It’s a busy week in J2. Just as the Sunday games have finished, we have to look ahead to a midweek clash at the Nagaragawa.
Gifu will be in buoyant mood after their result, and performance, in Matsumoto. I don’t expect to see any changes in the starting line-up. That would mean that 2 goal superhero Tatsuya Arai would remain on the bench, ready to be called upon, if needed, to reprise his goalscoring exploits. I thought Tsukasa Masuyama was immense at the back and I would be surprised to see him make way for anyone. Hiroki Higuchi, vital to what Gifu did on Sunday, should start again up front. Shun Nogaito will not make this game, but he might make it in time for Sunday’s trip to Tochigi SC.
Kataller Toyama will be led into to town by the familiar face of Yudai Nishikawa, who had a successful spell at Gifu. He linked particularly well with Koichi Sato as the two plundered 20+ goals between them. This season, Toyama seem a much improved side with the skillful Seo Yong Duk playing a pivotal role in midfield. Nishikawa, as befits his height, acts as the targetman and he is used to bring in other players, Takuya Kokeguchi, Daisuke Asahi and Shota Kimura for example. Nishikawa should score more than he does, but he is none-the-less a very important player for this Toyama side which is sitting currently in 13th place in the table.
Last year: When these two teams met in Gifu last year they played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in some serious heat. Toyama took the lead twice but were pegged back with Gifu’s second equalizer coming from Hiroki Higuchi. Here’s hoping he can get on the scoresheet again on Wednesday night.
Details: FC Gifu v Kataller Toyama, Nagaragawa Stadium, 7pm KO