Sunday, 8 November 2009

Hiroshima Preview

So, four games to go. At least there seems to be a bit of a point to the first one, Sunday evening's visit by Sanfrecce Hiroshima to Omiya Park, what with Ardija still needing four points to make absolutely sure of top division football next season. Another motivating factor could be the prospect of getting revenge for the 7-0 Nabisco Cup thrashing that Sanfrecce dished out at the end of May - the worst defeat ever suffered by an Omiya team. But Jang Wae Ryong's ability to get the best out of his team has been sporadic to say the least, as demonstrated by his failure throughout the year to build upon the handful of good performances.

Agent Orange has the Hiroshima game down as a home win, though, and he can do this with the authority behind him of J-League rule #13c(iii), which states that, "As soon as any outsider starts to look as if they actually have a genuine chance of participating in the title race, they will immediately undergo a crisis of confidence, go on a terrible run of form and thus drop out of contention." This is certainly what has happened to Sanfrecce, who have managed only three points in the last five league games, the most recent being a 7-0 loss of their own at Kawasaki Frontale. Last weekend, they even lost at home to a J2 team in the Emperor's Cup!

It looks like the Squirrels will have left-sided defender Yasuhiro Hato and captain Chikara Fujimoto back in the starting line-up after brief spells of injury - so let's be optimistic and say that this will give Fujimoto an opportunity to continue the development of his partnership with Rafael, which tore apart an extraordinarily weak Urawa Reds defence in the Saitama derby a couple of weeks ago. One assumes that Jang will also try to encourage his players by saying that good performances now will help them to secure a contract for next season. As if that kind of forward planning is at the heart of what Omiya Ardija is currently about.



Furtho 8 November 2009 at 01:14  

Yahoo predicted XI to face Hiroshima:

GK Ezumi
DF Tokita
DF Kataoka
DF Neretljak
DF Hato
MF Fujimoto
MF Kanazawa
MF Hashimoto
MF Park
FW Ishihara
FW Rafael

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