FC Gifu v Ehime FC

This Sunday evening, Gifu entertain Ehime in what has suddenly become a very important game at the foot of J2.

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Yesterday’s bottom of the table results:

  • Consadole Sapporo 2-3 Roasso Kumamoto
  • Oita Trinita 1-1 Yokohama FC
  • V-Varen Nagasaki 1-1 Tokushima Vortis
  • Kyoto Sanga 1-1 Tokyo Verdy
  • Jubilo Iwata 2-1 Mito Hollyhock

With Roasso’s surprise win in Sapporo, defeat for Gifu today will leave them adrift at the bottom and will almost certainly sap their confidence.

Gifu’s injury list is quite significant at this stage. Yuki Fuji, Ryutaro Karube and Hiroshi Sekita are all definitely out. Kaumichi Takagi & Hiroaki Namba are almost certainly unavailable too. Four of those players are starters in the team, and Gifu are having to reach to replace them.

Gifu’s home form is gradually getting better. The excellent performance and win vs Nagasaki was followed up by a decent performance against Kyoto. If the team can win today, it will show that home form is coming around, and that will be key as we move into summer.

Ehime FC sit nicely in mid-table, defying the critics (including me) that said they would struggle this year. That isn’t to say that they won’t eventually struggle, but they’ve got off to a very good start. One of the keys to their good start has been the form of Kazuhisa Kawahara, and the striker, who scored 13 times last year, has netted on four occasions this year. Ehime do have some decent options going forward this year, as they can also call upon Yuji Senuma & Go Nishida – both decent forwards in their own right.

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Last year, this game was played just after a typhoon and it produced one of the most incredible games I7ve witnessed in Gifu. After leading 1-0, Gifu found themselves 3-1 down with 15 minutes to go but ended up winning 4-3 with a last minute penalty. No wonder I’m going bald….

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It will be a difficult game, but one that Gifu really need to win.

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