Shimizu S-Pulse exceeded expectations by a good margin last year by finishing in the upper half of the table. They were the joint 2nd most high-scoring team in the league, but also conceded plenty of goals so their matches were rarely boring.
They got one of the better attacks in the league, and with Douglas (11 goals in 15 matches) and Japan NT-striker Kitagawa up front they’ll definitely be scoring lots of goals this year as well. They also got a solid back-up in the North Korean striker Chong Tese. Their midfield is also pretty good with lost of creative players, but they lack a decent defensive midfielder.
In defence they have brought in the highly rated Elsinho from Kawasaki Frontale. He’s undoubtedly one of the best wingbacks in the league, and should be a major boost to this team. Wanderson is also new, and their defence looks overall better this year than last season.
They also got a good manager in Jan Jönsson, and with a couple of more quality players in the team this year I think they got decent chances of another upper-half finish. There’s still some question marks over their defence, but it’s a team with a strong potential.
Performance Past Seasons:
2018: (Predicted: 13th – 17th) 8.
2017: (Predicted: 12th – 15th) 14.
2016: (Predicted: 1st – 2nd) 2. (J2)
2015: (Predicted: 14th – 17th) 17.
2014: (Predicted: 9th – 15th) 15.
2013: (Predicted: 6th – 8th) 9.
Average Goals Past Seasons:
2018: 3.06 (56-48) Home: 2.88 / Away: 3.24
2017: 2.65 (36-54) Home: 3.06 / Away: 2.24
2016: 2.90 (85-37) Home: 2.81 / Away: 3.00 (J2)
2015: 3.00 (37-65) Home: 3.70 / Away: 2.29
2014: 3.00 (42-60) Home: 2.53 / Away: 3.47
2013: 3.09 (48-57) Home: 3.35 / Away: 2.82
DF Elsinho (I/K)
DF Wanderson (R)
MF Renato (R)
MF Kusukami (S/R)
MF Nishizawa (S/R)
MF Nakamura (S/R)
DF Freire (R)
DF Kakuda (S/R)
MF Shirasaki (R)
MF Murata (S/R)
MF Hyodo (S/R)
FW Crislan (R)
FW Duke (R)
FW Hasegawa (S/R)
Elsinho(I) – Hwang Seok Ho – Wanderson – Matsubara
Kaneko– Kawai(I) – Renato – Ishige
Douglas(K) – Kitagawa
Prediction: 8th – 12th place