J.League Match of the Week: Top attack meets best defense as Sanfrecce host Vissel

J.League Match of the Week: Top attack meets best defense as Sanfrecce host Vissel

Sanfrecce Hiroshima have the best attack in the Meiji Yasuda J1 League and Vissel Kobe have the best defense, making for quite the spectacle when they clash on Friday at 19:00 JST on JLeague.co and broadcasters around the world.

Sanfrecce have been a scoring machine, with the electrifying Yuki Ohashi leading the club with nine goals. Ohashi's been one of the signings of the season but he's also been backed up by Pieros Sotiriou, who has five goals, and Naoto Arai, who has five of his own.

In total, 14 different players have scored for Hiroshima, leading them to the top of the goal scoring pack with 37 total.

As impressive as that is, Vissel's defense might be even more impressive.

The reigning champs have not had the title defense of their dreams, but they have held firm at the back with just 16 goals conceded in 21 matches.

Goalkeeper Daiya Maekawa has had some spectacular moments this season, but this Matheus Thuler-led backline has spent large chunks of most matches turning opposing attacks back with ease.

What must come alive for Vissel if they are to reclaim their title is the attack - one that is more than capable of doing so, with last season’s stars Yuya Osako and Yoshinori Muto finding their form.

Osako, last year’s J1 MVP, and Muto, the only player in J1 to notch double digit goals and assists in 2023, both got on the scoresheet last week in an emphatic 3-1 win over fellow title contender Kashima Antlers.

Vissel are in fourth place, but a mere six points back of the top. They are firmly in the title race, especially if they can continue to look as good as they did a week ago.

Sanfrecce are three spots lower in the table than Vissel, but only three points separate them from their opponents this week.

Will the Viola’s magnificent attack fire them to victory? Or will defense be king as Vissel move a step closer to their dream of repeating as champion?

Find out live on JLeague.co!