Final game of the J1 season today as Avispa travel up to Cerezo for their last game in the big leagues for at least 14 months.
The game is fairly meaningless for both teams, with far more importance about what will happen after the game as both clubs look like they’ll be starting the off-season with new managers.
Cerezo have probably been deemed to have under-achieved this season after the heroics of last year and should be looking to end the year on a high. They have some good young players with Kiyotake looking like one of the main men for the Olympic team in midfield, alongside #10 Martinez who showed Avispa how to play in a 4231 at Level-5 Stadium by switching levels and dictating play.
Nakamachi will probably return to the starting line-up taoday and it is this role (as the central player in the 3) which I’d like to see him playing to help bulk out midfield. Unfortunately I expect him to be alongside Suzuki Jun as the deeper 2 which will result in them being totally overwhelmed as they get no help from Hideya.
The central defence of Avispa will not be strong enough to with-hold attacks for effective counters so might end up being on the wrong end of an uncomfortable result.
Haven’t heard anything about Matsuura or Shigematsu so this may well be their good-bye game as they come to the end of their loans. Both would do very well for Avispa at J2 level, but both may feel bit part roles in J1 is more appealing.
Cerezo 3 – 0 Avispa
Suzuki Jun and Nakamachi isn’t enough in the middle of the pitch at J1 level. Strength in numbers, and better players will see Cerezo dominating that area with Avispa’s defence too ragged after a difficult season to hold off attacks.