Match of the Week: Resurgent Vissel take on relegation rivals Júbilo

Match of the Week: Resurgent Vissel take on relegation rivals Júbilo

Vissel Kobe are on the rise! After a difficult first half of the season, Andrés Iniesta and Co. have found the form they expected to have from the beginning of the season.

Led by the terrific performances of Yoshinori Muto and Yuya Osako, the Ushi have won consecutive games to double their number of victories on the season. Those performances have taken the club off the bottom of the table and given them life as they aim to avoid relegation.

While getting out of 18th place was a big step for Vissel, they have the chance to take another leap — out of the automatic relegation places — when they meet 16th-place Júbilo Iwata this weekend.

Júbilo, of course, will not be in any mood to help Vissel. They are also battling for their place in the top flight and know that a win this weekend will be massive to their dreams of avoiding relegation. While their recent form hasn’t been as good as Vissel’s, they have proven all season that they can manage tough matchups and heightened intensity, including a few weeks ago in an entertaining draw in Kawasaki.

Expectations were high for Vissel after last season’s club-best finish and there is no way for them to get back among the top teams like they hoped, but getting out of the relegation zone would be a big accomplishment at this point. With the team flying high ever since Takayuki Yoshida took over as manager, Iniesta pulling the strings, and Muto finding some excellent form with Osako, things are looking up.

Will Vissel’s climb continue in the second half of the season? Or will Júbilo cool down the red-hot Ushi and make a big statement in their quest for survival? We’ll find out at Yamaha Stadium!