Gifu welcome one of the pre-season promotion favourites on Sunday evening, looking to get their first win in 4 games.

Gifu have slight injury concerns over Hiroshi Sekita who was taken off during last weekend’s draw with Giravanz Kitakyushu, as well as others who are just coming back from injury. Names Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi, Kosuke Kitani & Nazarit are near fitness and will challenge for a place in the squad on Sunday. Atsushi Mio will also be pushing for a starting berth against one of his former teams.

My predicted starting XI: Kawaguchi, Masuyama, Abe, Kitani/Sekita, Alessandro Santos, Miyazawa, Henik, Takachi, Stipe, Nazarit/Nakamura, NMB24

Kyoto are coming off the back of two bad defeats: losing 5-1 in Mito two weeks ago before slumping to a 3-0 home defeat against Thespa Kusatsu Gunma last weekend. Top scorer for the team from the cultural capital this year is Masashi Oguro who has banged in 11 of their 22 league goals so far this year. They do have a slight injury worry over second top scorer Kazushi Mitsuhira. He has 5 goals this season. Kyoto must also be a little concerned about the form of their goalkeepers. Regualr GK Oh Seung Hoon has made a couple of mistakes recently (including the very soft goal that let Gunma take the lead last week) and back-up keeper Daichi Sugimoto endured a nightmare debut when he (and his defence, to be fair) conceded five up at Mito Hollyhock.

Form Guide (last 5 games)

  • FC Gifu: WDLLD
  • Kyoto Sanga: WWWDD

Previous games in Gifu:

  • 2011: FC Gifu 3-2 Kyoto Sanga
  • 2012: FC Gifu 0-1 Kyoto Sanga
  • 2013: FC Gifu 0-3 Kyoto Sanga

That 3-2 win in July 2011 is FC Gifu’s only ever victory against Sanga, Sanga have won the other 5 meetings between the teams.

Match details:

  • FC Gifu v Kyoto Sanga
  • Nagaragawa Memorial Centre, KO 7pm
  • Broadcast: Live on Sky Perfect ch.801
  • Weather: Hot. Very hot. Sunny and around 30°C. Bring some sunscreen.
  • Events: It is “Brasil Day” for this game. Lots of things like Samba party, Brazilian food, free entry for Brazilians etc. Should be a fun, if hot, day down by the river.