It’s getting hot in Kyushu, is Pusnik’s policy of squad rotation going to come good as we try to make up for last weekend’s defeat by beating Tokyo Verdy, a win which would hopefully take us back into the play-offs.
Tokyo Verdy are not having the greatest season at the moment. Having hired Kazu’s brother as manager they then saw him bring half the Giravanz Kitakyushu team up to Tokyo with him; a decision which wouldn’t ever seem like the best decision in the world, but when compared to his decision to also bring in Suzuki Jun from Avispa seems quite sensible.
Suzuki Jun coming back is going to be the biggest talking point of this game, and he won’t receive a good welcome. He was popular at Avispa, but only as a home-grown player who was a bit small, slow and crap, but a bit of a trier and quite cute in how bad he was. He then walked out on the club to show a different set of fans how winning games with someone who won’t run in your team isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
We stole all 3 points in the first game of the season after playing a classic counter attack type strategy, but are likely to need to be a bit more progressive in this game.
Tokyo are way down the table, but are totally capable of beating anyone on their day, they went 2 – 0 up against Gamba last weekend before needing a last minute equaliser to snatch a 3-3 draw.
I’d take a draw to be honest, but will hold out for a win.
We lost last weekend but the team looked good, especially in the first half. Maybe Ishizu will come into midfield, and I’d hope that Okada drops back down to the bench with Funeyama going back to midfield.
Having players like Kanakubo and Funeyama to play with a bit of experience in this month of tough games is really important.
Tsutsumi and Park have looked good at times, but will be faced with the aerial threat of Takahara in this game. There might be an argument for Koga or Kazuki to come in, and I’d certainly like to see Miyamoto at right-back despite Mishima doing well there.
Kanemori is suspended so the front 3 is fairly obvious with Ishizu, Sakata, Jogo I think.
Verdy started like a train last weekend, but then must have had a lot of energy and heart taken out of them by conceding 3 goals in the second half.
They did also have quite a long night as the game got abandoned for an hour and a half because of lightning in the middle so they may be a little tired in the heat of Fukuoka.
They may be coming out with a 352 formation which we have struggled with at times this season, but with Suzuki Jun playing in midfield are basically going 3 vs. 2 in the middle of the pitch and should be ok.
My Prediction – Avispa 1 : 1 Tokyo Verdy
I predict a score draw, but looking at the odds Tokyo seem to be favorites for the win. If I was betting I’d definitely be going home win.