Back-to-back wins for Kawasaki now in the league, and they are looking as strong as ever. Last season was particularly impressive, as they finished 12 points ahead of their nearest rival and they are clearly the team to beat this season too.
A bit surprisingly the highly important wingback Elsinho have chosen to leave the club and will play for Shimizu S-Pulse instead this season but other than him they haven’t lost any players of importance. Another Brazilian in Maguinho will server as a direct replacement to him but I have my doubts he holds the same level. Jesiel is brought in to strengthen their central defence too, and is likely to see some playing time as they don’t have much coverage there.
Up front they have brought in former Brazil NT FW Leandro Damiao, which should be bad news for the opposing teams. With already one of the best attacks in the league goals will surely come easy for them this year too. Leandro scored the winning goal in the recent Super Cup match against Urawa Reds so he’s already made his mark.
Combining ACL and the league will probably be Kawasaki’s biggest challenge this season but I expect their main focus to be on the league. There’s also some concerns about their depth in defence and whether Maguinho can replace Elsinho or not, but overall this team still looks the best in the league.
Performance Past Seasons:
2018: (Predicted: 1st –3rd) 1.
2017: (Predicted: 4th – 7th) 1.
2016: (Predicted: 4th – 7th) 2.
2015: (Predicted: 3rd – 6th) 6.
2014: (Predicted: 7th – 11th) 6.
2013: (Predicted: 9th – 12th) 3.
Average Goals Past Seasons:
2018: 2.47 (57-27) Home: 2.88 / Away: 2.06
2017: 3.03 (71-32) Home: 3.59 / Away: 2.47
2016: 3.14 (68-39) Home: 3.47 / Away: 2.82
2015: 3.25 (62-48) Home: 3.41 / Away: 3.05
2014: 2.91 (56-43) Home: 3.24 / Away: 2.59
2013: 3.41 (65-51) Home: 3.12 / Away: 3.7
DF Maguinho (R)
DF Mawatari (S/R)
DF Jesiel (S/R)
MF Yamamura (S/R)
AM Caio (S/R)
FW Leandro Damiao (I)
DF Elsinho (I)
DF Eduardo (S/R)
DF Takeoka (S/R)
MF Moriya (S/R)
MF Tasaka (S/R)
FW Akasaki (S/R)
Expected Starting Lineup:
Maguinho – Nara – Taniguchi – Kurumaya
Oshima – Morita
Kobayashi – Nakamura (I) – Ienaga (K)
Leandro Damiao (I)
Prediction: 1st – 3rd place