With the absence of Tosu in the division this year the focus for a local derby has shifted towards the ‘Fukuoka derby’ coming this weekend as Kitakyushu make the very short trip south to visit Level-5 for their 2nd competitive game in the stadium.
The game is being heavily promoted locally with adverts and cheap tickets being offered, and this is probably as much because of what it means for Avispa’s season as much as getting people into the ground.
A big win here in a local derby could kick start Avispa’s season and what must be our new target of finishing 6th and sneaking a play-off place; a defeat to a club who 2 years ago set a record low points score for the J- League and our season is all but over, and probably so is Maeda’s management career.
The team have been practicing behind closed doors this week, and I think that is probably more to do with the closeness of our opposition as to a change in tactics and formation, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised with a different line-up and approach.
Apart from long-term injuries to Yamaguchi and Min Je the team is pretty much at full strength.
Wada seems to have been dropped recently for reasons I don’t really understand. He just had a baby so maybe he has missed a few training sessions, but Tsutsumi hasn’t impressed in the time he has been given so I’d like to see Wada back at right-back. Or even better play Oh from the start.
I’d also put Kobara back into central defence. He was terrible at the start of the season, but the number of games Tokio has played is starting to get a little too many now.
I still want 3 central midfielders in the team, but having recently switched to Sakata and Jogo up front this will continue, with Naruoka and Kihara on the wings.
Naruoka has been a huge disappointment again this season and needs to have a performance.
Avispa 4 – 0 Giravanz
Seems like a crazy forecast for a team above us in the league, but I have to try and stay positive at the moment.
I think this is the game where Naruoka is giong to start a run of form.