2 seasons in a row now for Urawa where they finished outside of top 3, but considering they won ACL in 2017 and the Emperor’s Cup last year they still had fairly successful seasons. However, it’s the league that’s the main priority for them, and to this day they have still only won it a single time which was way back in 2006. They are one of the richest teams in the league and with the highest average attendance but despite a star-studded squad with great coverage in almost all positions they always seem to choke at some point.
The 2 recent cup-wins (actually 3 as they also won the J.League Cup in 2016) shows that they are getting better at going the full distance though, and perhaps they might be able to project that onto their league performances as well. They improved their defence ahead of this season with the highly rated wingback Yamanaka from Marinos as well as Japan-returneè Daisuke Suzuki so they should be well set there. They’ve lost the influential Wataru Endo though but overall they should be slightly improved.
In midfield the new signing Ewerton is likely to see some playing time, but they already got lots of options there so they have to find a good balance when it comes to rotating. That also goes up front and in the AM positions. A player like Kenyu Sugimoto (new from Cerezo) might struggle to see regular playing time as he has to compete against both Koroki and Muto, and he might not even be the type of striker that fits into coach Oliveira’s type of play.
But overall they got everything needed to win the title this year, as really only Kawasaki can match them player by player. But whereas Kawasaki is a much more stable team with players that work well together effortlessly, Urawa is mostly made up of good, individual players that doesn’t always get the best out of each other. So it will be interesting to see if they can challenge them properly, but based on overall strength (on paper) there’s not much choice than to rate them as one of the favorites this season as well.
Performance Past Seasons:
2018: (Predicted: 1st –3rd) 5.
2017: (Predicted: 1st – 2nd) 7.
2016: (Predicted: 1st – 3rd) 2.
2015: (Predicted: 1st – 4th) 3.
2014: (Predicted: 1st – 3rd) 2.
2013: (Predicted: 1st –3rd) 6.
Average Goals Past Seasons:
2018: 2.65 (51-39) Home: 2.59 / Away: 2.71
2017: 3.47 (64-54) Home: 4.00 / Away: 2.94
2016: 2.61 (61-28) Home: 3.11 / Away: 2.11
2015: 3.20 (69-40) Home: 2.76 / Away: 3.64
2014: 2.47 (52-32) Home: 2.06 / Away: 2.88
2013: 3.59 (66-56) Home: 3.65 / Away: 3.53
DF Suzuki (R)
DF Yamanaka (R)
AM Ewerton (S/R)
AM Yuruki (S/R)
FW Sugimoto (S/R)
DF Endo (R/I)
DF Hirakawa (S/R)
AM Taketomi (S/R)
AM Kikuchi (S/R)
FW Lee (S/R)
FW Zlatan (S/R)
Suzuki – Mauricio – Makino(I)
Hashioka – Aoki – Yamanaka
Nagasawa – Kashiwagi(I)
Koroki (I) – Muto
Prediction: 1st – 4th place