* Not actually a shop

Friday, November 11, 2011

FC Tokyo v Mito: Saturday 4pm

J2 Matchday 35 Preview
Does Yuhei Tokunaga read On the Gas?
Tokyo Bairn's nickname for Mr. Okuma seems to have caught on!
After The Salad's brilliant brace at Shonan clinched a 2-1 win last Sunday (which allowed me to slightly relax my sphincter), FC Tokyo are within touching distance of an instant return to J1, nine points clear of 3rd & 4th with four games left. Tomorrow we have the chance to seal our spot back at the top table with a home game against J2 lifers Mito, and while I know I'm being a little presumptuous with my sign up at the top... stuff it, We're Going Up Tomorrow!

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?

Like so many other teams its been a very up and down season for them, but they reached a new low after only one win between Matchdays 15 to 25 saw them slide down to 19th, though they have battled back up to 15th after only one loss in the last nine, a run that included wins over Kyoto and Chiba.

Last weekend they claimed another decent scalp, beating Kitakyushu 1-0 at home thanks to ex-Japan striker Takayuki Suzuki's winner. Their XI was: (3-5-2) Homma; Kato, Omoto, Shiotani; Nishioka, Murata, Frank Romero, Shimada, Ozawa; Koike, Suzuki. We'll need to be mindful of their leading scorer, winger Tsukasa Ozawa, a wee little fella (162cm) described as "Mito's Messi" by ElGolazo. At least they aren't putting too much pressure on him....

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!


  1. Big bear t shirts! Won't be getting one though as everyone might think I love him. As for the game, we will win 3-2, there will be a pitch invasion, I will have to make a speech in the dressing room at the end but my Japanese will desert me and there will be a long awkward silence. That was how I dreamt it anyway.

  2. Brilliant stuff, would love a good pitch invasion! Those powder-puff stewards at Aji Sta would be a pushover, we should do it!

  3. A pitch invasion, muhahaha. Stop suckin' balls of FC Tokyo players. A bunch of fags.
    Goin' up today, goin' down tomorrow.
    For sure.

  4. Thanks a lot for your comment, Anonymous! Always look forward to your cheerful musings on FC Tokyo!
    Have a nice day (and as I presume you're a dirty green, enjoy 2012 in J2!)

  5. Nowt wrong with J2!! Cheeky cunt.

  6. Ben, you are a dirty scum. You re not a football fan, just a stupid sucker. Last but not least, you looks like a real geek no life...