J1 R2 – Hiroshima vs Iwata Preview

Sanfrecce Hiroshima – Jubilo Iwata: Neither Hiroshima or Iwata had the best start to their season as they could only cling onto a 1-1 draw at home vs a team they were expected to beat. Hiroshima will get another chance at home here to get their winning ways going, and they meet an even weaker…

J1 R2 – Kawasaki vs Kashima Preview

Kawasaki Frontale – Kashima Antlers: Kawasaki could only manage a 0-0 draw vs Tokyo at home in their season-opener which was a bit disappointing and in fact Tokyo were probably closer to a win that they were.  Kashima was even more disappointing as they lost 1-2 (deservedly) at home vs newly promoted Oita in what…

J1 R1 – Shonan vs Consadole Preview

Shonan Bellmare – Consadole Sapporo: The last match of the round is between Shonan and Consadole, 2 teams that have usually been plying their trade in J2 and not J1 but who are both now looking to establish themselves in Japan’s highest division.   But where Consadole had a fairytale of a season last year which…

J1 R1 – Gamba vs Marinos Preview

Gamba Osaka – Yokohama F Marinos: Gamba Osaka were the 2nd best home-team in the league last season, and they hope Suita Stadium will be a feared place to visit for the opposing teams this year as well.  I think Gamba could be in for a good season actually, although they have been very quiet…

J1 R1 – Iwata vs Matsumoto Preview

Jubilo Iwata – Matsumoto Yamaga: This one is a tricky match.  It’s hard to say exactly how good Iwata will be this season, but my initial rating of them is low and I expect them to be heavily involved in the relegation-battle this year.   That also goes for newly-promoted Matsumoto so this is probably the…

J1 R1 – Kashima vs Oita Preview

Kashima Antlers – Oita Trinita: Oita are back in J1 for the first time since 2013, and they couldn’t have asked for a more difficult start.  Kashima away is a tough as it gets, and I cant really see them have much chance here. They are the inferior team here in every single way even…

J1 R1 – Sagan vs Nagoya Preview

Sagan Tosu – Nagoya Grampus: This is a game with lots of potential for goals, and it could easily be the most entertaining match of the round.  I expect to see a much more offensive minded Sagan-side this year, and the arrival of Cuenca should add a lot to their attack. Their best GK Gonda…

J1 R1 – Sanfrecce vs Shimizu Preview

Sanfrecce Hiroshima – Shimizu S-Pulse: This one should be an interesting match and I expect to see an open and fast-paced game with chances at both ends. Hiroshima didnt look particularly good in the ACL match vs Chiangrai midweek though, and had to go through PK’s in order to win it but we should be…

J1 R1 – Kawasaki vs Tokyo Preview

Kawasaki Frontale – FC Tokyo: Kawasaki Frontale have been by far the best team in the league the past 2 seasons, and if their performance vs Urawa in the Super Cup last weekend is anything to go by they will be extremely tough to beat this year too.  ALthough they only won 1-0 they dominated…

J1 R1 – Vegalta vs Urawa Preview

Vegalta Sendai – Urawa Reds: I don’t have high expectations from Vegalta this year, and think they have a very difficult season ahead of them.   On paper they shouln’t be a match to an opponent like Urawa, but the first match of the season is always hard to predict. I didn’t like what I saw…