With little to play for except pride in the remaining League matches the Emperor’s Cup is the last chance for some glory this season, and the way the team has been playing with some attacking freedom and absence of pressure Avispa might be seen as a dark horse to get to the later stages.
The match is away to Vegalta Sendai so needs a long trip up north, but comes just 3 days before a match against Montedio Yamagata so I wouldn’t be surprised if the squad stays up in that area for a mini-break away from Fukuoka. It would certainly seem to make sense to try and avoid doing the longest travel of the season twice in a week.
The Emperor’s Cup doesn’t have much of a following really, but I’m not that surprised as I would go to watch a game if I could but in the time I have followed Avispa they have never had a home game in the Emperor’s Cup despite making the semi-finals last year. I’d even go and watch Fukuoka University if I could, but they also haven’t played in the city and are now playing Bellmare in Omiya for reasons I don’t really understand.
Due to the travel situation I expect similar teams for both games, but there should be some squad players getting game time in at least one of the games. Hard to know which game will be seen as more important to get closer to full strength, but personally I’d like to see them go for the Cup.
Sendai 0 – 0 Avispa (Avispa to win on penalties)
Drab mid-week affair. Kamiyama to play in the Cup and make some big saves in the shoot-out.