Match of the Week: Goals on tap as Marinos square off against Bellmare

Match of the Week: Goals on tap as Marinos square off against Bellmare

There should be goals aplenty when the Meiji Yasuda J1 League’s top two scoring teams, Yokohama F·Marinos and Shonan Bellmare, meet on Saturday at 3 pm JST in a match that will be streamed live on the J.League International YouTube channel.

The Tricolor are the defending champions and led the league in goals a year ago so it is no surprise to see them back near the top of the goal chart. Anderson Lopes’ four goals put him third in the league, while Élber has three of his own and a league leading four assists as the two Brazilians pace the Marinos attack.

For all of Marinos’ goal scoring prowess, it has not translated into points the way it did a year ago. Their defense, while still pretty good, has not been exceptional like it was en route to last season’s title, however they did keep a clean sheet for the first time since February 24 last week in a 5-0 rout of rivals Yokohama FC.

Have Marinos now found their stride?

Bellmare will be out to prove otherwise, and they have the attack that can expose any defense. Their 15 goals top the league thanks to the efforts of their star man, Shuto Machino.

The 23-year-old’s five goals is the best in J1, while he’s added two assists as well and is a constant danger when he’s on the pitch. His exploits make Bellmare a danger to put up massive goal totals in any game, with the team having already had four and five goal games this season.

The match carries a lot of weight, to go along with the expected goals. Marinos are in fifth place, but only three points off the top and could conceivably jump into first with a win and some help, while Bellmare are a mere two places back and have ambitions of cracking the upper reaches of the table this season.

Whose attack will shine brightest in a battle of the best J1 has to offer? Or maybe, which defense will rise to the gargantuan task of slowing down the excellence coming at them? We’ll find out this weekend in a match that promises to thrill, and you can watch it live on the J.League International YouTube channel.