Home sweet home?

After two consecutive away defeats, FC Gifu play four of their next five games in the familiar environs of the Nagaragawa Memorial Stadium. But how much of a home advantage do Gifu get when playing down by the riverside?

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Last season, Gifu won 4 out of their 21 home games, that is a 14% win rate – and one of those games was at a different stadium (the 2-1 win against Gainare Tottori). They did beat two very good teams in Vissel Kobe & V-Varen Nagasaki and the other team they beat at Nagaragawa was Giravanz Kitakyushu. Last year it looked, at times, as if the team and management struggled with the pressure of being at home. It seemed like being more of a burden than an advantage.

So far in 2014, Gifu have played seven home games, with a 3W 1D 3L record. That is already on the way to being a much better win percentage – assuming the team doesn’t completely implode during the rest of this season. Interestingly, this year Gifu have beaten the struggling teams that have visited (Kamatamare Sanuki, Kataller Toyama & Thespa Kusatsu Gunma) while they feel they should have beaten JEF & Avispa Fukuoka. They can have no complaints about the defeats against Shonan Bellmare & Tochigi SC.

The upcoming homes will prove an important period in Gifu’s season – and none of them will be easy games. The games are:

  • Giravanz Kitakyushu – currently 4th
  • Kyoto Sanga – currently 5th
  • Jubilo Iwata – currently 2nd
  • V-Varen Nagasaki – currently 9th

Not the easiest slate of games is it? But, Gifu will have to get some decent results from these games because the going gets tougher as we move into summer. They must take advantage of the lack of traveling because they will invariably get their turn to travel a lot.

Ever since Ruy Ramos has come to the club, he has always stated that he wants to build a team/squad that doesn’t lose at home. He says, understandably, that a team which wins at home and plays good, entertaining football will attract more people to the stadium thus allowing the club to move confidently forward.

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