FC Gifu return to league action as they look to make it three wins in a row for the first time in…..well, ages as the bright yellow clad Giravanz Kitakyushu team rolls into Gifu on Sunday evening.
FC Gifu recent form:
- 9/6 – vs JEF United Chiba (EC) (A): lost 0-1
- 8/30 – vs KGU (EC) (H): won 2-1
- 8/26 – vs ThespaKusatsu Gunma (A): won 1-0
- 8/22 – vs Tochigi SC (A): won 1-0
Gifu have had the “luxury” of resting players during their Emperor’s cup games. Captain Keiji Takachi has played sparingly, missing the game against KGU, and only coming on as a sub against JEF, and the same goes for Hiroaki Namba. Koya Kazama and Masaki Watanabe were cup tied, so they got some rest too. Leo Mineiro on the other hand got some much needed playing time as he continues his comeback from injury. Fatigue is not going to be an excuse for Gifu.
Gifu have recently played their best football on the road, and have been much more solid defensively as of late. Many people are going into this game with more confidence than previous home games. But this is a tricky Team to beat, Kitakyushu – coached by the superb Koichi Hashiratani – represent a huge hurdle in Gifu’s quest for survival in J2.
FC Gifu’s key man: Masaki Watanabe
It is no coincidence that once Watanabe settled in after arriving on loan from Ventforet Kofu, Gifu’s defensive record started to improve. No nonsense and hard as nails, Watanabe loves the physical side of defending, and will relish the challenge of playing against one of his former clubs tonight. If Watanabe plays well, Gifu will have a good chance of winning.
Giravanz Kitakyushu recent form:
- 9/5 – vs Mito Hollyhock (EC) (A): lost 1-2
- 8/29 – vs J.FC Miyazaki (EC) (H): won 2-1
- 8/23 – vs Mito Hollyhock (H): drew 2-2
- 8/15 – vs Roasso Kumamoto (A): won 1-0
Giravanz Kitakyushu away form in 2015:
- wins: 7
- draws: 1
- losses: 7
So it is usually all or nothing when Giravanz travel away, with their only away draw of the season coming at the Sapporo dome.
- Kazuki Hara & Rui Komatsu – 9
Two different strikers, with Hara being more mobile and Komatsu being more of a traditional big target man.