FC Gifu face a very difficult assignment on Sunday (aren’t they all?) when they travel to the Level 5 Stadium to face Masami Ihara’s resurgent Avispa Fukuoka.
FC Gifu current form & condition
It is not good, basically. Gifu have lost their last 6 games, including infamous defeats at Oita Trinita (2-6) and at Tokyo Verdy (3-4). In fact, Gifu have conceded 14 goals in their 4 away matches so far this season – so keeping it tight, while difficult, is going to be the key. An early goal conceded is going to be very difficult to overcome for Ruy Ramos’ men. Confidence is understandably low being bottom of the league, but they have to start believing they can take points from games – so far, it never looks like they believe they can win. That simply has to change, but it is going to be difficult on Sunday.
Questions always seem to abound around the GK situation these days. Gakuji Ota was recalled to the team last week and played reasonably well despite the defeat. But I never quite know which direction Ramos will go with regards to this position. The word from the training ground is that Rodrigo will miss out due to an injury picked up against Tochigi, and that will probably mean that fellow Brazilian Leo Mineiro will step into his place.
FC Gifu’s last 5 games:
- v Tochigi SC – 0-1
- v Tokyo Verdy – 3-4
- v Cerezo Osaka – 0-2
- v Zweigen Kanazawa – 0-2
- v Tokushima Vortis – 0-1
Did you know?
- Hiroaki Namba has scored all of FC Gifu’s 6 league goals this year
Avispa Fukuoka current form and condition
After starting very slowly, Avispa have picked up in recent weeks and have claimed 13 points out the last 15 available to them. The somewhat surprising figurehead for Avispa’s revival has been ex-Vegalta Sendai forward Takayuki Nakahara. He started off the season with goals in Fukuoka’s first two games and has been involved in four goals in the last four games (2 goals & 2 assists). To be honest, they have a plethora of attacking options with Daisuke Sakata, Hisashi Jogo & Takeshi Kanamori all vying for spots in the team. This means the FC Gifu defence MUST be harmonious and on-the-ball from the start – otherwise it could be another very long away day.
Avispa Fukuoka last 5 games:
- v Giravanz Kitakyushu – 1-0
- v Oita Trinita – 2-1
- v Mito Hollyhock – 1-0
- v Yokohama FC – 2-2
- v Roasso Kumamoto – 1-0
Did you know?
Avispa have won their last 5 games against FC Gifu
For more on Avispa Fukuoka in English there are a couple of excellent resources: