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Friday, May 27, 2011

Kyoto v FC Tokyo: Preview

J2 Matchday 8

We owe you pr#cks. Oh, how we owe you. While our relegation at the end of last season was entirely our own fault, the fact that these decided to go out in style after not winning for almost three months before the last game of 2010 means there will always be a special spot in the bottom of my colon for Kyoto.

And so tomorrow we revisit Nishi Kyogoku Stadium, the scene of our club's darkest (two) hour(s). The place where Mr. Okuma had the brainfart to end all brainfarts, starting Tatsuya, who had played 15 minutes of football in three months instead of Masashi Oguro, who had started EVERY LEAGUE GAME SINCE HIS ARRIVAL! Still bitter? Me? Nah...

Naohiro Ishikawa is now back in regular training, but whether he will have done enough to win a spot on the bench for this game is debatable, and with Pedro Junior still seemingly a while away, it appears we'll see pretty much the same 18 as for Shonan last weekend.

football formationsThere were enough encouraging signs in the first half of that game, with Sotan Tanabe a positive inclusion, so I'd expect the manager to go with a similar XI here, with one exception. And that is: Kazumasa Uesato coming in for Kenta Mukuhara. And yes, that means I'm calling AGAIN for Yuhei Tokunaga to return to right back.

I know Mukuhara has his fans (and not just the ladies), but apart from the Chiba game I think he's been fairly average. Tokunaga is a better defender, and while he's not as quick as Muk, he is handy down the flanks and a better crosser of the ball in my opinion.

Uesato has only had two starts, and while he didn't exactly set the world on fire, he showed some good signs, especially in the Toyama game, and would feel hard done by if someone else (Hideto Takahashi, for example) had moved ahead of him in the pecking order.

Takumi Abe returning to start at left back wouldn't surprise me, as Hokuto's defensive frailties were clearly exposed when he was miles out of position for Shonan's goal, but I'm presuming the manager will stick with the more experienced Hokuto here.

Some people on twitter have been calling for Jade North to get a game, and while as a fellow Aussie I'd love to see it, central defence is probably the one area on the pitch you don't want to be chopping and changing too often, so I'm not sure if we'll see him much at all before we play weekend-midweek-weekend, catching up the games lost after the earthquake and tsunami.

Lets be positive and assume Nao makes the bench, so I expect it to be: Shiota, North, Mukuhara (slightly more versatile than Takumi), Takahashi, Ishikawa, Otake & Yazawa.

As poor as our results have been this season, these have been an absolute disaster, and they are down in 18th after Matchday 7, with just one win (against Okayama in Matchday 2) having failed to score in four of their last five games. Last weekend they crashed again, 1-0 away, to last season's J2 whipping boys Kitakyushu.

New manager Takeshi Oki switched them to a 3-4-3 system at the start of the season, and he's been blooding young players in all three areas of the pitch. Unfortunately for them, arguably the most exciting of those youngsters, 18 year old striker Takumi Miyayoshi (3 goals in '10), was forced off in the Matchday 4 draw with Tosu with a broken foot, an injury that will keep him sidelined for an extended period.

Their XI against Kitakyushu was (3-4-3): Mizutani; Uchino, Morishita, Fukumura; Naito, Ando, Jung Woo Young, T. Nakamura; Diego, Kubo, A. Nakamura; and the name that jumps out at you there is our old 'friend' Diego, while they have that greasy bugger Dutra to come off the bench as well.

If they stick to this formation against us then we should see an entertaining, open game. Hopefully The Salad will be buoyed by his brilliant goal last week, and if he can net again here he will accomplish something only Oguro did for us last season: scoring in consecutive games.
Revenge is a dish best served cold...Away Win.


  1. You got one right mate. Go and get that lottery ticket right now:)!!

  2. Yes mate, about bloody time! And while I'm on a hot streak, let me predict an away win at Kokuritsu tomorrow!

  3. I`d be REAL worried if you were confident of a Verdy win!!