Match-day 6 of MEIJI YASUDA J1 League will be played on Wednesday, July 22nd. With little time to rest, the demanding schedule will test players and managers.
Table leaders Kawasaki Frontale, coming from four wins in a row, travel to Sendai. They displayed astonishing offensive skills, with 14 goals scored in four games so far. In the previous match, playing against Yokohama FC, they bagged five, including returning from injury Yu Kobayashi’s brace. On the other hand, Sendai in their last match could not capitalize on their two goals’ advantage and ended up sharing points with Consadole Sapporo, due to lack of focus in the final minutes.
FC Tokyo defeated Urawa Reds and rose to the 2nd spot in the table. This Wednesday, they will travel to Sapporo with their attacking Brazilian-trio in high spirits. This will be the first home game for Sapporo this season, and surely the home side will want to show the fans a toughness already displayed in the previous away matches.
Third place Cerezo Osaka host Vissel Kobe at home. They returned from Hiroshima with three points, and side-attacker Tatsuhiro Sakamoto is their key-player at the moment. Kobe seem to be improving, and they defeated Shimizu S-Pulse in the previous match. Can Kyogo Furuhashi, who scored four goals so far, take on successfully Cerezo’s defense?
Undefeated Nagoya Grampus will visit Oita Trinita. They now kept clean sheets for two games in a row. Naoki Maeda proved to be a game-changer, and his contribution might once again be crucial. On the other hand, Oita haven’t won in the last two matches. Expectations are high for new faces Daiki Watari, who netted his first goal, and Kei Chinen.
Urawa Reds host Kashiwa after they could not score and lost their first game of the season in the previous round. On the other side, Kashiwa Reysol topped Shonan Bellmare and halted their losing streak at three. Striker Olunga and newcomers such as Hayato Nakama did well; however, the defensive mechanisms still need some oiling.
The first Yokohama Derby in 13 years as well is a remarkable fixture in this round, despite both Yokohama FC and Yokohama F.Marinos losing in their previous matches. Although both teams do well up front, they concede too much in the back, and the table is set for a goal galore. The last time the teams met, in the 2007 season, they won a game each, but Yokohama F.Marinos’ victory was an astonishing 8-1!
Gamba Osaka meet Sanfrecce Hiroshima at home. In the previous match, they came from behind victory to achieve their second consecutive victory. Striker Takashi Usami's scored his first of the season, and will probably be very motivated. On the other hand, Hiroshima haven’t won in the last three games and just lost to Cerezo Osaka at home. Their forwards need to find back the form they displayed in the first two matches of the season.
Kashima Antlers, who defeated Yokohama F.Marinos and obtained their first victory of this season, will travel to Shonan Bellmare. Their attack, which was so far their Achille’s heel, came to life and produced four goals. Ayase Ueda, who claimed a brace, is expected to play an important role in this game. Shonan haven’t won yet this season. They have conceded 10 goals so far, and manager Satoshi Ukishima surely needs to improve their defense.
Finally, Sagan Tosu and Shimizu S-Pulse will fight for a first victory. For Tosu, the mission is to score their first goal of the season. Shimizu, on the other hand, might have found the net, but they also have suffered five consecutive losses with 12 goals conceded, the most in the league.