A break from league action this weekend as FC Gifu make the very long trip to Nagasaki to face V-Varen Nagasaki in the second round of the Emperor’s Cup (Tennouhai / 天皇杯).

The Tennouhai is an all Japan competition that is open to every club in the country. The non professional teams have to win their prefectural competition in order to gain entry to the Tennouhai proper.

Gifu have once again been given a difficult (and away) draw. Their record in the recent past is not that special.

  • 2008 – 4th round (lost 1-0 at Nagoya Grampus)
  • 2009 – Quarter finals (lost 3-0 at Nagoya Grampus)
  • 2010 – 2nd round (lost 3-2 at home to Tochigi SC)
  • 2011 – 2nd round (lost 1-0 at home to Giravanz Kitakyushu)
  • 2012 – 2nd round (lost 4-3 at Roasso Kumamoto)
  • 2013 – 2nd round (lost 2-1 at Fagiano Okayama)

You can see that Gifu have suffered different one goal defeats in each of the last four years. What price a 5-4 defeat at Nagasaki?

Team news:

It is actually quite difficult to think what kind of team may be put out. Nagasaki are not in the best of form, and Gifu might fancy their chances. It really depends on how the squad is rotated and who needs a rest.

My predicted starting XI: Tokihisa, Hideyuki Nakamura, Sekita, Shuto Tanaka, Nogaito, Moriyasu, Kiyomoto, Higa, Mizuno, Stipe, Yuki Nakamura.

I have a feeling that Ramos might try the 3-5-2 he’s been talking about with Nogaito & Moriyasu as the wing backs and Stipe playing just off Yuki Nakamura. Or I could be completely wrong!

Match details:

  • Emperor’s Cup 2nd round: V-Varen Nagasaki v FC Gifu
  • Venue: Nagasaki Prefectural Stadium, 6pm KO
  • Weather: Mostly sunny, 20% chance of rain, high of 29°C