Matchday 8 of the Japan Football League sees Fujieda MYFC against current league leaders and J League associate membership holders, Nagano Parceiro at the Fujieda Sports Complex Park on Sunday. After two consecutive draws for the MYFC, they face a tough task if they want to get their first win in three.
After giving away a two goal lead for the second week running, Toshihide Saito has the right to be disappointed with just two points from his side’s last games. If they had held on to their leads against Honda FC and Kamatamare Sanuki then they would currently be joint top with Sunday’s opponents. Instead they currently sit in eighth place after seven games but are only one of the three sides that are unbeaten in their last five JFL outings.
This week’s main tactical question will be whether Saito decides revert back to the usual 4-4-2 or continue with last week’s 4-5-1. Although last week saw no personal changes despite the change of formation. The manager could well be tempted to stick with the new system against the league leaders in order to keep the game tight from the start.
However, the 4-4-2 has been effective this season but with Brazilian forward Alan having scored just once in 8 starts this season, we could see a replacement up front. Takahiro Tanio, Shogo Fujimaki, Takumi Hashimoto and Nigerian Okha, will be the forwards fighting for his spot if he is dropped.
Nagano Parceiro have firmly established themselves as one of the giants in the JFL, after two consecutive 2nd place finishes have seen them on the brink of promotion to the J League Division 2. In fact they probably would have been if it was not for their stadium needing improvements.
This season so far has seen them continue on their decent run in the division, winning their first five matches of the year. However, only one of those five were by more than one goal so they have hardly been running away in games. Recently though, they have become a little unstuck after a 1-1 draw against Blaublitz Akita and then a 2-1 loss against Sony Sendai. Both games were away and therefore this week will be a third consecutive away game for Nagano.
The away side’s top goalscorer so far this season is Yuji Unozawa, who has four goals in seven starts this year. This has added to his tally of 17 last season making him the joint-third leading scorer in JFL 2012. Remarkably though, Unozawa has a habit of scoring just one goal a game. This season he has scored in 4 separate matches and last season he scored in 16 different matches, with just one game where he scored two. The striker also has J1 experience although it was just two appearances for Kashiwa Reysol at the end of the 2005 season.
If Unozawa does score this weekend, then the away side will be looking at Yuki Sato or Shogo Matsuo to score then after as they both have two goals this year.
Last season’s meetings ended with a win for each side at home, Fujieda won 1-0 at home thanks to a Shinji Tominari goal but then Nagano won 4-0 at their place.
Kick off is Sunday at 8am, or 4pm Japan time.