Sagan Tosu had a disappointing 2018-season, and only escaped relegation by the smallest of margins. They’ve spent quite a lot of money over the last season and so with primarily the signing of Torres, and they are a team with very high ambitions. Their main problem last year was their attacking play, and their previous manager Ficcacenti’s defensive approach didn’t really suit players like Ono and Torres but a late change of manager saw them pull enough wins together to avoid relegation in the end.
Ahead of this season they’ve brought in a Spanish manager in Lluis Carreras who’s mostly been in Spanish Segunda Division before joing Sagan. He’s known for possession-based football, and that should be a better fit than Ficcadenti’s ultra-defensive playstyle. Sagan had the 2nd best defensive record in the league last year and have strengthened their defence with 2 Croatian CB’s in Galovic and Brucic.
Sagan’s main problem last year however was scoring goals, and they scored the by far least goals in the league and averaged less than a goal per game (29 goals in 34 matches). They’ve brought in an exciting new winger in the former FC Barcelona-player Cuenca, and a player like Ibarbo who missed most of last year due to injuries is also expected to have a bigger impact this year so they should be more competitive.
I doubt Sagan will be involved in the relegation-zone cause of this, but I would be surprised if they get much higher than mid-table. There is some decent potential at the club though, and if they can get players like Torres, Cuenca and Ibarbo to work well together anything can happen.
Performance Past Seasons:
2018: (Predicted: 12th – 16th) 14.
2017: (Predicted: 13th – 17th) 8.
2016: (Predicted: 14th – 17th) 11.
2015: (Predicted: 7th – 10th) 11.
2014: (Predicted: 13th – 16th) 5.
2013: (Predicted: 11th – 14th) 12.
Average Goals Past Seasons:
2018: 1.85 (29-34) Home: 1.88 / Away: 1.82
2017: 2.50 (41-44) Home: 2.53 / Away: 2.47
2016: 2.14 (36-37) Home: 2.05 / Away: 2.23
2015: 2.67 (37-54) Home: 2.17 / Away: 3.17
2014: 2.18 (41-33) Home: 2.24 / Away: 2.12
2013: 3.44 (54-63) Home: 2.94 / Away: 3.94
GK Okubo (S/R)
DF Galovic (I)
DF Brucic (S/R)
MF Hara (S/R)
AM Cuenca (I)
DF Oumari (R)
DF Kim (R)
DF Yoshida (R)
MF Kawano (S/R)
MF Kato (S/R)
FW Tagawa (R)
FW Ikeda (S/R)
Kobayashi – Yu.Takahashi – Galovic(I) – Mitsumaru
Cuenca(I) – Yo.Takahashi – Hi.Takahashi – Ono
Torres(K) – Kanazaki
Prediction: 9th – 13th place