J.League 1 2017 Season Preview – Urawa Reds


Once again Urawa came very close of winning the league but failed at the last hurdle. They were the team that took the most points, but lost to Kashima Antlers in the Championship series.

They have kept pretty much their entire squad since last year, with only a couple of fringe players having left that will not affect the team much.  They’ve added depth to all areas, but look mostly strengthened up front.  Rafael Silva should add a new dimension to their attack, and maybe he can be the goal-poacher they need to finally bring back some silverware.

Onaiwu brought in from JEF is a more long-term prospect, but he might see some playing time as well here. Daisuke Kikuchi from Shonan will be another option for them on the wings, and former FC Köln-player Kazuki Nagasawa could also turn out be a good signing.

It’s hard to spot any weaknesses with this team, on paper they got the by far best squad with double cover in pretty much all positions. They only conceded 28 goals all season last year, so defensively they should be all set although the likes of Makino and Moriwaki sometimes tend to be a bit too nonchalant.   They got the best midfield in the league, and I expect to see tons of goals coming as well now that they have added another good striker.

Last season:

2nd place ( Stage 1: 3rd  / Stage 2: 1st )

Predicted Finish: 1st – 3rd  place

Average Goals Per Game 2016:
Home:       3,11 (2,11 – 1,00)
Away:        2,06 (1,39 – 0,67)
Overall:     2,58 (1,75 – 0,83)


Mihailo Petrovic (6th season)

Transfers In:

GK T.Enomoto (S/R)
DF N.Tamura (S/R)
MF S.Yajima (S/R)
MF D.Kikuchi (R)
AM K.Nagasawa (S/R)
FW Rafael Silva (I)
FW A.Onaiwu (S/R)

Transfers Out:

GK K.Otani (S/R)
FW N.Ishihara (S/R)

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

Starting Lineup:

  • 3-4-2-1:
  • Nishikawa
  • Moriwaki – Endo – Makino(I)
  • Sekine – Abe – Kashiwagi(I) – Kikuchi
  • Rafael Silva (I) – Muto
  • Koroki

Points Breakdown:


Overall:  27,5/30p

Prediction:  1st – 2nd



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