The big match preview: Fujieda MYFC v Honda FC

This weekend’s game is the big one for fans of Fujieda MYFC. It is the Shizuoka derby. Fujieda take on their prefecture rivals Honda FC and this year, the tables have turned. After years and years of dominance from the Hamamatsu side, this Sunday MYFC will have the chance to put one over their fierce rivals and finally paint Shizuoka purple (for JFL purposes anyway). It would also go part way to making up for Honda’s double victory last season.

The home side go into the clash in superb form. Three wins in a row have put Toshihide Saito’s men in 6th place, five places higher than Honda FC. The last two games have seen the Brazilian mercurial Kerlon take centre stage and score the winning goal in both. His form coupled with a rock solid defence, which has conceded just one goal in the three wins, could be key to Fujieda putting one over their rivals.

It is very likely that Saito will stick with the same side that win away at Yokohama SCC last week 2-1. The only change for that match was at right back with Shogo Nakatsuru coming in for Hiroki Narabayashi. However, the latter replaced is full back competitor as a substitute with 15 minutes to go so could return to the starting lineup. The two new young Brazilians, Araujo and Williams, were not involved last week so its worth looking out to see if they make the team this week.

Honda FC find themselves in a slight struggle this season. They are without a goal in their last three and have gained just one point from those matches after an impressive start to the season where they won their opening two fixtures. Although, confidence will be high for the away side as they are the firmly established JFL champions in Shizuoka. They have been in the division every year since its inception in 1999, winning it four times and coming runners up a further four times. Their most recent championship was in 2008 and only the lack of an adequate stadium and a larger fan base has prevented them making the the move into J2.

The man to be careful of for Fujieda is definitely Kiichi Iga. The 26 year old scored an impressive 15 goals last season as his side finished 6th in the table and he has stayed with Honda this season after joining from Shizuoka Sangyo University in 2009. This season has not been as prolific so far but he does have one goal already so he cannot be taken lightly. This season’s top scorer is Nozomi Nishi who scored in both of the away side’s opening fixtures. With two goals already, he is just one behind his tally for the whole of last season.

Last year was one to forget for MYFC in terms of the derby. They lost 2-1 and 2-0 to their rivals and will be wanting to make amends for that this year. The fans simply cannot wait for the match this weekend. Plans have been in preparation all this week, with fans creating special t-shirts commemorating the occasion and a bumper matchday programmes is in production. The game is set to be a classic!

Kick off is Sunday 7am UK time or 3pm in Japan.

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