Big match preview: Fujieda MYFC v Machida Zelvia

The last match of matchday 19 in Japan Football League sees Fujieda MYFC at home to third place Machida Zelvia. Both teams have just one win in their past five games so will be crucial for both sides to regain form this weekend.

Fujieda MYFC team news

After last week’s hard earned draw, Fujieda will be looking to build on the performance with a win this Sunday. With almost a full squad of players to chose from now, player/manager Toshihide Saito will be delighted after a spell with many suspensions and injuries.

Attacking midfielder Kerlon may be ready for a return to action after sitting out last week due to an injury in the previous game. Shinji Tominari could also return to the heart of the defence after he was dropped to the bench last weekend and played just three minutes after coming on as 87th minute substitute.

Oha is likely to be on the bench again this weekend with the young Nigerian striker making nine appearances so far this year but eight of them have come as a sub. The forward hasn’t scored since his debut against Nagano Parceiro back in April and he has been used more sparingly recently. His past four appearances have seen him come in the 75th, 77th, 76th and 78th minutes. Despite this he now has three yellow cards and is just one away from a suspension.

Machida Zelvia fact file

Machida Zelvia badge

Nickname: Zelvia
Founded: 1977
Ground: Machida Athletic Stadium
Season in JFL: 1st (4th in total)
Last season: 22nd (relegated from J2)

Machida Zelvia are back in Japan’s third tier this year after their maiden season in J League 2 finished in relegation after ending in 22nd place. They have returned to their favourite spot in the JFL this year as they currently sit in third place which is were they finished in 2010 and 2011 when they were promoted.

After a sensational six game winning streak between April and May, Zelvia’s last five games have resulted in just one win, two draws and two defeats, although their victory was a superb 1-0 win away to top of the table Kamatamare Sanuki.

This has led to the sacking of their manager Yutaka Akita after just seventeen games in charge this season. He was appointed at the start of the year after former manager Ossie Ardiles left the club after managing the side to relegation.  In charge now is assistant manager Naoki Kusunose who is acting as caretaker manager.

Despite Zelvia having nine points more than MYFC, they have scored three goals less than them with 24 compared to 27. The man who has scored a third of their goals is Koji Suzuki. He has eight goals in 18 appearances this year so has been vital to their attacking threat. It is impressive form by Suzuki who made the 18 appearances in 2012 too but failed to manage a single goal.

The players who are likely to be supplying Suzuki are Ryuto Otake and Shinichi Mukai who have four assists each. Mukai also scored two last time he faced Fujieda when his side won 3-0 earlier this season.

Last season’s result

Not applicable as Zelvia were in J2 last year.

Kick off is at 5pm on Sunday or 9am in the UK.

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