Crucnh time at the Nagaragawa on Sunday as FC Gifu host Yokohama FC looking to put some space between them and bottom club Oita Trinita.

FC Gifu recent form:

  • 7/8 v Tokyo Verdy (H) – lost 0-2
  • 7/4 v JEF United Chiba (A) – lost 1-3
  • 6/28 v ThespaKusatsu Gunma (H) – drew 1-1
  • 6/21 v Jubilo Iwata (A) – won 3-2

Things are getting desperate for Gifu now. 19 points from 22 games is a pretty poor return and with a run that includes Kanazawa, Iwata & JEF United in the next 3 games, a positive result here is a must. Top scorer Hiroaki Namba will almost certainly come back into the side after starting on the bench against Tokyo Verdy in midweek.

New loan signings Masaki Watanabe & Koya Kazama are available and it wouldn’t surprise me to see both of them play some part – especially Kazama because Gifu need some creativity outside of Keiji Takachi.

Yokohama FC recent form:

  • 7/8 v Cerezo Osaka (H) – drew 0-0
  • 7/4 v Consadole Sapporo (H) – drew 0-0
  • 6/28 v Mito Hollyhock (A) – won 1-0
  • 6/21 v Omiya Ardija (H) – lost 0-3

Will King Kazu come to Gifu? That is a question that a lot of supporters are asking. I suppose we’ll find out on the day, but Gifu should be more concerned with Tetsuya Okubo, the guy that slammed in a hat-trick last time the two teams met. One big miss for Yokohama will be midfielder Shinichi Terada who is suspended for this game.

YFC could move up to 7th with a win, not bad for a team I tipped to struggle at the start of this year.

What happened last time?

Last month, FC Gifu looked set for a morale-boosting win as they led 2-1 at half time, but a Tetsuya Okubo inspired second half coupled with the sending off of Shun Nogaito propelled Yokohama to a 3-2 win.

How about 2014?

  • Yokohama FC 0-1 FC Gifu
  • FC Gifu 1-2 Yokohama FC

The away side triumphed both times in 2014. A Nazarit penalty was enough to see Gifu to a narrow win at Mitsuzawa last Spring, but a comeback win by Yokohama at the Nagaragawa Stadium evened things up for the season.

Overall J.League history:

  • FC Gifu wins: 5
  • Yokohama FC wins: 9
  • Draws: 3

Weather forecast:

  • Cloudy, 29°C with around 89% humidity – if you’re going please take plenty of liquid with you!