As the Golden Week holidays come to their final day Avispa play their 2nd match in 3 days as they travel north to play Yokohama FC.
Yokohama FC probably deserve the moniker of a yoyo team more than any other in Japan having been formed only recently from the ashes of Yokohama Flugels to then get promotion up to J1, then come back down to J2 where they seem to alternate between seasons finishing within a couple of points of promotion before ending up near the bottom the following year.
After making the play-offs last season they haven’t started this season well only winning 3 games so far, losing to some quite poor opposition in the process.
Avispa are coming off the back of a good defensive perfromance against league-leading Kobe, whose manager was moved to say we are a team who are going to get stronger as the season goes on.
The defence is likely to be the most important managerial decision for Avispa as Pusnik needs to decide whether to keep the back 4 who did so well against Kobe, or bring in Kazuki to try and combat the aerial threat of Jumbo.
I’d keep it exactly the same as the players need confidence and to build understanding more than anything else at the moment and deserve to keep their place.
Midfield is more straight-forward and I expect the same middle 3 as against Kobe as that was our ‘away’ formation anyway. Of the 3 I’d like to see Nakahara given a rest, but Pusnik seems to need him in that ‘conductor’ role and maybe feels Okada doesn’t have the range of passing.
Kanemori or Ishizu will return as a forward in place of Mishima. I hope Sakata stays in the team, but generally We have played Jogo as main striker away.
Any time we play Yokohama it is a chance to re-unite with Jumbo, and as with any team in which he plays he will lead to a certain style of play.
Having been weak at the back post so far this season it is of most importance that one of the central two commits to an aerial battle and wins it.
Yokohama are slowly shedding their image of being a retiremnet home, but are still a very old team who we should try and hassle and harry using our new fitness.
Yokohama FC 1 : 1 Avispa Fukuoka
The team seems to do better when playing away with other teams pushed to attack so i think we will score, but haven’t done well enough at deep crosses into the box to stop Jumbo knocking a ball back across goal for someone to score.