The 2 games last week were probably the worst 2 performances of the season so far, failing to break down a Montedio team who were on a terrible run of form, and then total capitulation against Jubilo Iwata in the Cup had a few of the players looking like they have accepted relegation.
Things are going to get even harder tomorrow as league champions Nagoya come down to Fukuoka. Last season they based their Championship winning team on a strong defence, but it is their attack which worries me more this season with Josh Kennedy maintaining an aerial threat and Tamada seeming to have been galvanised into the best season of his career by the arrival of Kensuke Nagai.
I don’t know what sort of reception Nagai is going to get, I still think he should have come to us for a season to get 90 minutes every game.
In the away match we gave Nagoya a real scare before eventually conceding 3 goals in the last few minutes to end up on the wrong end of a big score-line. On that night Hideya played well and I think he might come into the team in place of Matsuura who picked up a bit of a knock at the end of the game against Jubilo.
Daiki was missed against Jubilo, and Kamiyama is sure to return to the bench after his terrible mistake. Left-back is an interesting position with Kim Min Je back from injury, but Wada starting to play quite well in his absence. I’d take Kim as he was one of our best players throughout the start of the season.
This game is the first of a really difficult run of games, and one of the last ones before we are allowed to play Ramazotti. Naruoka and Jogo should be playing out of their skin to see who gets to partner him against Gamba later in the month.
Avispa 1 – 3 Nagoya
We will play much better than in the games last week, and Nakamachi will get a goal, but the attacking strength of Nagoya and their run towards the top of the table means anything other than a defeat is unlikely.