J.League 1 Season Preview 2018 – Vissel Kobe


Vissel Kobe were somewhat of a disappointment last season as they only managed to finish 9th, despite making a big-name signing like Podolski midway through the season.   Actually Podolski’s arrival had a poor effect on Kobe in terms of results, as they were only the 14th best team in the league after he arrived, compared to the 9th best before.  In the end they still finished 9th, but they were only 4 points ahead of 13th placed FC Tokyo.

They have made further changes ahead of this season, but it’s difficult to see any players that are better than the ones they already got.  In defence Iwanami is gone, and I doubt Nasu can replace him although they also signed Bunmathan from Muang Thong which should be a nice addition to their left-side.   In the middle Jung and Mita is new, and they have signed Wellington up front which adds even more firepower to an already potent attack.

Kobe can probably beat any team on their day, but don’t think they have the team-strength to be a real contender for a top 4 finish yet.

Last season:

9th place

Expected finish: 4th – 8th place

Transfers In:

GK Muro (S/R)
DF Nasu (R)
DF Theeratorn Bunmathan (S/R)
MF Mita (R)
MF Jung woo Young (R)
FW Wellington (R)

Transfers Out:

GK Tokushige (S/R)
DF Iwanami (R/I)
MF Nilton (R)
MF Takahashi (R)
MF Tanaka (S/R)
MF Omori (R)
MF Wescley (S/R)
MF Kobayashi (S/R)

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

Starting Lineup:

  • 4-2-3-1:
  • Kim (I)
  • Takahashi – Nasu – Watanabe – Hashimoto
    Jung – Mihara
  • Mita – Podolski (I/K) – Watanabe (I)
  • Havenaar

Points Breakdown:


Overall:  21,5/30p

Prediction:  6th – 9th


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