J.League Match Preview: Avispa, Consadole aim to fly high in season kickoff

J.League Match Preview: Avispa, Consadole aim to fly high in season kickoff

Avispa Fukuoka had a magical 2023 campaign and now they head into the new year aiming for even more. That begins with their season opening clash with Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo on Saturday at 14:00 JST in a contest that will be streamed live on JLeague.co.

Fukuoka recorded their best-ever top flight finish last season, coming in seventh place. They also won the first major trophy in the history of the club, taking home the J.League YBC Levain Cup crown.

Now they head into 2024 believing even more is possible. While they've lost the talented Yuya Yamagishi to Nagoya Grampus and Yosuke Ideguchi to Vissel Kobe, they’ve also kept most of their starters and made some big signings like Daiki Matsuoka to supplement what is already a very solid group.

The 22-year-old brings a bundle of talent to the Avispa midfield and is not just a signing for this season, but for years to come. Keep an eye on him.

Meanwhile, Consadole are always worth a watch. Their wide-open style of play makes for thrilling matches — they scored 56 goals and conceded 61 last season — and there’s no reason to think this campaign will be any different.

We should continue to expect goals on both ends in games featuring the Northern Owls and Consadole fans will be eager to see if the defense has managed to gel any better after an arduous 2024.

One thing that isn't in doubt is the attack. Yuya Asano returns after tallying 12 times last season, Thai star Supachok Sarachat looks to push on after notching seven goals in under 1200 minutes, and the electrifying Musashi Suzuki has returned to Sapporo for the first time since 2020.

It should be a wonderful Saturday of football in Fukuoka and you can catch all of the action live on JLeague.co!