Kashiwa Reysol were the darlings of the league to start the 2022 season, powered by an excellent defense that saw them get off to a red-hot start to the campaign.
Things have taken a turn in the last three matches, though, as Reysol have lost all three and their previously terrific defense has been hit for seven goals, while their attack has scored just one. Last weekend saw Kashiwa lose in jaw-dropping fashion at home, as Sagan Tosu ran out 4-1 winners.
Despite their struggles of late, though, Reysol are still in fifth place, only six points off the top, and very much in the running for big things. It will, however, take finding their early season form.
They’ll try to do exactly that on Matchweek 11 against a team that has really found their stride of late - Sanfrecce Hiroshima. The Viola are undefeated in their last five matches and are earning results in a variety of ways.
Tsukasa Morishima has led the way for Sanfrecce, scoring four goals on the year to lead the team, and three of those have come during this unbeaten streak.
Will the Reysol defense be able to keep Morishima in check? That defense is what they relied on to rack up points early in the season and they’ll have to get back to that level of steel in the back to stay near the J1 elite. If they can do it against Morishima and Co., it will be a big sign that they’re destined to turn things around. If not, Sanfrecce have a chance to stay hot and jump into the top five of the table.
The stakes are high on Matchweek 11 and all eyes will be on this one.