Sunday, 12 April 2009

Gamba Preview

Last week at Kashiwa Reysol was a topsy-turvy experience for the Squirrels, a terrible error followed shortly afterwards by a pile-driving first-ever J-League goal for Taishi Tsukamoto and then in the dying moments of the match, the delight of Tomoya Uchida's return to fitness and neat finish undermined by an even later equaliser by the Sun Kings. Two defensive mistakes meant two goals for Kashiwa and two points down the pan for Jang Wae Ryong's Omiya, still unbeaten in 2009 but seemingly lacking the ability to kill off opponents.

Draws against the likes of Reysol and Vissel Kobe don't really cut it when your stated aim for the year is the Asian Champions League. Yasuhiro Hato will presumably start against Gamba Osaka following his suspension and the likely return to the starting line-up of Yoshiyuki Kobayashi in place of rookie Ryohei Arai should bring some stability to the centre of the Squirrels midfield.

That said, it's pace and movement that are the characteristics needed to beat a passing side such as the Blue and Blacks. Another youngster, Daisuke Watabe, contributed much in this area during his recent Nabisco Cup appearances - but Jang seems to feel that he knows his best team at least in defence and midfield, which means that Watabe is unlikely to start in place of the most obvious alternatives, Chikara Fujimoto or Hayato Hashimoto.

Gamba too have had disappointing results in their last two J1 outings, a solitary point from games with Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Kyoto Sanga hardly being the stuff of continental champions. A 5-0 win over Indonesian opposition in midweek nevertheless confirmed that Leandro has relocated his scoring boots. Certainly, life being what it is, it's hard to imagine that the ex-Squirrel won't take the opportunity to find the net against his old club. But a winning goal for Yoshihito Fujita would constitute a perfect ending for Ardija.



Furtho 12 April 2009 at 01:55  

Yahoo XI:

GK Ezumi
DF Tsukamoto
DF Tomita
DF Neretljak
DF Hato
MF Fujimoto
MF Kanazawa
MF Kobayashi
MF Hashimoto
FW Ishihara
FW Ichikawa

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