Big match preview: Fujieda MYFC v Sagamihara

Fujieda MYFC can bounce back from midweek disappointment against Machida Zelvia, as they take on newly promoted SC Sagamihara at the Fujieda Sports Complex Park.

MYFC will have to try their best to completely forget about Wednesday night’s 3-0. It was a game that could be described as less said, the better. Although, there will not be many more tougher games than Zelvia away this season.

This Sunday, is a much more viable victory for the home side, as both teams currently sit on 14 points. For this game though, player/manager Toshihide Saito has a lot of thinking to do. Away in Tokyo on Wednesday, he made three changes and altered the side’s tactics.

They did not really pay off so it could be possible that he reverts back to the past few games before then when he played a 4-2-3-1. The side also looks a lot more solid when he starts in defence. He may be 40 years old but his side have not lost this year when he has started. His 17 full international caps for Japan seem to provide vital experience.

Another change to consider is whether or not Alan and Taskihisa Nishiyama start. Both have in played in every game this season, with the Brazilian starting every one and diminutive Japanese starting all but one.

However, in the last two games they have both been subbed at half time with neither prospering recently.In fact, Alan has been having a poor season by his standards, just one goal in nine games this year. Either could make way for a first start for Okha. Shogo Fujimaki could also drop back to the bench after making little impact on his first start in midweek.

SC Sagamihara are enjoying a relatively decent start to the first season in the Japan Football League. After finishing top of the Kanto League Division 1 last year, they won the promotion and relegation series in order to be granted a spot in this season’s third tier. Their record this season is identical to that of Fujieda’s, four wins, two draws and three losses. They also, like their weekend counterparts, lost their first two matches.

After that though, they went on a four match winning streak. Although, this was down to relatively generous fixture list which saw them play teams which currently sit in 12th, 14th, 17th and 18th respectively in the league with three of them games being at home. In recent weeks they have had slightly tougher games and not fared so well. They are without a win in their last three, a draw away to Zweigen Kanazawa, a 2-1 loss away to 4th placed Blaublitz Akita and a goalless draw at home to Sony Sendai.

The away side currently have three players tied as top scorer with three goals each, in addition to one assist each too. Striker Sho Gokyu played JFL last year for Sagawa Shiga who finished third (they withdrew from the league at the end of the year), scoring 1 goal in ten matches. Keisuke Moriya played ten J2 matches for Shonan Bellmare between 2005 and 2007 and the other, Keita Sogabe has little experience. Despite this, they are all making an impression this year.

Sagamihara’s star player is left back, Yuki Ozawa. He played J1 as recently as 2010 for Bellmare but this game has a more significant importance for the 29 year old. He was born in Fujieda so a return to his home town could be special.

The game kicks off at 3pm on Sunday or 7am UK time.

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