Match of the Week: Frontale host Sanfrecce in crucial title crunch

Match of the Week: Frontale host Sanfrecce in crucial title crunch

Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium has seen plenty of big games in recent years and this weekend's clash is right up there with the best of them.

Visiting Sanfrecce Hiroshima sit second in the Meiji Yasuda J1 League, having made a rapid ascent in recent months to battle for a championship.

Frontale, the hosts, are the two-time defending J1 champions and sit third, hoping to make history with their fifth title in six seasons.

Kawasaki are just a point behind Hiroshima, and have two games in hand, but they slumped to a brutal loss last week after conceding a stoppage-time goal at Shonan Bellmare. Frontale will be hoping to recapture their form before that match, when they won four straight, led by the emerging attacking might of Marcinho and a healthy Jesiel back in the heart of defense.

On the other side, The Viola are, simply put, on a tear. Winners of five straight, Hiroshima have scored 15 goals in that stretch, en route to victories against top sides like Kashima Antlers, Kashiwa Reysol and Cerezo Osaka. Sanfrecce’s defense has also vastly improved under new boss Michael Skibbe, conceding just 28 goals in 28 games.

So, two attacks hitting top form, two defenses that are difficult to beat on their day, and two clubs with no margin for error as they chase Yokohama F·Marinos for a title. This one can't come soon enough.