Urawa Reds will host Gamba Osaka at the Saitama Stadium in a J1 League clash on Saturday.
The home side come into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Cerezo Osaka in the Japanese League Cup on Monday. Matsuki Kato scored the winning goal in the 53rd minute.
Gamba Osaka were on the receiving end of a 5-1 thrashing by Consadole Sapporo on home turf before the international break. Five different men got on the scoresheet to give the visitors all three points.
That defeat left the Nerazzurri in 14th spot with 33 points garnered from 31 matches. Urawa Reds sit in fifth spot on 54 points, three points behind the top three.
Urawa Reds vs Gamba Osaka Head-to-Head
Gamba Osaka have 22 wins from their last 44 matches against Urawa Reds. The hosts have 12 wins to their name while 10 matches in the past have ended in a share of the spoils.
Their most recent meeting came in May when Kasper Junker's first-half brace was enough to give the Urawa Reds a 3-0 away victory.
Urawa Reds form guide: L-D-L-W-W
Gamba Osaka form guide: L-W-W-L-L
Urawa Reds vs Gamba Osaka Team News
There are no known injuries or suspension concerns for the home side.
Haruto Shirai (cruciate ligament), Jun Ichimori (hamstring), Leandro Pereira (hamstring) and Yuji Ono (hamstring) are all still sidelined with fitness issues. Shu Karata was substituted in the first half against Reysol and has also been ruled out.
Injuries: Jun Ichimori, Haruto Shirai, Leandro Pereira, Yuji Ono, Shu Karata
Urawa Reds vs Gamba Osaka Predicted XI
Urawa Reds Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Shushaku Nishikawa (GK); Takahiro Akimoto, Alexander Scholz, Takuya Iwanami, Hiroki Sakai; Kai Shibato, Yuichi Hirano; Koya Yuruki, Yoshio Koizumi, Takahiro Sekine; Ataru Esaka
Gamba Osaka Predicted XI (3-4-3): Masaaki Higashiguchi (GK); Kim Young-Gwon, Shunya Suganuma, Ko Yanagisawa; Hiroki Fujiharu, Yosuke Ideguchi, Yuki Yamamoto, Kosuke Onose; Takashi Usami, Shinya Yajima, Patric
Urawa Reds vs Gamba Osaka Prediction
Urawa Reds have an expansive, open style of play and this could see Gamba Osaka create enough chances to get on the scoresheet.
However, the hosts have their sights set on continental qualification and time is running out to secure a top three spot. Urawa Reds have been out-of-sorts in recent weeks but we are backing them to get back to winning ways with a narrow victory.
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Prediction: Urawa Reds 2-1 Gamba Osaka