Gifu head to Japan’s cultural capital for a match between two teams that come into this game off very different results.
We all know that Gifu got a real pasting last time out, but at the same time Kyoto were busy giving Tokyo Verdy a beating at the Ajinomoto Stadium, running out 5-0 winners. Sanga are a funny team. You never know which Kyoto will turn up: the one that thumped Verdy and the one that hammered Vissel or the one which lost at home against Giravanz, Mito, Matsumoto to name a few.
Kyoto lost one of their bright young things when Yuya Kubo fled the nest to go to Young Boys in Switzerland, but they still have plenty of talented players. Kazuki Hara came off the bench to poach 2 goals in midweek, Shigeru Yokotani & Kudo play well in the midfield together, Miyayoshi & Mitsuhira are still there. On their day I feel they can match the best in the division.
Big Desmond will be back for Gifu, but they will have to get their collective stuff together if they are to get a result at Nishikyogoku. You’re never quite sure with Gyotoku, so I’m not going to speculate who will start in goal. You could make an argument for Tokihisa being dropped, no ‘keeper should ship 8 goals. As long as Desmond is there, Gifu will be a bit more solid. But I would be very surprised if they came away from Kyoto with anything other than a defeat,