Avispa need to come back from what is probably the worst performance I have ever seen from them in losing the first half against Nagasaki 5-0, to get an away win and stay within touching distance of the play-offs.
They have already sort of come back from that half by winning the 2nd half against Nagasaki 2-0 with the players much more switched on, and with a much better tactical set-up for the team.
The big issue against Nagasaki was that our midfield got totally overwhelmed with Nakahara struggling in an anchor role, and Jogo and Sakata not doing enough to help alongside him. In the second half Jogo dropped deeper back and we started to look a lot better.
As an away game I expect us to be set up with a bit of a less attacking starting line-up, which paradoxically will probably make us better in attack as it will allow the forwards to concentrate on attacking and have someone to win the ball back and give it to them.
We couldn’t have hoped to meet a better team coming off a defeat like that as Sanuki are new to the division and have lost every match, conceding 20 goals in 7 games.
Kanamori picked up his injury and will be absent for a couple of weeks, but otherwise have no injury problems that I know about.
I don’t expect Punosevac to be in the starting line-up after his ineffective performance last weekend and think he will likely start on the bench to be used as an impact substitute.
Hirai may stay in the team, but thanks largely to Kanamori’s injury giving us a front 3 with Sakata in the middle with Ishizu and Hirai cuting in each side of him.
I think Jogo would be preferred on the right, but that leaves us with very few options in midfield.
I have always said we need to be playing with a true anchor, regardless of who we are playing and whether we are home or away, and expect Park to play here.
I would prefer the legs of Takeda behind Nakahara and Jogo, but Park does help to make a defensive 3 when the full-backs have pushed up and has a good chance here to build confidence and understanding with Lee and Tsutsumi.
The only other option would be to play Park and Takeda alongside Nakahara and let Jogo move further forward, but I think Jogo’s natural position should be as a central midfielder making late runs into the box and again can use this match to learn the position.
Defence writes itself with Mishima and Abe as full-backs each side of Tsutsumi and Lee, with Park as anchor giving them more freedom to get forward.
I’ve not watched any of their games so far this season, but know they have Yutaka Takahashi as one of their main strikers which makes me quite confident of keeping a clean sheet.
Kamatare Sanuki 0 : 2 Avispa Fukuoka
Bounce back with a win, with the players starting fast and getting a goal within the first 10 minutes.