Match-day 3 will be held on Wednesday, July 8, and with games every three days, the demand will be high on players and managers.
Hiroshima, who are on top of the table after two convincing victories, will meet Oita at home. Sanfrecce have scored six goals through astonishing offensive plays, while their defense has kept two clean sheets. Expectations are high for Leandro Pereira, who scored two goals in the previous match at Kobe. Oita, on the other hand, come from a 2-0 victory over Tosu, and scorer Tatsuya Tanaka is their key-player.
FC Tokyo who have also won two games in a row, will meet Kawasaki Frontale in the “Tamagawa Classico”. Diego Oliveira's injury is a concern, but Leandro and Adailton are in good form. Substitute player Shuto Abe is likely to support the attack. On the other side of the river, Kawasaki have defeated Kashima in the previous match for their first victory of the season. Will their three-top be capable to surprise FC Tokyo’s solid defense?
Cerezo Osaka is the third club coming from two victories in the opening games. In the previous match, they won the Osaka derby against Gamba and now hope to take advantage of their momentum. Hiroshi Kiyotake, who showed a sharp performance in the derby, is expected again to be a crucial player this week. Shimizu S-Pulse, on the other hand, lost both games so far, and are in desperate need to grab their first points.
Defending champions Yokohama F.Marinos will host Shonan Bellmare. Yokohama have not won any of the two early games, their attacking scoring only one goal so far. Can last season’s MVP Teruhito Nakagawa outsmart Shonan’s strong vigilance? Bellmare lost their opening two games, and will need a perfect performance to get something out of this match.
Kashima as well have surprisingly lost their opening two games, and will host Sapporo. As they are willing to implement a new style under the manager Zago, they badly need a good result. Youngsters such as Itsuki Someno might provide the necessary freshness. Consadole Sapporo obtained their first win against Yokohama FC in the previous match. Musashi Suzuki, who has scored three goals in two games so far, might play an important role this time as well.
Vegalta will receive the visit of Urawa Reds. In the previous match, they Sendai team defeated Shonan with an early goal. How will manager Takuma Nishimura make use of his skillfull attackers, such as Germain Ryo and Takuma Nishimura? Urawa Reds drew with Yokohama F.Marinos in the previous game. Despite often being under pressure, defenders kept their concentration and managed to get through without conceding a goal. Goalkeeper, Shusaku Nishikawa's performance will be once again very importantfor his team.
Kashiwa Reysol lost to FC Tokyo in the previous match. The Absence of Cristiano, prevented their attack to perform as hoped. Even so, their new players, including midfielder Yuta Kamiya, have shown glimpses of their skills, and their work can be essential to prevent consecutive defeats. Yokohama FC lost to Sapporo in the previous match, in which Kazunari Ichimi scored his first goal. Manager Takahiro Shimodaira, will aim for his first win after being promoted to J1 in his return to Kashiwa, where he has been both a player and a manager at Reysol.
Sagan Tosu will host Kobe after scoring no goals and as a result not winning any of the two opening games. They boost good defensive stability, but need to improve up front. Vissel Kobe as well are still without a victory. In the previous match, they lost 3-0 at home to Hiroshima. However, they did enjoy possession for most of the game, meaning they need to be better at making use of that.
Finally, Nagoya Grampus will meet Gamba Osaka at home. In the previous match, they came back to top Shimizu S-Pulse and are now in high spirits. However, they will have to be cautious in the opening phases of the match, since they conceded early goals in both games played so far. Gamba Osaka narrowly lost to their crosstown rival Cerezo in the previous match. Takashi Usami could not show his best football yet and hopes to open his account for the season in this important match.