J2 Matchday 3
While the 3-0 loss to Chiba last Sunday was difficult to take, on the run of play the scoreline was harsh on us, and we have the perfect opportunity to bounce back tomorrow at home to Sapporo. Eight weeks have passed since the first home game, and while crowds were down across the board all over the J.League last weekend, I expect the Tokyo faithful will be out in droves, making Tokyo Bairn's job of picking first in Guess the Crowd quite tough.
You know my feelings about Yuhei Tokunaga in midfield...I've not seen El Golazo today so I have no idea if he will start there again (although I have a horrible feeling he probably will), but when I publish a formation in previews its the team I WANT us to start with, as you can't legislate for stubborn managers who persist with using players out of position.
In this game, and not just for sentimental reasons, I think its obvious that Kazumasa Uesato should start in the holding role alongside Casual, with Tokunaga sliding back to his natural position, right back. Its harsh on Kenta Mukuhara, who had a strong game against Chiba, and some might argue that Muk offers a lot more going forward than Tok and would be a better all-round option given a straight choice between the two, but it appears that Tok is 'un-droppable'.
Anyway, I'm wasting far too much energy blabbing on about Tokunaga, lets move on to Roberto Cesar! The Salad's second half display at Chiba was good, he looks a very dangerous player with the ball at his feet, and again, because this is the XI I want, he should start alongside Daiki Takamatsu.
The two forwards starting means I think we should revert to 4-4-2, with The Salad replacing Takuji Yonemoto from the XI last Sunday. Pedro Junior should at least make the bench tomorrow, and will hopefully be ready to put pressure on Tatsuya Suzuki's starting place come The Derby on Wednesday.
It doesn't appear Roberto or Naohiro Ishikawa are quite ready to be part of the squad, so the bench might just be: Shiota, North, Hanyu, Hokuto, Otake, Pedro Junior, Tanabe.