FC Gifu enter the most important 8 days of their season when they travel to fellow relegation battlers Thespa Kusatsu Gunma on Sunday, before hosting Gainare Tottori the following week.

Gifu go into this game in bad form having lost 4 of their last 5 in all competitions. Thespa on the other hand have won 3 of their last 6 league games to sit in 19th place in the table. Their leader is forward Ryuichi Hirashige who has scored 10 league goals this year, so Gifu will have to keep a close watch on him. Stop him, and the chances are that you stop Gunma.

Gifu come into this game on the back of two 2-1 defeats, at home to Verdy in the league and away in Okayama in the Emperor’s Cup. I am desperate to see two real strikers up front. Not a striker plus Mio/Someya et al. Two forwards, and go for the win. My ideal line up would be:


Nogaito     Masuyama     Kitani      Oizumi

Mio           Moriyasu    Stippe       Someya

Higuchi    Vincent*

* I don’t know if Vincent is injured or if he has just been thrown on the scrapheap. If he isn’t available, I’d like to see Blazhe or Nakamura start.

Whatever the team selection, I hope they are sent out with a positive attitude. I hope they try and take the game to Thespa as opposed waiting for the game to come to them.