J.League 1 Season Preview 2018 – Nagoya Grampus

NAGOYA GRAMPUS

Nagoya Grampus had to go through playoffs to earn promotion from J2 last season and therefore faced more problems than expected in their brief return to J2.  Their issues were mostly connected to their defence, and they conceded a whopping 65 goals throughout the season. They also scored 85, so in the end they still won enough matches to make it back to J1.

Their attack have been further strengthened this season with the record-signing Jo replacing last year’s top-scorer Simovic. Should be a big upgrade, although it must feel strange for Simovic to be shipped off despite scoring 21 goals last year.  Their defence looks more or less the same, which is not exactly a good thing and the only notable change in midfield is Hasegawa who will replace Taguchi. I’m not a fan of Hasegawa, and it is no coincidence that he has been relegated with 3 different clubs (Cerezo, Omiya and Shonan) and not experienced success in any of the clubs he’s been with.  Still, with such a potent attack I will be surprised to see Nagoya involved in the relegation battle this season.

Last season:

3rd place  (J2)

Predicted Finish: 1st – 2nd

Transfers In:

GK Langerak (R)
DF Hatao (S/R)
DF Willian Rocha (R)
MF Aria Jasuru Hasegawa (R)
MF Akiyama (R)
FW Jo (K)

Transfers Out:

DF Sakai (S/R)
MF Taguchi (I)
FW Simovic (R/I)
FW Nagai (S/R)

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

Starting Lineup:

  • 4-3-3:
  • Langerak
  • Miyahara – Rocha – Kushibiki – Akiyama
  • Izumi – Kobayashi – Hasegawa
  • Aoki – Jo (K) – Gabriel Xavier (K)

Points Breakdown:

Defence:
4,5p
Midfield:
6p
Attack:
10p

Overall:  20,5/30p

Prediction:  7th – 12th  

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