After being blown away early against Sendai in the Cup Avispa face their second game in the north of the country as they travel to the west coast to play Yamagata.
It is a game which will probably decide who ends up bottom of the table in J1 for this season. It is a testament to the team in the second half of the season that they have any chance of avoiding being bottom after losing the first 13 games of the season.
The biggest question for me will be if the manager keeps faith in the full-back combination of Yusuke and Kim Min-Je which worked so well against Shimizu, or if there is a knee-jerk reaction to conceding 3 against Sendai which sees the defence changed. I’m hoping that the problem is seen as being more to do with Yamaguchi and Miyaji at centre-back than with the full-backs as they are both out of their depth at J1 level and is a problem which needs addressing for next season.
Yamagata are also relegated and have little to play for apart from pride, with Jumbo Okubo probably set out to work as hard as anyone when facing his old club. He was given a good reception at Level-5 stadium and imagine he’ll get the same again tomorrow from the away fans.
Avispa are a lot more subtle in attack the Montedio (except when Ramazotti has been thrown on), and with the weather starting to be a little more wintry this might switch the game in Montedio’s favour. It isn’t a game I would be playing a lot of kids in.
Montedio 0 – 0 Avispa
Think the Yamagata defence will be too solid for the pretty lightweight Avispa attack, but also hopeful that Avispa can get the better of a fairly limited looking attack.