Saturday, 28 March 2009

Yoshiyuki & Denis - More Of A Return? / Oita Preview

The Yomiuri Shimbun are reporting that both Yoshiyuki Kobayashi and Denis Marques may be in line for a return to the Ardija first team in the Nabisco Cup match against Oita Trinita on Sunday. Forward Denis hasn't appeared to be close to playing since injuring his right knee in September last year, although fellow long-term injury victim Kobayashi turned for 35 minutes in Thursday's friendly with Toyo University.

With the Squirrels having picked up two wins and two draws in the first four games of the new season, the key issue for coach Jang Wae Ryong is whether or not to bring two of his more experienced squad members back into the team. Ardija fans have been delighted to see so many younger players get an opportunity to play under the new coach, with Masahiko Ichikawa scoring his first ever pro goal and the teenage pair of Daisuke Watabe and Ryohei Arai both getting first team action.

A tight, physical game against Oita seems assured, Pericles Chamusca's team seemingly experts at squeezing the life out of their opponents and grinding out goalless draws and 1-0 wins. But Jang's new-look Squirrels will approach the game with growing confidence on the back of their first home win of 2009 in midweek, when new forward Naoki Ishihara scored late on to defeat Albirex Niigata 2-1. If Denis and Yoshiyuki are indeed fit, this would seem the perfect time to test their mettle ahead of next weekend's return to the real stuff at Kashiwa Reysol in J1.

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