We are only 6 games into the J2 season, but it is time to start facing facts: Gifu are bottom of the league and need to start picking up wins. This weekend they head to the capital to take on Tokyo Verdy, a team they did the double over last year.
FC Gifu current form & condition
Despite a spirited performance last week again Cerezo Osaka, Gifu slipped to a 0-2 defeat – but there were positives to take away from the performance. Naoya Okane looked very good in defence, Henik & Keiji Takachi were influential in midfield while Rodrigo looked like he could be ready to contribute.
The one big question is in goal. Gakuji Ota’s mistake last week has been well documented, and Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi & Satoshi Tokizawa are both fit and eager to play. My heart says Gakuji should get a chance to put last week behind him, but I have a feeling Tokizawa might get his FC Gifu debut.
Tokyo Verdy current form & condition
The Tokyo Greens have had a very decent start to the season and they currently sit in 8th place with nine points from their six games. They have a young side, but have wisely bolstered it with the signings of Alan Pinheiro and Bruno Coutinho. One player who has looked good for Verdy is young midfielder Kento Misao. A product of the productive youth system at the club, Misao has slotted into the centre of midfield and is someone who does the simple things well. Misao, along with the Anzais, Killoran, & Naoto Sawai should ensure that Verdy once again rely on youth this year.
FC Gifu won the game in Tokyo 1-0 thanks to a first half Hiroaki Namba goal in a game that was played Kokuritsu national stadium. In the return fixture in Gifu goals Keisuke Ota, Nazarit and Keiji Takachi gave the home side a thoroughly deserved 3-0 win.
This will be a difficult game, and the key for Gifu will be matching Verdy’s energy and pressuring system. It is also incumbent on the team to find a foil for Hiroaki Namba as the former Yokohama FC man has scored all 3 of Gifu’s goals this year – someone else needs to step up.