After four 2nd places and one 3rd place in the league as well as 3 failed cup-finals within the previous 10 seasons Kawasaki finally managed to win the title last year, and it happened in the most dramatic way possible. They only beat Kashima Antlers on goal-difference, thanks to Kashima failing to win any of their last 2 matches. Meaning that for the first time in the club history, they will this time be defending a title which is uncharted territory for them.
They lost the Super Cup final vs Cerezo 2-3, and followed up by losing both their 2 ACL matches so far as well, but they bounced back with a very strong 3-0 away win vs Jubilo in the league opener. They have managed to keep all their important players from last season, and have strengthened their attack by bringing back Okubo from a failed spell with FC Tokyo, as well as the extremely talented but injury-prone winger Saito from rival club Marinos. Saito is currently injured, but when fit he will be a great addition to this team.
Kawasaki should definitely be up there challenging for the title this year as well, and should at least manage a top 4 finish.
Predicted finish: 4th – 7th place
- MF Shimoda (S/R)
AM Suzuzki (S/R)
AM Saito (R/I)
FW Okubo (R)
FW Akasaki (S/R)
DF Itakura (S/R)
MF Kano (S/R)
MF Miyoshi (S/R)
FW Rhayner (S/R)
FW Morimoto (S/R)
(K = Key player, I = Important Player, R = Regular Starter, S = Squad Player, K/I = Key/Important etc)
Expected Starting Lineup 2017:
- Elsinho (I) – Nara – Taniguchi – Kurumaya
- Oshima – Eduardo Neto
- Abe/Saito – Nakamura (I) – Ienaga (K)
Prediction: 1st – 3rd place