals.

Kobe are a very offensive minded team and are a team full of goals on a going day, which is good for us, as they are unlikely to come and park the bus and they do like, so do Gamba for that matter, to make things difficult for themselves and Vissel have conceded first in three of their last four and conceded six without reply in their last 213 minutes on the road. They arrive without suspended central defender Masahiko Inoha and they will miss him with Gamba starting to fire.

Gamba -0.5 ball 2.05 asian line/Sportmarket

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