There were only 1 point separating the top 4 teams in J2 last season, But Matsumoto came out on top which was mostly due to their strong defensive record. They only conceded 34 goals in 42 matches – by far the lowest in the league, and lost only 7 games throughout the season.
Their manager is still Yasuharu Sorimachi, who’s been with the team since 2012 which makes him one of the longest serving managers at a club in Japan. He’s won promotion with them twice, and definitely been a big part of taking the team to a new level.
They’ve seen 2 regular midfielders leave the club, but brought in adequate replacements and have also strengthened their defence and attack a bit. They expect good things from the new FW Leandro Pereira, and they also got good back-up in Ryo Nagai or Hiroyuki Takasaki.
Last time Matsumoto were in J1 was in 2015 and that ended with them finishing in 16th place and relegation but they put in some decent performances throughout the season. They are a club with a large, loyal fanbase and big potential and I think they will be better prepared this time around. It’s inevitable that they will find themselves struggling in or near the relegation-zone, but they should have decent chances of avoiding the drop.
Performance Past Seasons:
2018: (Predicted: N/A) 1. (J2)
2017: (Predicted: 1st – 3rd) 8. (J2)
2016: (Predicted: 3rd – 4th) 3. (J2)
2015: (Predicted: 15th – 17th) 16.
2014: (Predicted: 5th – 9th) 2. (J2)
2013: (Predicted: 9th – 14th) 7. (J2)
Average Goals Past Seasons:
2018: 2.19 (54-34) Home: 2.00 / Away: 2.19 (J2)
2017: 2.52 (61-45) Home: 2.86 / Away: 2.19 (J2)
2016: 2.24 (62-32) Home: 2.19 / Away: 2.29 (J2)
2015: 2.29 (28-50) Home: 2.35 / Away: 2.23
2014: 2.38 (65-35) Home: 2.43 / Away: 2.33 (J2)
2013: 2.57 (54-54) Home: 2.62 / Away: 2.52 (J2)
DF Eduardo (R)
DF Nasukawa (S/R)
MF Takahashi (R)
MF Tsukagawa (R)
MF Yonehara (S/R)
AM Sugimoto (R)
AM Machida (S/R)
FW Leandro Pereira (I)
DF Shimokawa (S/R)
DF Yasukawa (S/R)
MF Iwama (R)
MF Ishihara (R/I)
MF Okamoto (S/R)
FW Dinei (S/R)
FW Mishima (S/R)
Imai – Hashiuchi – Eduardo
Iwakami(I) – Tsukakawa – Fujita(I) – Takahashi
Sugimoto – Maeda
Prediction: 14th – 18th