The big question this week is going to be if our top-scorer from last season Genki Nagasato comes back to Level-5 Stadium and plays. Having had the best season of his career by a long way with us last year he promptly chose to jump ship after promotion and join Kofu which put a bit of a dampener on celebrations. I don7t really expect him to get a very warm welcome.
Perhaps more important to the outcome of the game is another Avispa alumni Mike Havenaar. Having played a season for us and a season at Tosu I’d like to hope we made enquiries to acquiring him full time when he moved to Kofu as he is exactly the player we need.
Combining an aerial threat with very good feet he is like a good Jumbo when this season even a normal Jumbo would have been better than what we have (nothing).
I expect the game to be decided by how well we deal with Mike. Duties for this will fall on Daiki, despite Kobara being taller, and if he is up to the challenge then we have a decent chance of getting at least a draw.
Jogo should be up for this game having scored 2 against them last season and hopefully that will mean he makes some effort to get into the box and at least make their central defenders think a little.
Daiki vs. Mike
Daiki is giving away a lot in height, and showed last week he can be duped on the floor as well. He needs a Captain’s performance today. Some of the outcome will be decided by the referee and if he blows for climbing at every chance.
Jogo vs. Central defence
I agree with Jogo coming a little deeper to look for the ball if he is playing as the withdrawn striker, but if he is at the top he needs to keep the defence on their toes. I can’t see a reason for him to be standing behind Matsuura.
Avispa 3 – 1 Ventforet Kofu
I’ve gone for it. Today will be our first win, and we will do it in some style. The crowd are going to be putting a lot of pressure on today; another defeat and things could get ugly.