Avispa have been having a terrible September after starting the month with a very real opportunity to get into the play-offs and finish the season way above expectations.
Unfortunately defeats to Yokohama, Mito, Oita and Verdy have meant we have basically lost all chance of getting to the play-offs.
Almost exactly the same situation happened last season when we played Toyama at this time of the season and they beat us 4-1 at home with Kokeguchi scoring a hattrick.
Toyama are definitely going to be more up for this game. We have very little to play for, I think the players have given up on the play-offs, while Toyama need to pick up wins to try and avoid relegation to J3.
This is an extra reason for me that we should be playing with youngsters who have enthusiasm to just get on the pitch in front of the crowd, and who want to try and get themselves into the manager’s plans for next season.
It also means that while we will achieve nothing in terms of promotion this season we can take some positives by giving experience, and seeing which players are going to be able to step up for next season.
It also shows other young players from universities and high schools that if you come to Avispa you will be given chances.
Avispa Fukuoka News.
I would guess that team selection is almost automatic. We don’t have any strength in depth in the squad, and despite our forward line not being able to score a goal we don’t have any players to replace for Sakai, Hirai and Jogo.
Jogo came in for a lot of criticism after his performance last week in his favoured position. It will be interesting to see where and how well he plays in this game.
We haven’t had anyone to play in midfield all season so that will remain unchanged. There is the possibility that Park Gun might move up as it is an away game. I would bring in Kazuki in defence rather than Koga as it is a selection which looks to next season more, but really doubt that anyone else at the club would allow a ‘big name’ like Koga to sit in the bench with Kazuki playing.
The biggest opportunity for some young players to come in is at wing-back where Mishima and especially Mitsunaga should play. If they can’t step up against bottom team Toyama then they are a long way away from being able to play next season and we need to bring in new wing-backs in December.
Kateeler Toyama News
Toyama are likely to match us with a 352 formation, and have the best striker on the pitch in Kokeguchi. He scored 3 against us last season and if Toyama are allowed to get balls to him in the box he will score 3 more today.
They lost dribbler Nakajima back to Tokyo before going to the U-21 tournament which is good news for Avispa.
They get most of their goals from crosses which means Kamiyama needs to practice coming out for balls, and using his size to dominate a little more. They also concede most of their goals from crosses which means Mishima has to start relaxing on crossing and not snatching at the ball under pressure.
While Abe has the most assists from crosses at the club, and Takeda is probably the best crosser, I still think that Mitsunaga has the potential to be better than both if given opportunities to develop inside a game.
Kateller Toyama 1 : 0 Avispa Fukuoka
I’m going to go for a very depressing score-line and hope that I can be cheered up by reality. I just think that Toyama are going to want this game a lot more than us.
As a team who are desperate for points they must look at the mental fragility of Avispa at the moment and results like last week as a huge chance to get goals.