4th place for Gamba last season overall, but they finished far behind the winner in both stages. So in total it was a bit disappointing, but to their defence they did lose their ace striker Usami midway through the season.
They haven’t done too many changes here, with the only players of any importance leaving is the 2 MF’s Abe and Omori, but neither were vital members of the team. Fabio should be a nice addition to their defence, and expect him to start alongside Niwa. Izumizawa and Ide are also 2 very exciting new wingers, with at least one of them expected to be a starter.
They still look to the aging Endo as the playmaker, and having already turned 37, it will be interesting to see how he will fare this season. For only the 2nd time in the last 13 years, he didn’t make it into the J.League’s best 11 last year, which could be a sign his decline is starting to set in. On the other hand, 20 year old Ideguchi was a revelation last year, and expect even greater things from his this season.
With Usami gone, and also Patrick leaving the club halfway through last season, Gamba will have to look to Ademilson for goals. He only scored 9 goals last season, and although he undoubtedly has a big talent hes still very raw, and will need to hit close to double figures of that if Gamba is to be a contender this year. Behind him they only got Shun Nagasawa, who also scored 9 goals, so overall they look a bit thin up front. So overall I expect Gamba to be a contender for ACL this season as well, but doubt they have the depth and skill to challenge for the title.
4th place ( Stage 1: 6th / Stage 2: 4th )
Predicted finish: 2nd – 4th place
Average Goals Per Game 2016:
Home: 2,76 (1,53 – 1,24)
Away: 2,82 (1,59 – 1,24)
Overall: 2,79 (1,56 – 1,24)
Kenta Hasegawa (5th season)
DF Fabio (R)
DF G.Miura (S/R)
MF J.Izumisawa (R)
MF Y.Ide (R)
MF S.Nakahara (S/R)
DF K.Iwashita (S/R)
MF H.Abe (R)
MF K.Omori (R)
(K = Key player, I = Important Player, R = Regular Starter, S = Squad Player, K/I = Key/Important etc)
Expected Starting Lineup 2017:
- Yonekura – Fabio – Niwa – Fujiharu
- Konno – Ideguchi(I)
- Kurata – Endo (I) – Izumisawa