Match of the Week: Yokohama Derby returns as Marinos, Fulie battle for crucial win

Match of the Week: Yokohama Derby returns as Marinos, Fulie battle for crucial win

The Yokohama Derby is back!

The promotion of Yokohama FC has brought back the top flight derby between the Fulie and Yokohama F·Marinos, and the battle for the city will be on full display when the two clash on Saturday at 7pm JST in a match that will be streamed live on the J.League International YouTube channel.

Both sides have more than community pride to play for at Nissan Stadium, too.

Marinos have lost two of their last three and fallen behind in their quest to repeat as title winners, making it crucial they pick up three points this weekend and begin climbing back up the table.

Yokohama FC are still in search of their first win of the season and sit second from the bottom on two points, but they managed a draw last week and have the league’s leading goal scorer in Koki Ogawa.

Ogawa led the second division in goals last season with 26, an astounding 10 more than the next highest scorer in the league. If there were any questions about whether he could carry over that form into the top flight, he’s answered them already. His five goals make up each and every time the Fulie have put the ball in the opposing net, with their sixth coming courtesy of an own goal.

A scintillating striker like Ogawa will present a unique challenge to a Marinos defense that has been pretty good, but not quite as good as a season ago. With the way Ogawa finds space in the box, gets on the end of crosses and can finish with either foot or his head, the Tricolor will have to be perfect every time Yokohama FC come forward.

Can Ogawa lead the Fulie to a victory over their title defending rivals or will Marinos take a big three points in their pursuit of another crown? More than anything, who will be kings of Yokohama?

We’ll find out this weekend, and you can watch live on the J.League International YouTube channel.