Friday, 24 July 2009

Kobe Preview

After crashing back down to earth via defeats to Kashima Antlers and FC Tokyo in their last two matches, Omiya Ardija face a distinctly tricky looking away game at Vissel Kobe on Saturday evening in the knowledge that defeat may well serve to put them in the bottom three for the first time all year. The Squirrels have suffered another downturn in form and are now without a goal in three matches, a bizarre performance from coach Jang Wae Ryong and then an unlucky injury somehow contriving to turn the excitement of Dudu's arrival at the club into the dampest of squibs.

The enforced absence of the Brazilian newcomer means that Jang seems likely to revert to the Yoshihito Fujita and Naoki Ishihara front pairing for the Kobe game, although forgotten man Klemen Lavric and perennial benchwarmer Daisuke Watabe must wonder what needs to happen for them to get some opportunity to play in the first team. Lavric in particular, assuming he is fit - and the big Slovenian has repeatedly appeared in training matches and for the reserves - last season proved himself to be a difficult and physically demanding opponent who had a reasonable eye for goal.

In a battle against another team struggling for points at the foot of the table, these are useful characteristics indeed. Ardija supporters only have to cast their minds back to crunch games at the end of last season against the likes of JEF United and Kawasaki Frontale for evidence of a committed and hardworking Lavric - aspects to his game that Jang would appear to believe are not sufficiently well developed. Meanwhile Fujita and Ishihara must start to prove that as well as workrate, speed and mobility they are able to offer the team J1-quality finishing.

If media reports are to be believed, Omiya's new young Korean midfielder Seo Yong Duk would appear to be in line for a first start against Vissel, after impressing as a substitute for the hapless Dudu in the Tokyo game. If selected, Seo will face a team with only one win in their last eight matches, although bolstered by the return of international forward Yoshito Okubo and a sensational equaliser last week against Kyoto Sanga by former national team captain Tsuneyasu Miyamoto. But the game is in Jang's hands. A dynamic and motivated Ardija can take all three points. Whether the Squirrels' coach can deliver is again open to question.



Agent Orange,  24 July 2009 at 19:12  

How long is Pedro's rental?

Looks like Niigata has one too many Brazilians

Furtho 24 July 2009 at 23:24  

Neither Omiya or Niigata confirmed how long the loan was. It was renewed on 12th January.

Furtho 24 July 2009 at 23:25  

Yahoo predicted line-up for the Kobe game is:

GK Ezumi
DF Tsukamoto
DF Tomita
DF Neretljak
DF Hato
MF Fujimoto
MF Kanazawa
MF Hashimoto
MF Seo
FW Ishihara
FW Fujita

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