Goal.com previews the J-League's upcoming Friday fixtures as it enters the 28th week
J.League Division 1, Round 28 Fixtures:
Cerezo Osaka v. Sagan Tosu – Kincho Stadium, 1pm
Cerezo picked up a massive win in their bid to avoid relegation last weekend when they came from behind to defeat Vissel Kobe 3-2. Tosu, meanwhile, fell to a comprehensive 4-1 defeat to league leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
The hero for Cerezo in Round 27 was veteran midfielder Simplicio (pictured). The Brazilian struck twice to level the scores after Kobe had taken a two-goal lead, and will be sure to cause Sagan problems again here.
It ended 0-0 between these two in Tosu on the opening day of the season, to see if either side can take all three points this time check your local TV schedules as this game is being broadcast live!
Yokohama F. Marinos v. Sanfrecce Hiroshima – Nissan Stadium, 2pm
Marinos drew 0-0 with Omiya Ardija in Round 27, the 12th time this season that they have failed to take more than one point from a game. Sanfrecce, meanwhile, made it three wins in a row last week and stayed in first place after beating Sagan Tosu 4-1. Marinos won 3-1 in Hiroshima when these sides clashed back in May, can they halt Sanfrecce’s progress with another victory here?
Kashima Antlers v. FC Tokyo – Kashima Soccer Stadium, 3pm
Antlers were seconds away from a vital win last weekend but conceded an injury time equaliser and had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Gamba Osaka. Tokyo had the opposite luck in Round 27, coming from behind to beat Jubilo Iwata 2-1. Antlers came out on top in Tokyo in April, winning 2-1, can Tokyo exact revenge in Kashima on Saturday?
Kashiwa Reysol v. Kawasaki Frontale – Hitachi Dai Stadium, 3pm
Reysol’s push to defend their title looks to be over after they fell to a last-gasp 2-1 defeat to Urawa Reds in Round 27. Frontale picked up another three points by defeating Consadole Sapporo 1-0 and now look to be safe in J1 next season. Reysol won 2-0 in Kawasaki back in May, will they be able to make it a double over Frontale this season with another win this weekend?
Albirex Niigata v. Vissel Kobe – Tohoku Denryoku Big Swan Stadium, 3pm
Albirex picked up a huge victory last weekend when they hammered Nagoya Grampus 5-0 to keep themselves in with a chance of avoiding the drop. Vissel, on the other hand, look in danger of heading in the opposite direction after they lost 3-2 to Cerezo Osaka in Round 27. Vissel won the reverse fixture in June 1-0, can Albirex gain revenge in Niigata and drag Vissel further down into the mire?
Nagoya Grampus v. Omiya Ardija – Mizuho Stadium, 3pm
Grampus were well and truly torn apart in Round 27, going down 5-0 to relegation-threatened Albirex Niigata. Omiya picked up a solid point with a 0-0- home draw against Yokohama F. Marinos but are not yet safe themselves from the threat of relegation. It finished 1-1 when these two met way back in March, will either side have enough to take all three points this time around?
Jubilo Iwata v. Shimizu S-Pulse – Ecopa Stadium, 3:30pm
Jubilo’s title-challenge came to all but a mathematical end in Round 27 when they surrendered a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 to FC Tokyo. S-Pulse earned a fantastic result though, when they themselves came from a goal down to beat Vegalta Sendai 3-1.
They will still have to be wary in this game of Jubilo captain Hiroki Yamada (pictured) who claimed his side’s assist in last week’s defeat and is always a threat when going forwards – whether by setting up his teammates or converting chances himself.
S-Pulse just about edged the previous Shizuoka derby 3-2 back in April, to see if Yamada and Jubilo can level things up this time check your local TV schedules as this game is being broadcast live around the world!
Vegalta Sendai v. Gamba Osaka – Yurtec Stadium, 7pm
Vegalta’s title ambitions were dented last weekend when they were defeated 3-1 by Shimizu S-Pulse, despite having taken an early lead. Gamba once again experienced some late drama in their Round 27 match when they snatched an injury time equaliser to draw 2-2 with Kashima Antlers.
Goalkeeper Yosuke Fujigaya (pictured) was at fault for one of the goals conceded and will be worth keeping an eye on in this game. Gamba are top scorers this season but remain in the relegation battle, and will need their defence and keeper to sharpen up in the final run in.
It finished 1-1 when these sides did battle in May, but a point apiece isn’t much help for either of them as the climax of the season draws nearer. To see if either can snatch all three points this time check your local TV schedules as this match is being shown live around the world!
Urawa Reds v. Consadole Sapporo – Saitama Stadium, 7pm
Reds just about managed to stay on the coattails of first- and second-placed Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Vegalta Sendai when they snatched a late, late 2-1 win over Kashiwa Reysol last week. Consadole, meanwhile, became the first side to be relegated in 2012 when they lost 1-0 to Kawasaki Frontale. Consadole fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat in Sapporo when these sides met back in March, can they gain some unlikely vengeance on Saturday?