J.League Match of the Week: Urawa, Verdy gunning for first points of 2024

J.League Match of the Week: Urawa, Verdy gunning for first points of 2024

Urawa Reds and Tokyo Verdy started this season with big dreams, but both suffered losses on the opening weekend of the Meiji Yasuda J1 League season. Now they get set to meet on Sunday at 16:00 JST hoping to kickstart their campaigns with a win, setting the stage for a thrilling battle that you can watch live on JLeague.co.

Expectations are always high in Saitama, where they’ve won 12 trophies since 2003. After a fourth place finish and cup final last year, they are hoping to take a step forward and add another piece of silverware this year.

Unfortunately, a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Sanfrecce Hiroshima put them on the back foot immediately, but a return to form of their defense can put it all right. After all, this was the best defense in the league a year ago, and three points this weekend will have them flying high again.

Verdy are in a different position, having just been promoted back to the top flight for the first time in 16 years, but they are a historically great club and had a celebratory return to J1 last week when 53,026 packed the Japan National Stadium. They nearly had a win too, carrying a late lead after Fuki Yamada’s brilliant free kick, but two goals by Yokohama F·Marinos in the dying minutes doomed them to a loss.

Despite the defeat, Verdy made a statement in going toe-to-toe with a powerhouse like Marinos and absolutely looked the part of a team that can’t only stay up, but really make their way up the table.

The key now for both teams is getting points, and that begins this weekend. Both teams feature great defenses so chances will be at a premium and a single moment of brilliance could be the difference.

Will Urawa make their trophies intentions known? Or will Verdy pick up their first points since 2008?

Watch live on JLeague.co and find out!