After last week’s demolition things aren’t going to get any easier for Avispa as they travel to see the reigning league Champions Nagoya Grampus.
It would seem to be very likely that they will suffer an 8th straight defeat for the start of their season because as well as facing far superior opposition the midfield is going to be an entirely new one with Nakamachi probably still out injured, and Sueyoshi suspended (I think). If this is true then I don’t know who will be playing in the middle.
The other interesting thing about the game will be the first time that Kensuke Nagai faces the club he started his career with, and could have joined at the start of the season. Having played in the Nagoya first team he will probably feel vindicated at his decision to go there, but I do wonder where Avispa would be now if they had a top striker having come so close in so many games.
I expect Makoto to retain his place despite his poor showing last week, but don’t think Rokutan will keep his with Kamiyama coming back in. Shigematsu should start, but obviously won’t.
Nagai vs. Tatsunori
Obviously Nagai is going to be causing problems for the centre-back pairing throughout the game, but I think a more key battle might be from when he starts running from an inside-left/right position. Tatsunori is the guy (along with Kim) who might have the stamina to stick close to him when he does this.
Chiyotanda vs Jogo
Another old boy coming home, and probably one who the fans will have even more of a memory of, will see Chiyotanda facing Avispa. Nagoya are very strong defensively, and probably better in the air than they are on the floor. We won’t be sending many high balls into the box, if Jogo can conjure something and make them come at us we could get a point.
Nagoya Grampus 2 – 0 Avispa Fukuoka
I don’t think there will be another blow-out like last week, but I can’t see us getting anything either. We might be able to get a goal in spite of their strong defence as the goals we have scored this year have been of the unstoppable type rather than well-worked goals or goals from defensive errors.