Friday, 21 August 2009

JEF Preview

So it comes around again - a vital game with JEF United. In a sense, the Squirrels in recent times have been defined by their meetings with the Yellow Dogs, previous encounters having featured Denis Marques' two-goal performance, the high tension of Chikara Fujimoto's twice-taken penalty and this season's dominant Ardija performance in Chiba - arguably the best-ever display by an Omiya team since reaching J1 in terms of controlling possession.

Yoshihito Fujita was the Omiya hero that day, firing home the rebound from Naoki Ishihara's shot and then taking advantage of an appalling slip-up by JEF defender Eddy Bosnar to seal the win in the second half. Ironically, of course, it's Fujita who seems to have been most affected by the arrival in Saitama over the intervening period of Dudu and Rafael. The former Sagan Tosu man was an unused substitute in midweek against Yokohama F Marinos, as coach Jang Wae Ryong elected to start with Ishihara and Rafael, introducing Dudu for Fujimoto as the game and the points slipped away from Ardija.

An experiment replacing Shin Kanazawa with Yosuke Kataoka in midfield was unsuccessful in the first half on Wednesday - and it's clear, too, that Jang is still uncertain as to how to deal with the additional options presented by having Rafael and Dudu in the squad. The evidence so far would suggest that Omiya's goalscoring problems have not been solved by the new arrivals. Fujimoto will miss out on Saturday having picked up a yellow card in Yokohama, presumably giving Tomoya Uchida a further opportunity to start.

Three points against JEF is a must, given that this would widen the gap between the teams to nine points and also provide breathing space ahead of next week's clash with league leaders Kashima Antlers. Chiba have been unable to break out of their slump in spite of the departure of Agent Orange's favourite J-League coach, Alex Miller, and have taken just one point from their last five games. Goals by Josh Kennedy and Keiji Tamada did for them against Nagoya at home in the last round and Squirrels fans will have to hope that, whoever is wearing orange on Saturday, they too will be able to find the net.



Furtho 21 August 2009 at 21:14  

Yahoo predicted line-up:

GK Ezumi
DF Tsukamoto
DF Kataoka
DF Neretljak
DF Hato
MF Uchida
MF Kanazawa
MF Hashimoto
MF Park
FW Fujita
FW Rafael

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