Our run of form has now seen us slide from 6th to 15th in 2 months and suffering what must be the worst run of form in the division.
I think we have still played very well in patches during that run however, and while I don’t think we were ever as good as 6th in the division suggested I don’t think we are as bad as 15th.
This season has seen many young and exciting players be given long spells in the first team, it has seen 5-6 long-term injuries to supposed first-team players, and it has seen some of the most bizarre refereeing decisions which has help us pick up a massive number of suspensions.
Despite all of this we have more points than last season already, with much better football. There are still 8 games left this season, 24 points in theory, that is the potential to get to 68 points; a total which would put us in 7th last season.
Maybe it is just a dream, but let’s hope all the things which didn’t click in the last 2 months suddenly start going our way in the next 2 months.
The team needs to be changed again due to suspensions, but will probably look like the team which ended well against Yamgata last weekend rather than the team which conceded 2 in the first half with defensive errors.
This is mainly due to the ‘good news’ that Koga is suspended and will see the team revert to a flat back 4 with Tsutsumi and Park in the middle. Mishima will probably come back in as right-back, left-back is a problem.
I don’t think Omata or Minje are fit (surely they would have played recently if they were), Oh did ok last weekend, Miyamoto has played there at times this season, as has Okada. I’d probably give Oh another go.
Midfield also changes as Nakahara comes back from suspension. He would not have been seen as a key player at the start of the season but seems to be the only player with the intelligence to play between the defensive and midfield lines; the key component of our 3/5 man midfield.
Kanakubo is out suspended and that gives some problem at the other end as he was good at closing space behind the front 3. Jogo has said in interview that he would like to play centrally, maybe set him a challenge to prove it in this game with the incentive of the last 7 games.
Sakata up front, Kanemori and Ishizu each side of him.
Kateller Toyama News
Toyama lost last weekend but gave a good showing scoring 2 against Kyoto.
They are likely to start with a similar formation playing against a supposedly better team away from home with fast breaks from the back being played through Kokeguchi to try and spring our defence.
They have a more functional attack than real quality, and at the back will be without their most experienced defender as Ikehata is out suspended. While having our most experienced defender will make us stronger I guess for most teams this makes us more likely to be able to break their defence.
Avispa 2 : 0 Kataller
If we don’t get a win today then it should be seen as a bad result. A draw could stop the run of defeats, but this is a team who are happy to avoid relegation each season and should not be taking any points from level-5 after a long journey south.