Level 5 Stadium is likely to welcome it’s biggest crowd for a few seasons on Sunday as J-League heavy-weights Gamba Osaka come to town. In the same vein as Antlers and Marinos they are a club who should be looking to finish in the top 3-4 every season and is likely to be a tough game.
They have talent all over the pitch, but particularly in midfield where youth is allied with experience as National Team star Yashito Endo tries to pull the strings while new wonderkid Takashi Usami looks to break forward. This is all the more worrying as we leave big gaps in the centre of midfield and almost invite attacks through the middle at times.
The problem may be exacerbated by Nakamachi probably still being out injured having had his injury confirmed as some sort of muscle tear so Suzuki Jun will probably deputise again after not massively impressing in that position so far.
If we do get torn apart by a wonderkid for the second week running then maybe it will encourage Shinoda to give some of our youngsters more of a game.
Sueyoshi vs. Endo
Sueyoshi should probably be given instructions to stay tight to Endo and force Gamba to attack through different routes. If Endo is allowed the time and space to pick holes through our leaky defence then it’s going to be a long afternoon.
Daiki vs. Adriano
It will be up to Daiki to stop the tricky Brazilian because if Yamaguchi is still playing then he is going to give away too may free-kicks which Endo would punish. Our defence hasn’t dealt with movement well, and this is a game they need to change that.
Avispa 1 : 4 Gamba Osaka
We’ll have to wait another week for our first points. From what I have seen of Gamba they are absolutely the opposite of what we play best against. Strong midfield, good attacking movement, set-piece specialist, and ability to score goals from close and long range. Difficult match.