Sanfrecce Hiroshima started last season off in style, and were the run-away leaders for a long time. They didn’t have the stamina to keep going for the full season though, and on their last 9 matches they only took 2 points. Still, that was somehow enough to finish in 2nd place on the table which means they qualified for ACL too.
They haven’t lost any players of great significance, and the only regular starter that is gone is Thai FW Teerasil Dangda but they brought in 2 new strikers to replace him in Douglas and Minagawa. Patric is still their star striker, but they got decent options behind him too although this season they are likely to only start with a single striker in most of the games.
In defence they brought in the Swedish wing-back Emil Salomonsson from IFK Göteborg who are expected to be a regular starter. Overall their defence looks quite solid with a strong goalkeeper and 3 quality CB’s, but if any of them were to get injured they don’t have much quality among their back-up players.
I doubt Hiroshima will be able to copy last season’s 2nd place, and expect a tougher season for them now. Especially with regards to ACL as well( if they qualify), as they got a thin squad and will most likely struggle to find a good balance if they are to compete in both tournaments. They should still be involved in the upper half of the table, but I think there is a limit to what their manager Jofuku can get out of these players.
Performance Past Seasons:
2018: (Predicted: 10th – 14th) 2.
2017: (Predicted: 4th – 8th) 15.
2016: (Predicted: 1st – 4th) 6.
2015: (Predicted: 7th – 11th) 1.
2014: (Predicted: 3rd – 7th) 8.
2013: (Predicted: 3rd – 6th) 1.
Average Goals Past Seasons:
2018: 2.41 (47-35) Home: 2.53 / Away: 2.29
2017: 2.38 (32-49) Home: 2.18 / Away: 2.59
2016: 2.88 (58-40) Home: 2.76 / Away: 3.00
2015: 3.03 (73-30) Home: 2.82 / Away: 3.25
2014: 2.38 (44-37) Home: 2.41 / Away: 2.35
2013: 2.35 (51-29) Home: 2.53 / Away: 2.18
DF Salomonsson (R)
DF Ibayashi (S/R)
DF Araki (S/R)
MF Notsuda (R)
MF Shimizu (S/R)
FW Douglas (S/R)
FW Minagawa (S/R)
DF Chiba (S/R)
DF Mawatari (S/R)
MF Morisaki (S/R)
MF Felipe Silva (S/R)
FW Teerasil Dangda (R)
FW Kudo (S/R)
Nogami – Mizumoto – Sasaki
Salomonsson – Aoyama (K) – Notsuda – Kashiwa(I)
Kawabe – Shibasaki
Prediction: 7th – 10th place