FC Tokyo are continuing to pull away at the top of the J-League. With the help of their top challengers’ recent slip-ups, the leaders have now built up a six-point lead heading into Section 22.
Two of those title challengers — Kashima Antlers and Yokohama F. Marinos — will collide this weekend for an exciting clash which SBOBET J-League fans should be eagerly anticipating.
Meanwhile, second-place side and defending champions Kawasaki Frontale have a fairly easier assignment away to Nagoya Grampus.
And last but not least, struggling Vissel Kobe will look to arrest their most recent slide when they take on similarly slumping Oita Trinita.
Kashima Antlers vs Yokohama F. Marinos
Without question, the marquee matchup of the 22nd section is fourth-place Kashima Antlers going up against third-place Yokohama F. Marinos. The two are still within striking distance of leaders FC Tokyo and will be desperate for three points to avoid falling further behind.
Kashima have hit a bit of a rough patch of late after going winless in their last two matches. They drew with Urawa Reds and lost to Shonan Bellmare. Prior to that, though, they had won three matches in a row.
They will look to get back on track against Yokohama F. Marinos, who had their own three-match win streak snapped last week as they suffered a surprising home defeat to Shimizu S-Pulse.
Yokohama grabbed a 2-1 home win over Kashima in their first meeting back in April. However, they will face a stern test when they travel to Kashima, who have been simply outstanding at home this season.
Not only have they won eight out of 10 home matches (one draw, one loss), which is the second-best home record in the league, they have also conceded just six goals.
Meanwhile, Yokohama have been feast or famine away from home. They’ve won five and lost five in 10 away matches.
Yokohama will struggle to improve upon that record as they will continue to be without top scorer Edigar Junio, who will be out for three months after suffering a joint fracture. The Brazilian is tied for second in the league with 11 goals and had scored eight times in his last eight starts.
Nagoya Grampus vs Kawasaki Frontale
Kawasaki Frontale have failed to gain ground on FC Tokyo in recent weeks. That’s after losing to Sanfrecce Hiroshima away and drawing with third-from-bottom Matsumoto Yamaga at home.
While they remain in second, those dropped points have proven costly as they now trail the leaders by six points in the standings.
Kawasaki’s home form has let them down in a big way this season. They’ve won just three of their 12 home fixtures, with a whopping eight draws — by far the most in the league.
On the other hand, though, their away form has been spectacular. They’ve won seven of their nine away matches, with one draw and one defeat.
Based on that brilliant away record, their next match against midtable Nagoya Grampus should see them favoured by the J-League 2019 betting odds.
Nagoya have been in horrendous form of late, going winless in their last 10 matches (four draws, six defeats). They picked up a draw away to Kawasaki in their first meeting this season, but with their brutal form of late, it’s hard not to see the reigning champions picking up all three points.
Oita Trinita vs Vissel Kobe
It was starting to look like Vissel Kobe had turned the corner. Starting in late May, they went on a five-match unbeaten run with three wins, including a shock victory at FC Tokyo.
However, it seems Kobe have fallen back down to earth. They’ve now gone winless in their last four matches and recently lost their last three on the bounce, including against Yokohama F. Marinos. As a result, they are just three points clear of the bottom three.
They finally ended their skid with a 2-2 draw at home to Gamba Osaka. And even then, they needed late goals from Andres Iniesta and Asahi Masuyama to salvage a point.
Oita Trinita have not been much better, though. They’ve won just twice in their last 10 matches with four draws and four defeats. That poor string of J-League 2019 results has seen them slide down to sixth in the table, 12 points adrift of FC Tokyo.
Although, Oita have maintained a stingy home defence. They’ve surrendered just six goals thus far, tied for the second-fewest in the league.
And while their attack hasn’t been particularly prolific, they should like their chances going up against a Kobe defence which has already shipped 20 goals in 11 away games and has led to seven away defeats.
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