It might still be early in the season (possibly) but this is a very important clash at the foot of J2.

The situation at the bottom: 

19 11 3 1 7 10 18 -8 10
20 11 2 2 7 11 17 -6 8
21 11 1 4 6 7 19 -12 7
22 11 2 1 8 10 23 -13 7

As you can see, a win tomorrow will move Gifu level on points with their opponents and plunge Kyoto into deep crisis.

FC Gifu condition

Right now, Gifu aren’t playing too badly. They were worthy winners against Nagasaki, worthy of a point at Fukuoka and were slightly unlucky to lose at Kitakyushu. The defence is starting to to succumb to injuries as Yuji Fuji & Hiroshi Sekita are out and Kazumichi Takagi is an injury question for this game.

Luckily for Gifu, Brazilian midfielder Henik is starting to show glimpses of form after starting the season slowly, and Leo Mineiro is also playing well now. Young midfielder Yudai Ogawa was on the bench last week and one wonders when his time might come, although it probably won’t be this week. I have a feeling Yuto Ono will start tomorrow as we look to shuffle and rest our players.

The weather will be hot, and ball control will be key. Kyoto are struggling and are coming off the back of a horrible home defeat by Gunma. They are there for the taking, and if Gifu keep the ball well they will have every chance of getting a positive result.

Hiroaki Namba was the hero last year – who will be the hero this year?