J.League 1 2017 Season Preview – Vegalta Sendai


A decent 12th place for Vegalta last season, which was pretty much where they were expected to finish. With a low budget and few standout players they can be happy with that, but they look much weaker this season.

Gone is their by far 2 best strikers in Ramon Lopes and Wilson, and they have chosen to replace them with N.Ishihara from Urawa and S.Hirayama from FC Tokyo. Neither known goalscorers, and I would be surprised if we will see any player from Vegalta to hit the 10 goal-mark this season.  Okuno will be the 3rd player they will have to rely on up front, and he only managed 4 goals last season.

Defensively as well they’ve seen some changes with Japan NT goalkeeper Rokutan having left the club as well as DF Watanabe.  So they seem slightly weakened in this area as well, and with some of their key players in the past already way past their prime ( like Ryang Yong Gi and T.Nozawa) I expect a very tough season for them ahead.

Last season:

12th place ( Stage 1: 10th / Stage 2: 12th )

Predicted finish: 12th  -14th place

Average Goals Per Game 2016:
Home:       2,53 (1,18 – 1,35)
Away:        2,59 (1,12 – 1,47)
Overall:     2,56 (1,15 – 1,41)


Susumu Watanabe (4th season)

Transfers In:

GK Daniel Schmidt (R)

DF T.Masushima (R)
DF K.Nagato (S/R)
MF Y.Nakano (R)
FW N.Ishihara (R)
FW S.Hirayama (R)

Transfers Out:

GK Y.Rokutan (I)
DF H.Watanabe (R)

MF K.Mizuno (S/R)
MF Kim Min Tae (S/R)
FW Ramon Lopes (K)
FW Wilson (R)
FW H.Kanazono (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:
  • Schmidt
  • Masushima – Oiwa (I) – Ishikawa
  • Sugai – Tomita(I) – Mita – Nakano
  • Ishikara – Okuno
  • Hirayama

Points Breakdown:


Overall: 13,5/30p

Prediction:  15th – 18th



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