Thursday, 16 July 2009

FC Tokyo Preview

After a quiet week in the orange half of Saitama, Saturday's match with FC Tokyo provides another opportunity for Jang Wae Ryong to measure the progress made by his team as they seek to continue the modest progress that has been made since the re-start of the J1 schedule four rounds ago. It would have been something of a miracle if Ardija had avoided defeat against champions Kashima Antlers last week, but seven points from the games with Kyoto Sanga, JEF United and Yokohama F Marinos came about as a result of a shored-up defence and a more coherent midfield.

Daisuke Tomita has bounced back from a series of poor performances earlier in the season and seems to have formed a stronger partnership in the middle of the back four with Mato Neretljak, while Jang has returned to Taishi Tsukamoto as first-choice at right back. An injury to Shin Kanazawa has disrupted the midfield quartet, but with Park Won Jae settling into the left-hand role Jang would appear to have a clear idea as to what his best line-up actually is.

As regards the forwards, however, the passing of half a season allows a reasonable assessment of how Naoki Ishihara and Yoshihito Fujita have coped with the step up from J2 to become first-choice J1 strikers. They are both hardworking players, constantly mobile and looking for opportunities, but there is a question mark over their abilities as finishers at the higher level - certainly, neither of them seem capable of scoring anything like the same number of goals as they did last season and the first team debut of Dudu is something eagerly anticipated by Squirrels fans.

The experienced Brazilian by all accounts shone in last Sunday's friendly with Tsukuba University, afterwards reporting that he felt himself to be 100% fit - and it would be a surprise if he were to make no appearance at all against in-form Tokyo. Meanwhile the Gasheads' star man Naohiro Ishikawa really commenced his current extraordinary vein of goalscoring form with a hat-trick when the two teams met at Ajinomoto in May and it is this challenge against which the Squirrels will have to measure up in the re-match at Omiya Park.



Furtho 17 July 2009 at 06:53  

The Yomiuri seems to think that Dudu will start against Tokyo:

Furtho 17 July 2009 at 21:38  

Yahoo predicted line-up as follows:

GK Ezumi
DF Tsukamoto
DF Tomita
DF Neretljak
DF Hato
MF Fujimoto
MF Kanazawa
MF Hashimoto
MF Uchida
FW Ishihara
FW Dudu

Furtho 18 July 2009 at 00:04  

Results from all the J-League games against FC Tokyo are:

1999 H 0-2
1999 A 0-1

2005 A 3-3 (Tuto, Toninho, Morita)
2005 H 0-1

2006 A 2-1 (Tomita, Kobayashi D)
2006 H 0-1

2007 H 0-2
2007 A 2-1 (Fujimoto, Leandro)

2008 H 0-3
2008 A 1-3 (Lavric)

Omiya Fan,  18 July 2009 at 19:42  

Just can't fathom Jang out. Terrible man-management bringing off Dudu just before half-time - surely he could have waited a couple of minutes and of course they scored as soon as he did it.
The young Korean lad looked decent though - had a decent shot. Why no Fujita on the bench?

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