Kawasaki Frontale travel to Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo to extend their eight-match winning streak. Can Cerezo Osaka’s defense stop Kashiwa Reysol’s goal-machine Olunga?

Kawasaki Frontale travel to Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo to extend their eight-match winning streak. Can Cerezo Osaka’s defense stop Kashiwa Reysol’s goal-machine Olunga?

Eight games of the Meiji Yasuda J1 League Match-day 10 will take place on August 15 and 16. The match between Sagan Tosu and Gamba Osaka has been postponed after several Tosu players and staff tested positive for COVID-19 (Tosu’s matches on Match-day 11 and 12 also have been postponed).

League leaders Kawasaki, who are on an eight-match winning streak, will travel to Sapporo this weekend. They have no apparent weakness either in defense or offence at the moment, and made a quick job of Oita Trinita, winning 2-0 effortlessly on the last matchday. The only concern for Kawasaki is that playmaker Ryota Oshima is suspended. Sapporo have lost the last two matches and need to improve their defence, since they conceded three goals in both fixtures.

The clash between fifth-place Kashiwa Reysol and third-place Cerezo Osaka is another big match. While the former boasts the second-best attacking record in the league, the latter has the best defense. Can Cerezo stop current top-scorer Olunga, who found the net in the last five matches?FC Tokyo and Nagoya Grampus are also in the title race, although the Tokyoites are losing steam as they failed to win any of their last four games. The attackers need to step up after the goalless performance last week. The final match of Sei Muroya, who will join German side Hannover, is something that FC Tokyo fans would not want to miss. Nagoya enjoyed a 6-2 win against Urawa Reds last week and are on high spirits, with Naoki Maeda on fire, after scoring four goals.

Urawa will try to bounce back against Sanfrecce Hiroshima at home. Manager Tsuyoshi Otsuki has a difficult task, as he needs to quickly fix the defensive flaws. Hiroshima are improving their form, winning the last two games and keeping clean sheets. Another solid performance is to be expected from Jofuku’s men.

Vegalta Sendai meet Shimizu S-Pulse at home, after ending a three-game losing streak by beating Vissel Kobe last week. Their attacking unit, featuring Shuhei Akasaki can play a decisive role. Shimizu also seem over their worst days, unbeaten now in four games and defeating Sapporo 3-1 last week. As their offence is also starting to work well, this fixture might produce a lot of goals.

Kashima Antlers host Vissel Kobe. The two consecutive wins for the home side show that the struggle that characterized their beginning of their season might be over, and Everaldo is leading the team, scoring five goals in the last three matches. Vissel Kobe are coming from losing a fierce match against Sendai. Conceding less goals will be essential to pick up more points for Iniesta and his team-mates.

Oita Trinita are struggling to end their losing five-match streak. Last week they were completely overwhelmed by Kawasaki, registering only one shot in 90 minutes. Although they are able to control possession, they need to show more hunger when getting near the opposition’s goal. Yokohama F.Marinos as well are not in their best form, but are showing some signs of improvement, especially in defense. Since they are having difficulty in finishing, the pressure is high on their strikers including Ado Onaiwu, who scored in the last match.

At the bottom of the table, 17th-place Yokohama FC will face 18th-place Shonan Bellmare. Koki Saito is displaying impressive performances and could be a key player to solve Yokohama’s finishing problem. Shonan also struggle due to poor attacking ability and lost their last three games. Not many goals are to be expected in this match, and the first team to find the net might take the whole three points.