Match of the Week: Surging Frontale put their form to the test against Sagan

Match of the Week: Surging Frontale put their form to the test against Sagan

Kawasaki Frontale have won four of the last six MeijI Yasuda J1 League titles and, after finishing in second place a year ago, entered 2023 dead set on climbing just a bit higher to put Japan’s most treasured piece of silverware back in their trophy case. Things did not go as planned to begin the campaign, with just two wins from their first nine matches, but they have now won two in a row and are flashing the form that had them believing they could challenge for the J1 crown.

Now, Frontale try to keep the good form rolling when Sagan Tosu visit Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium on Sunday at 3 pm JST in a match that will be streamed live on the J.League International YouTube channel.

Sagan have struggled some this season, slipping to 15th in the table. Their attack has scored the third-fewest goals in the league and their defense, which has been one of the best in the league years, is now closer to middle of the pack.

The key for Sagan will be finding a way to get more dangerous play from their strikers. Fuchi Honda has been good in an attacking midfield role, but they’ve been changing their personnel around him, especially up front where Yuji Ono has played a bit out of position as a striker some this season. Getting good true striker play would change Sagan’s attack and give it the force they have been lacking.

Fortunately for Frontale, they’re not really looking for big upgrades anywhere. They are feeling good about their play right now.

Nine different players have scored for Frontale this season and Toru Oniki’s system, which brings players forward from all over the pitch, has been looking ever more dangerous as the campaign goes on.

Frontale’s defense has also been improving, with Shintaro Kurumaya sliding into the center of defense alongside Kota Takai and putting in good performances.

For a bit there, Frontale were dangerously near the bottom of the table, but that is no longer the case. They are up to 10th and a win this weekend could take them as high as the top five. All of a sudden Frontale can make an assault on the upper reaches of the table, putting them right back where they have spent nearly every week of the last six years.

Will Frontale keep their charge going? Or will Sagan deliver the important two-way performances they have been looking for?

Find out this Sunday on the J.League International YouTube channel.