After what were probably the weakest opponents so far this season last week we will face the team who already look favorites for a possible relegation this season as FC Gifu come down to Fukuoka.
We haven’t had the best of times against Gifu, and I’ve actually never seen us beat them at home as we lost in 2010 and drew in 2012, but it would be a real surprise to not get all three points tomorrow.
Gifu are one of the smallest teams in the division, and are actually going through some financial difficulties at the moment too. I hope they do manage to get themselves a few points this season as they are one of the clubs who if they did get relegated may find it hard to ever come back up again.
Pusnik has been rotating the team quite a lot as the weather gets warmer. I don’t know if this is to try and keep players fresh, or keep all the squad involved in the first team, or as a reward for performances in training, but expect to see a new starting line-up this week.
One player who will definitely be absent is Osamr who picked up his 4th yellow card of the season having probably been on the pitch for less than 180 minutes so far.
It’s a shame as he has looked very lively when he has come on, but will hopefully see Sakata back in the team and getting chances to build his confidence further.
I’d like to see MinJe at left-back as Gifu are going to sit back and try to defend, but he seems to be out of favor and Omata will continue at left-back. Miyamoto will probably come in at right-back to give more offence than Tsutsumi, with Tsutsumi playing with Koga in the middle.
Park played in the anchor role last match, and didn’t really offer too much, so I’d like to see Nakahara back to have a chance to dictate against weaker opposition. If he isn’t then Okada plays the role better than Park.
Attack will likely see Kanemori and Ishizu each side of Sakata.
Gifu have been having a tough time putting a team out in recent weeks, being unable to even name a full bench for the last few games.
Things might be even harder tomorrow as it looked like Desmond may have pulled a muscle at centre-back last game and will either miss the game or be coming back from injury.
In midfield and attack they have players who will try, but you’d really hope wouldn’t cause too many problems.
Avispa Fukuoka 3 – 0 FC Gifu
Hat-trick for someone would be nice, Ishizu is one a run of goals, but getting some for Sakata would do more to help the team than anything else.