Thursday, 19 November 2009

Yamagata Preview

On 16th October 2004, Omiya travelled north to Yamagata and thanks to goals from AO's favourite ever Ardija players - Tuto and Hiroshi Morita - recorded a 3-1 win. Over 12,500 people were there to watch what was a crucially important match in the fight to move up from J2 alongside runaway division leaders Kawasaki Frontale and the victory for Ardija, while not decisive, certainly established them as Frontale's main challengers. It also struck a blow at the heart of Montedio's promotion hopes, from which as it turns out they were not to recover for another four years.

On Saturday, the two teams meet again in very different circumstances. The Squirrels lie six points above the J1 relegation zone and Kashiwa Reysol, with the Mountain Gods and also Vissel Kobe a further point to the good. And this is a match with a great deal riding on it, given that an Omiya win would constitute a massive step towards securing J1 safety - but if Ardija lost and a seemingly reinvigorated Kashiwa were able to beat Albirex Niigata, the scene would then be set for an even more nerve-shredding Ardija - Reysol Noda Line derby at Omiya Park next week.

Shin Kanazawa has this season emerged as a key member of coach Jang Wae Ryong's team, but following his sending off in the 1-0 defeat by Sanfrecce Hiroshima Kanazawa will be suspended for both the Yamagata and Kashiwa matches. Jang therefore has a crucial decision to make as regards a replacement, although perhaps the most likely possibility would seem to be Daisuke Tomita coming into the middle of defence and Yosuke Kataoka moving up into the volante midfield role. We've been here before, of course, and we're incredibly disappointed to be back again. But Jang has to get us through it.



Anonymous,  19 November 2009 at 22:20  

Frontale's main challengers!! Hehe.
Come on we never challenged them that season it was great to go up but they ran away with it.

I think it will be a draw on Saturday or 1-0 to them.

Hope I'm wrong.

Furtho 20 November 2009 at 01:51  

Yeah, that wasn't quite the synonym I was looking for, was it.

Furtho 20 November 2009 at 04:54  

I've been looking in more detail at Yamagata's record this season. Their last six league matches have been LWDWWL - yielding a respectable ten points - and their last six home matches have been DWLLDW (eight points).

However, it is noticeable that over the course of the year Montedio have managed to get reasonably good results in their home games against teams in the bottom half of the table. Yes, they have lost five times at home - but those defeats have been against Niigata, Kawasaki, Urawa, Hiroshima and S-Pulse. Yamagata have never lost a home match by more than one goal. It's looking very tricky.

Agent Orange,  20 November 2009 at 20:30  

They've only won 4 games at home, 3 of them were to Jubilo, JEF, and Vissel....three of the worst road teams in the J League. The 3 wins and a tie were against JEF and Kashiwa on the road (The worst two home teams in the J League) and the win and tie were against Vissel and Oita (The two worst road teams in the J league)

If we can score, we probably will win. they have only scored 11 times at home all season and three were against Jubilo.

Agent Orange,  20 November 2009 at 20:31  

El Golazo has Tokita starting though so you can throw the stats out the window

Furtho 20 November 2009 at 21:41  

Well, the Yahoo guys are never wrong about this sort of thing, are they?

GK Ezumi
DF Tsukamoto
DF Kataoka
DF Neretljak
DF Hato
MF Fujimoto
MF Aoki
MF Hashimoto
MF Uchida
FW Ishihara
FW Rafael

Furtho 21 November 2009 at 06:27  

The Yomiuri are suggesting that Ishihara and Fujita will be playing:

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