A win today could see Avispa holding a place in the play-offs in September with a run-in of games which as actually fairly favorable for us.
I’d class this game as one which we could win, rather than should win as Yokohama FC are one of the form teams in J2 at the moment. Along with JEF United and Matsumoto Yamaga they have gained the most points in July and August while going on a run of games which has seen them climb to 11th in the table after a poor start to the season.
I have previously said that we will be ok if we draw all our away games and win all our home games, but with 2 away games in a row it would be nice to win one of these to keep up some momentum. Winning against Kitakyushu in a 6-pointer derby would be even better, but a win today would take the pressure of in that match a little.
Yokohama don’t do anything flashy in terms of formation or tactics, but have an experienced bunch of players who know how to pass the ball around and get it into the danger zone.
Avispa will win this game by being aggressive (note to Japanese referees; this means aggressive towards the ball and closing spaces rather than aggressive towards opposition players), not giving Yokohama time to pick out passes, and making them run.
Lee Kwang Seon is still suspended for picking up so many bookings for being Korean so Avispa’s defence writes itself. Tsutsumi-Koga-Park did well for the most part against Gifu and don’t have a player with the pace and power of Nazarit to worry about this match.
Abe and Mishima will probably stay at wing-backs where Mishima has been playing well recently, and Abe (while still not always being great in his decision making) is statistically Avispa’s most effective crosser of the ball.
Midfield remains our problem. Nakahara played very well against Gifu, and generally seems to do so when paired with Takeda to do some of his running. Abe at left-back frees Takeda to move up the pitch.
We then have a front 3 of Jogo – Kanamori – Sakata. This leaves our midfield in danger of being out-numbered so needs Jogo and Sakata to make sure they tuck in and drop back to act as supplementary midfielders. When one drops back to give an option the other needs to provide movement as a striker and try to stretch the defence alongside Kanamori.
The team I would play…
Yokohama FC News.
Yokohama FC have a big gap at the back as experienced Brazilian defender Douglas is out suspended. This is good news for Avispa as he generally has done well against us as a stopper defender, and sets the tone for the Yokohama back-line when it comes to aggression. With him missing I expect our front line to have a little more time on the ball before having their legs taken out.
They have no real obvious goal threat, with none of their squad getting more than 4 goals for the season, but do have one key creator.
#10 Shinichi Terada is their main play-maker and most of the play goes through him as he acts as the attacking fulcrum in the middle of the pitch. Takeda should be trying to get close to him as he plays between the lines, but also be aware that he looks for free-kicks around the box.
The second player who is likely to be one of our main points to defend is right-wing utility Junki Koike who likes to run with the ball and put crosses into the box. Abe needs to concentrate to make sure he isn’t caught out of position cheaply at a time when Yokohama can break with him still upfield.
Crosses and Set-plays have contributed over 50% of Yokohama’s goal this season.
Yokohama 0 : 2 Avispa Fukuoka
I’m actually quite confident going into this game. Kanamori owes us a big game before he flies out with the U-21 team, and with Yokohama’s best defender missing we have a real chance to try to put pressure on an unfamiliar defence early.
I think our win-backs match up well to their attack, which is a large part of their game.