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J.League Round 4 PREVIEW: Shimizu have tough task to reignite bad start

J.League Round 4 PREVIEW: Shimizu have tough task to reignite bad start

Dan Orlowitz

Sanfrecce Hiroshima are solid at the back and could prove to large a mountain for under-performing Shimizu to record their first win of the season.

Shimizu S-Pulse vs Sanfrecce Hiroshima – IAI Stadium

Shimizu have endured a poor start to the season and including the Nabisco Cup they are without a win in their first five matches. Round three saw them draw 1-1 with Shonan Bellmare. Sanfrecce are excused the group stages of the Nabisco Cup on account of their participation in the ACL and so will come into this game fully refreshed and keen to improve on their 0-0 with Kashima Antlers from a fortnight ago.

As well as being an attacking threat Sanfrecce are also sound at the back, and Shimizu will have their work cut out to get onto the scoresheet with Shusaku Nishikawa between the posts. To see if they can find a way past the Japan goalkeeper check your local TV schedules as this game is being shown live around the world!

Cerezo Osaka vs Vegalta Sendai – Nagai Stadium

Cerezo have started 2013 in fantastic form and have won all three of their league matches so far, most recently 1-0 against FC Tokyo. They’ve also done well in the Nabisco Cup, earning four points from their first two games. Sendai’s ACL commitments mean they’ve had a bit of a break over the past week but they will be hoping the time off doesn’t prevent them from building on their 2-1 win over Kashiwa Reysol in Round 3.


Omiya Ardija vs Kashima Antlers – NACK5 Stadium

Omiya have made a steady start to the 2013 season, and as well as being sixth in J1 after three games they’ve also made an acceptable opening in the Nabisco Cup with one win and one defeat. Antlers’ form has been similarly up and down, and although they picked up a 0-0 draw against reigning champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Round three, their most recent game saw them lose 4-2 at home to FC Tokyo in the Nabisco Cup.

Kashiwa Reysol vs Oita Trinita – Hitachi Dai Stadium

Reysol fell to their second consecutive league defeat two weeks ago when they lost 2-1 to Vegalta Sendai and will hope that their lack of Nabisco Cup commitments due to their ACL schedule have provided a suitable break. Oita’s search for their first win of the season continues, and so far in J1 and the Nabisco Cup they’ve drawn three and lost two. Last time out they drew with Urawa Reds 2-2 in Round three.

Kawasaki Frontale vs Ventforet Kofu – Todoroki Stadium

Kawasaki’s last league action saw them lose 5-4 in a humdinger against Sagan Tosu a fortnight ago, and they were unable to bounce back in the Nabisco Cup with a 1-0 defeat to Yokohama F.Marinos. Kofu also failed to claim any points in their last J1 clash when they lost 1-0 to Nagoya Grampus, and the Nabisco Cup also failed to provide any respite with one draw and one loss.

With Renato in the side Frontale will always pose a goal threat, and the Brazilian schemer will be sure to keep the Kofu defence on their toes. To see how he and his teammates get on check your local TV guide as this game is being shown live around the world!



Nagoya Grampus vs Shonan Bellmare – Mizuho Stadium

Grampus left it incredibly late in their last league match, needing a 94th minute goal to beat Ventforet Kofu 1-0, but since then they’ve started to find form with a draw and a triumph in the Nabisco Cup. Shonan still haven’t tasted victory this season, losing two and drawing two of their games in J1 and the Nabisco Cup. Their last league game was tied 1-1 with Shimizu S-Pulse.

Albirex Niigata vs Urawa Reds – Tohoku Denryoku Big Swan Stadium

Albirex are still winless in 2013 although their form does look to be steadily improving and after two defeats to start their J1 campaign they’ve drawn two in a row, once in the league, against Omiya Ardija, and once in the Nabisco Cup. Urawa’s ACL commitments mean they don’t participate in the group stages of the Nabisco Cup but they have made a strong start in J1 with seven points from their first three games, most recently after coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Oita Trinita.

Yokohama F.Marinos vs FC Tokyo – Nissan Stadium

Marinos are the form team in the J.League at the moment and they have won all five of their opening matches in J1 and the Nabisco Cup. Their last league game produced a 2-1 win over Jubilo Iwata. FC Tokyo’s own unbeaten start came to an end in Round three when they lost 1-0 to Cerezo Osaka, although they went some way to remedying that with a draw and a win in the Nabisco Cup.

Japan striker Tadanari Lee opened his golascoring account in that match and he will likely be the biggest threat to Yokohama’s unbeaten record here. To see if he’s able to shoot the league-leaders down check your local TV schedules as this match is being broadcast live worldwide!

Jubilo Iwata vs Sagan Tosu – Yamaha Stadium

Jubilo lost their last league match 2-1 to Yokohama F.Marinos but picked up a huge boost of confidence with a 5-1 demolition of local rivals Shimizu S-Pulse in the Nabisco Cup last week. Tosu didn’t enjoy such a good spell in the cup drawing once and losing once, but Round three saw them beat Kawasaki Frontale 5-4 so they, too, know exactly where the goal is.