Vegalta Sendai – Urawa Reds:
I don’t have high expectations from Vegalta this year, and think they have a very difficult season ahead of them. On paper they shouln’t be a match to an opponent like Urawa, but the first match of the season is always hard to predict.
I didn’t like what I saw from Urawa though in the Xerox Super Cup Final vs Kawasaki last weekend which they lost 0-1, and what was most alarming was their failure to put any real pressure on Kawasaki’s defence. Still, they will meet a completely different team here, and we’ll see a very different approach to the game from them as this is a game they are expected to dominate.
Vegalta were very over at home last year, and conceded almost 2 goals on average. That number lies a bit though as they conceded 8 goals in a single game (vs Marinos). Urawa averaged 2.71 away so if last year’s number are anything to go by we should see some goals here and I expect all 3 points to end up with the away-team.
Expected Starting Lineup Vegalta:
13Hiraoka – 27Oiwa (I) – 2Nagato
4Hachisuka– 6Hyodo* –17Tomita –7Sekiguchi
9Ramon Lopes – 11Ishihara(I)
MF Tsuihashi (R)
Expected Starting Lineup Urawa:
31Iwanami – 2Mauricio – 5Makino(I)
3Ugajin – 8Ewerton – 6Yamanaka
7Nagasawa – 10Kashiwagi(I)
30Koroki (I) – 9Muto
FW Fabricio (S/R)
Prediction: 0-1 or 1-2
The odds on the Totals looks correctly priced, but I find good value on Urawa -0,25 @ 1,81 (30 units) which is the biggest pre-game bet for me this round.