Gifu welcome Nagasaki to the Nagaragawa on Saturday evening, looking for some redemption after last week’s massive defeat at the hands of Jubilo Iwata.

It must be tempting for Ramos to make wholesale changes after a defeat like that, but I don’t see too many coming. I think he’ll stick with the recently used 4-3-1-2 formation, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see either Taisuke Mizuno or Ryoto Higa used in midfield. Taira Inoue will be happy to have got his first 45 minutes in over a year in the previous game, but I think he’ll start on the bench again. Gifu fans would love Stipe Plazibat to be involved after the week he has had (more on that soon) but I’m not sure that will happen – although he might make it to the bench.

My predicted FC Gifu starting XI: Kawaguchi, Masuyama, Abe, Kitani, Santos, Miyazawa, Henik, Mizuno, Takachi, Namba, Nazarit. Bench: Tokihisa, Nogaito, Tanaka, Mio, Stipe, Higa, Inoue

V-Varen’s man to watch: Koichi Sato

It seems to easy to pick the top scorer as the man to watch, but Sato really is a good striker at this level, as Gifu fans already know. He’s a typical predator, not many of his goals come from 12 yards out or further. He has good reactions, and a sense of positioning that is hard to counter. He scored in both games against Gifu last year as well, so they can’t say they haven’t been warned…..

Top goalscorers:

  • FC Gifu: Hiroaki Namba, Nazarit – 7 goals
  • V-Varen Nagasaki: Koichi Sato – 7 goals

Form Guide (last 5 games – most recent game first):

  • FC Gifu: LLWDL
  • V-Varen Nagasaki: DWDLD

Previous meetings:

  • 2013: FC Gifu 2-1 V-Varen Nagasaki
  • 2013: V-Varen Nagasaki 3-0 FC Gifu

Nagasaki only entered the J.League last year, so the two meetings in 2013 are the only games between them. That game at Nagaragawa last year was an incredible game that was won in the 94th minute by Kazuki Someya.  

Match details:

  • J.League Division 2, Matchday 19: FC Gifu v V-Varen Nagasaki
  • Venue: Nagaragawa Memorial Centre, KO 6pm
  • Broadcast: Only available on the Skapa Premium service
  • Weather: Cloudy, rain at times, 50% chance of rain at game time, high of 28°C