The J1 League is back in action this Saturday as Vissel Kobe hosts an in-form Yokohama FM outfit at the Kobe Wing Stadium. Neither team has met expectations so far this season and will be looking to improve its top-four chances with a victory this weekend.
Yokohama FM has not been able to maintain the lofty heights it scaled last season. The reigning champions of the J1 League have managed to put together a string of victories over the past few weeks, however, and are the favourites to win the fixture.
Vissel Kobe, on the other hand, never seems to do justice to the wealth of talent in its ranks. The Kobe-based team is currently in ninth place in the J1 League table and has plenty of work to do to make improvements to its sixth-placed finish last season.
Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama FM Head-to-Head
Yokohama FM is a powerhouse of Japanese football and has a superior head-to-head record over Vissel Kobe. The winners of the 2019 edition of the J1 League have historically managed 15 victories over Vissel Kobe and the home side has won only n games in comparison.
Yokohama won both J1 League matches against Vissel Kobe last year and managed a 2-0 victory despite being reduced to 10 men in the previous fixture. Edigar Junio and Marcos Junior got on to the scoresheet against Vissel Kobe on the day and the latter will want to repeat his feat over the weekend.
Vissel Kobe form guide in the J1 League: D-W-L-D-L
Yokohama FM form guide in the J1 League: W-W-W-L-D
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Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama FM Team News
Vissel Kobe will be unable to field centre-forward Junya Tanaka as the veteran striker is currently struggling with a hamstring injury. Brazilian striker Douglas is likely to lead the line for Vissel Kobe against Yokohama FM. Andres Iniesta was rested in the previous game and might be included in the starting eleven on Saturday.
Injured: Junya Tanaka
A fully-fit squad has helped Yokohama FM to three consecutive victories in the J1 League over the past two weeks. The reigning champions are in sixth place in the league table at the moment and cannot afford to drop points on Saturday.
Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama FM Predicted XI
Vissel Kobe Predicted XI (4-3-3): Hiroki Iikura; Gotoku Sakai, Reo Osaki, Dankler, Daigo Nishi; Andres Iniesta, Sergi Samper, Hotaru Yamaguchi; Kyogo Furuhashi, Douglas, Keijiro Ogawa
Yokohama FM Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Park Il-Gyu; Ryo Takano, Shinnosuke Hatanaka, Thiago Martins, Ken Matsubara; Takahiro Ogihara, Masashi Wada; Daizen Maeda, Marcos Junior, Naoki Matsuda; Junior Santos
Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama FM Prediction
Vissel Kobe has several aces up its sleeve and will have to work tremendously hard to trouble one of the most in-form teams in Japan. Yokohama thrashed Consadole Sapporo by a 4-1 margin last week with star striker Junior Santos scoring both his goals in the first half to put the game to bed.
Yokohama may not have enjoyed the best of starts to its J1 League season but is now putting together a winning streak. The likes of Sergi Samper and Andres Iniesta will have to bring all their experience to the fore to take Vissel Kobe across the finish line on Saturday.
Prediction: Vissel Kobe 2-2 Yokohama FM
Also Read: 10 Greatest Football Managers of all timePublished 27 Aug 2020, 20:17 IST