|Does Yuhei Tokunaga read On the Gas?|
Tokyo Bairn's nickname for Mr. Okuma seems to have caught on!
Unavailable: Yasuyuki Konno (national team)
Suspended: Masato Morishige (four yellows)
We get our two first-choice central midfielders back from suspension, but whether both Hideto Takahashi and Yohei Kajiyama play in midfield or not seems to hinge on the fitness of Yuhei Tokunaga. Our regular right back was set to play in the holding midfield role against Shonan, but a training ground injury the day before saw him ruled out, allowing Kohei Shimoda to make his first league start for the club.
If Tokunaga is fit for tomorrow he'll play alongside Jade North in central defence, replacing the suspended Masato Morishige, if not we'll probably see Takahashi in his original position, centreback, with Shimoda keeping his place alongside Casual in central midfield. But seeing as though Tokunaga was training yesterday you'd have to think he'll be ready to go and Takahashi and Casual will be reunited.
Further up the pitch there appears to be five players for four spots, with Naotake Hanyu not needed in central midfield after filling in there last weekend, and the two wingers from the Shonan game, Sotan Tanabe and Naohiro Ishikawa, and the front two of Tatsuya Yazawa and Lucas all vying for starts. For what its worth ElGolazo is predicting that Hanyu will be dropped, though I have a hunch it'll be Yazawa (but fear it'll be Tanabe)...who the heck knows with Big Bear in charge? My predicted XI is:
Hokuto Tokunaga North Mukuhara
Ishikawa Takahashi Kajiyama Tanabe
15th; W:10 D:9 L:15; GF:36 GA:43 (-7)
With Tosu's likely promotion, Mito will take over the unfortunate mantle of the longest-serving J2 club to have never reached the top flight, having joined the league in 2000, the year after its inception.
|The Messi of Mito?|
We may even have promotion clinched before kickoff, as if either Tokushima or Sapporo lose (away to Tochigi and home to Oita, respectively) in their 1pm games we'll be uncatchable. The first meeting this year saw us win 3-2 at their place and hopefully there will be goals in this too, and with good weather forecast there should be a big red and blue crowd on hand to celebrate...lets just hope they don't pull an Oita-like upset on us!
Nah, not going to happen. We're Going Up! Home Win!