J.League 1 2017 Season Preview – Albirex Niigata

ALBIREX NIIGATA

A ton of changes for Albirex ahead of this season, as they have appointed a fresh, new manager from their own ranks as well as getting rid of 7-8 of their regular starters last year. That includes key members like Leo Silva and Rafael Silva, and 3 out of 4 players from their preferred defensive lineup last season.

They’ve mainly looked to Brazil for reinforcements this time as well, with all 3 foreign slots being occupied by Brazilian players. Hard to say how good they will be, but they will have to deliver from day 1 for Albirex to have any chance of success.

I think they will have a tough season ahead nonetheless, and ware likely to struggle a lot up front with no proven goalscorers in their team. The new Brazilian striker Roni is expected to lead their attack, but his stats from lower league Brazilian football isn’t exactly impressive. And the other 4 strikers Ibusuki, Yamazaki, Suzuki and Tanaka combined only managed 6 goals in total last season.

With that in mind and also all the new faces brought in, I think this can be the season Albirex will have to finally have to take the drop down to J2.

Last season:

15th place ( Stage 1: 13th / Stage 2: 16th)

Predicted Finish: 15th – 18th

Average Goals Per Game 2016:
Home:   1,88  (0,82 – 1,06)
Away:    2,94   (1,12 – 1,82)
Overall: 2,41  (0,97 – 1,44)

Manager:

Fumitake Miura (1st season)

Transfers In:

GK K.Otani (S/R)
DF K.Yano (R)
DF S.Tomizawa (R)
DF J.Song (S/R)
DF N.Kawaguchi (S/R)
DF G.Sakai (S/R)
MF Thiago Gallardo (I)
MF Jean Patrick (R)
MF Y.Horigome (S/R)
MF Frank Romero (S/R)
MF I.Homma (S/R)
FW Roni (I)
FW S.Hiramatsu (S/R)

Transfers Out:

DF K.Matsubara (R)
DF M.Fitzgerald (I)
DF Bruno Cortez (R/I)
MF Leo Silva (K)
MF Y.Kobayashi (R/I)
MF G.Notsuda (R)
FW Rafael Silva (K)

(K = Key player,  I = Important Player, R = Regular Starter, S = Squad Player, K/I = Key/Important etc)

Expected Starting Lineup 2017:
– 4-4-2:
– Morita
– Yano – Tomizawa – Ono(I) – Maeno
– Kato – Jean Patrick – Thiago Gallardo (I) – Naruoka
– Yamazaki – Roni(I)

Points Breakdown:

Defence:
4p
Midfield:
5p
Attack:
3,5p

Overall: 12,5 /30p

Prediction: 16th – 18th

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