Cerezo Osaka v FC Gifu

After last week’s defeat at home against Kumamoto, things are about to get much tougher as we head west to Osaka to face promotion chasing Cerezo Osaka.

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Expect a decent following of FC Gifu fans in Osaka on Saturday

FC Gifu recent form:

  • 8/8: FC Gifu 0-1 Roasso Kumamoto
  • 7/26: Omiya Ardija 5-0 FC Gifu
  • 7/22: FC Gifu 2-0 Jubilo Iwata
  • 7/18: Zweigen Kanazawa 1-1 FC Gifu

FC Gifu condition: 

I don’t think Gifu can really do much with regard to selection as injuries & fitness continue to hamper the squad. Leo Mineiro probably isn’t ready, and neither (I don’t think) is Gilsinho. My guess is that Satoshi Tokizawa will keep his place in goal, although Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi isn’t far away from returning to the squad.

Elsewhere, Yudai Ogawa trained with first team members and could be heading for a return to the matchday squad.

Cerezo Osaka condition:

Cerezo enter this game in 4th position in the league, and will be confident of seeing off Gifu and bolstering their promotion push. A lot has changed since the two sides last met in the league back in April. That day, Diego Forlan and Cacau scored the goals as Cerezo triumphed in the torrential rain.

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Diego Forlan doing an interview after April’s game

Both of those players have now departed, with Forlan back in his homeland with Penarol. In their places, Cerezo have signed former Urawa Reds forward Edmilson and fellow Brazilian Magno Cruz, and Cruz started to endear himself to the Cerezo faithful by scoring an injury time equalizer last week to rescue a point against JEF United. Hotaru Yamaguchi, who was a very good performer for Japan in the recent EAFF cup, is available for selection but could very well be given an extra bit of rest for this encounter.

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Cerezo Osaka recent form

  • 8/8: Cerezo Osaka 1-1 JEF United
  • 8/1: Ehime FC 2-1 Cerezo Osaka
  • 7/26: Jubilo Iwata 0-1 Cerezo Osaka
  • 7/22: Cerezo Osaka 2-1 Fagiano Okayama

Cerezo Osaka season stats:

  • Wins: 12
  • Draws: 9
  • Defeats: 7
  • Top scorer: Diego Forlan – 10, Keiji Tamada – 7
  • Most assists: Keiji Tamada & Pablo – 4

Cerezo v FC Gifu J.League history:

  • Cerezo wins: 6
  • Gifu wins: 1
  • Draws: 0

Cerezo easily have the edge, as you would expect. Gifu’s only win came in 2009 when they saw off Shinji Kagawa, Takashi Inui and co. off 2-1 in horrid conditions.

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Sorry for the blur, it was pretty exciting at the time…..

Stats (from Football Lab): 

  • Cerezo have conceded 36% of their goals this year from set pieces.
  • FC Gifu concede an average 2.8 goals per away game in 2015; Cerezo score an average of 1.4 per home game
  • FC Gifu average 1.8 yellow cards per game, Cerezo average 1.4
  • Both teams rank in the top four of J2 in shots on goal (14.1 for Gifu, 14.5 for Cerezo) – but Cerezo put far more on target, an average of 4.6 shots per game of theirs are on target.

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