It has been easy to miss it due to the media’s focus on Matsumoto Yamaga but 2 teams got entry into J2 this season, and Avispa face the second of them tomorrow.
Anything less than a win for Avispa will probably be considered a poor result, and coming off the back of their decent opening day victory against local rivals Kumamoto I hope that they will be able to continue their perfect start to the season.
I don’t expect there will be any big changes to the line-up after the great first 45 minutes last week, with the attack and midfield working well for the most part.
Kobara might start in place of Tsutsumi after he struggled in the second half, and possibly picked up an injury, but this is a like-for-like replacement if it does happen.
Okada played OK when he came on, but probably didn’t do enough to force his way ahead of Sueyoshi yet.
Against stronger opposition there may be changes at full-back to have a more defensive feel to the team, but I hope Maeda stays positive and looks for 2-3 goals against pretty weak opponents.
Nishida Go has started training after injury but isn’t ready for the first team, Koga I don’t know.
Newly promoted teams have historically struggled in their first season, and I don’t expect Zelvia to be any different.
After a quite heavy defeat last week they have their first home game in J2 against us. Being their first game brings some X-factor into the match, but they don’t have the biggest stadium or crowd and I’d hope we have the quality to counteract the atmosphere.
Managed by Ossie Ardiles it is perhaps too much of a cliche to expect a strong attack and terrible defence, but they do seem to have more quality in attack with forwards Katsumata and Dimic both in double figures last season.
Machida Zelvia 1 – 3 Avispa Fukuoka
I actually think that 2 – 0 is a more likely outcome, but being their first home game will guess they might find a goal from somewhere.
Yutaka and Sakata to share the Avispa goals.