Avispa head for another away game in April, a month in which they don’t seem to be able to win games. 2 years ago they had a similar April to this and still sneaked promotion, but even then they managed to win once in April.
Today they cross the sea to get to Tokushima in search of that win.
I don’t know what Maeda is going to do for this game, the biggest issue for Avispa is that it is a new team who need to play together, but performances have been so poor at times there is no obvious first team.
Players on the bench and squad must be wondering why they aren’t playing, players on the pitch must be wondering if they are going to be dropped.
The only area sure to be unchanged is Kamiyama in goal.
In defence there is an enforced change as Kim Min Je is suspended after his undeserved red card, which will probably mean Wada goel to left-back and Oh comes in at right-back.
Centrally I expect Kobara and Hatamoto to stay, but Kobara has been terrible recently and doesn’t seem to be able to play and handle organising the defence. Koga is getting fit, but likely won’t be starting.
Midfield is the biggest problem in my opinion. Any 2 of the 3 central options (Sueyoshi, Suzuki, Okada) are not good enough to consistently control the middle of the pitch. We have no other options so I would say to play all 3, especially away from home. This would allow Naruoka and Jogo to push on more where they are both dangerous.
I expect Sueyoshi and Suzuki to play, and struggle as a 2.
Up front Sakata and Yutaka will start, with Samir and Nishida on the bench. If my preference of a midfield 3 was used then I would keep Sakata up front for obvious reasons.
Tokushima have been knocking on the door of promotion for the last couple of seasons, and last season they had one foot through the door for a large part of the season.
Expected to do well this year they have under-performed and are currently in 15th place, 1 behind Avispa.
I’ve only seen them play once and they looked to be a well organised team, perhaps low on flair, and it took a penalty to beat them when they were last at Level-5 which was pretty much our only chance of the game.
Will be hoping that Brazilian Diogo can start to look like the striker they hoped they were getting, but has so far failed to do very much but soak money. If there is a team he could start firing against, then it might be Avispa.
Tokushima 0 – 1 Avispa
I’ve been let down by the team after predicting 3 straight wins which has actually ended with 3 straight defeats but I’m going to keep the faith. Sakata is too good to not score, with it probably being made by Oh coming forward from right-back.