As last year, Gifu’s first home game of the season is against Kamatamare Sanuki.
Gifu got off to the worst possible start last week, going down 3-0 in Okayama, and it is hard to think that there won’t be changes to the team. Gifu will look to attack more at home, so it wouldn’t surprise me if any one of Rodrigo, Leo Mineiro or Junki Endo come into the side. Ramos does like playing three at the back, but that formation could be sacrificed in order to give the side a more attacking edge in this game
My predicted FC Gifu starting XI:
Masuyama. Fukaya Takagi. Fuji
Kiyomoto. Takachi. Endo
One thing in Gifu’s favour is that they a 100% record against Sanuki, albeit in only two league games! Last year’s home game went like a dream for the hosts as they showed some slick skills and sharp shooting to run out 3-1 winners. The away game was a more hard working effort as Nazarit’s superb lob gave Gifu a 1-0 win, a win that was only preserved thanks to a late Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi penalty save.
This year’s Kamatamare?
I’m on record as saying they’ll struggle again this year, but they surprised many with their comfortable opening day win. New signing Ryota Nagata got his Sanuki career off to a flying start with a 30 yard strike against Trinita and it will be interesting to see whether Frenchman Andrea can re-establish his JFL form after suffering a serious injury last year. Another possible Ray of light for Sanuki is the signing of Hayato Nakama from Roasso Kumamoto. He slotted straight into the midfield last week and on his day can be a very exciting player in J2.
Coach Makoto Kitano generally favors a 4-4-2 style, and that’s how he set his team up last week. Kazuki Ganaha scored Sanuki’s consolation goal last year, and if chosen to start the veteran forward will look to repeat his trick.
It’ll be tough, but I’ll bank on a Gifu win on Sunday. See you there!!