Match to Watch, Matchweek 19: Yokohama F·Marinos, Sagan Tosu square off in top-four clash

Match to Watch, Matchweek 19: Yokohama F·Marinos, Sagan Tosu square off in top-four clash

Third-place Yokohama F·Marinos and fourth-place Sagan Tosu are set for a thrilling midweek matchup, separated by just a point and in terrific form.

Sagan have been a tremendous surprise so far in 2021. Fueled by an outstanding defense, they jumped up among the league leaders early on in the campaign and have not looked back, as a nearly impenetrable backline looks set to keep them up at the top of the table until the very end of the season.

Yokohama F·Marinos didn’t get off to a quick start, but they found their footing following Matchweek 3 and have been one of the league’s best teams ever since, led by an attack that is averaging an impressive two goals per game.

On its face, this is a classic battle of great attack versus great defense.

No team has been able to slow down Ado Onaiwu and Daizen Maeda all season, giving Marinos arguably the most productive one-two attacking punch in the MEIJI YASUDA J1 LEAGUE.

Onaiwu J.LEAGUE.jpg

Meanwhile, Sagan Tosu’s defense has allowed just eight goals, five fewer than the next closest team in the league, and rarely looking in trouble thanks to a well-drilled, well-organized structure from front to back.

Will a great attack beat a great defense, with Onaiwu and Maeda leading the way? Or will Sagan’s defense prove to be unbothered by the attacking threat and lock them down the way they have much of the league?

We’ll find out in Yokohama, with third place on the line.