Kawasaki Frontale welcome Urawa Reds to Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium on Wednesday in a match that, in normal circumstances, would already have top billing. It’s the league’s top team taking on a fifth-place side that is only three points back of third and the final guaranteed AFC Champions League place.
But this match has even more meaning as Frontale could clinch the MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE title by the final whistle.
Frontale currently lead the league by 12 points and, after Wednesday, there will be just four matches remaining in the season. If Kawasaki beat Urawa and Yokohama F·Marinos drop points to Gamba Osaka, Toru Oniki’s side will be champions, while a draw will also be enough to clinch if Marinos lose.
This would be a historic title for Frontale, who would be crowned champions for the second season in a row and fourth time in five years.
To capture the league on Wednesday, though, requires at least a result against a good Urawa side. Frontale smashed the Reds, 5-0, in the first month of the season, but Urawa returned the favor in September when they scored four goals over two legs to knock Kawasaki out of the 2021 J.LEAGUE YBC Levain CUP.
Urawa enter the match in good form, having advanced to the Emperor’s Cup semi-finals and thumping Kashiwa Reysol, 5-1, in the league last week. Kasper Junker and Takahiro Sekine are in fine form and will challenge the Frontale defense, but Urawa will have a tough task of their own, keeping out Leandro Damião and Co. The Brazilian’s 17 goals on the season have him in the Golden Boot race and pace an attack that tops the league.
Will Frontale be crowned champions yet again? Or will Urawa spoil the party? Find out this week in the MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE!