Team news:

FC Gifu have no new injury concerns, and I think they’ll stick with the same defence that has kept clean sheets in the last two games. Henik was less than convincing last time out, but has earned the chance to recover. In midfield, Kleiton Domingues came on at half time last week and it wouldn’t surprise me if he kept his place at Mizuno’s expense. Hiroaki Namba & Junki Endo, who scored his first ever J.League goal in the reverse fixture, are competing for a spot up front partnering Nazarit.

My predicted FC Gifu starting XI: Kawaguchi, Tanaka, Abe, Henik, Masuyama, Mori, Kleiton, Takachi, Ota, Endo, Nazarit

For Consadole Sapporo, they will be without the suspended defender Tatsuki Nara and they have a long injury list to contend with – with Shinji Ono’s name the headline on it. Consadole’s main talking point will the “debut” of new manager Ivica Barbaric. Barbaric comes in after the sacking of Keiichi Zaizen and will be under pressure to continue the recent revival (2 wins and draw from the last three games) under Sapporo’s caretaker manager. Barbaric does have experience in the J.League after leading Ehime FC for 4 years between 2009-2012 so he’s not coming into this role completely blind – but one wonders what kind of settling in period he requires.

Top Scorers:

  • FC Gifu: Nazarit – 14
  • Consadole: Tokura – 6

Recent league form (last 5 games, most recent first):

  • FC Gifu: DWLDW
  • Consadole: WWDLL

Previous meetings in Gifu:

  • 2009: FC Gifu 0-3 Consadole Sapporo
  • 2010: FC Gifu 3-0 Consadole Sapporo
  • 2011: FC Gifu 1-3 Consadole Sapporo
  • 2013: FC Gifu 0-3 Consadole Sapporo

Interestingly, one team has scored three goals in the matches in Gifu.

Overall J.League record:

  • FC Gifu wins: 1
  • Consadole wins: 8
  • Draws: 1

Not pretty reading for Gifu supporters, but Gifu should have taken a point in the reverse fixture in Sapporo earlier this year when they fought back from two goals down only to concede an injury time winner. And it should be noted that Gifu’s only win against Sapporo came in Gifu.

Match details:

  • J.League Division 2, matchday 30: FC Gifu v Consadole Sapporo
  • Venue: Nagaragawa Memorial Centre, KO 7pm
  • Broadcast: Live on Gifu-chan, Live on Skapa premium service
  • Weather: Good. Sunny, with temp around 20 at game time.