I will definitely post an active preview or two on here on the Facebook page later in the day and there have already been tweets for the early game on our Twitter page.
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SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 29TH
Next email will be at 10.00 UK time Saturday.
Just eight rounds left to play, but most teams still have something to play for. Urawa's 5-0 home loss to Gamba would have got the teams immediately behind them in the table very interested, with third place carrying with it a Champions League spot.
OMIYA ARDIJA- YOKOHAMA MARINOS
Hosts did us a big favour recently with a 1-0 home defeat of Sagan and need to keep producing the goods here if they are to stay out of the drop zone. Consecutive cleansheets and five goals at woeful Consadole would have done wonders for their confidence, they can make it three from three today and I favour them getting a handicap start. Holding midfielder Yosuke Kataoka ( 11-0-1) is listed as injured, but has not played in four weeks and missed the two wins. Yokohama still have an outside chance for a top 3 place, but realistically look booked for mid table and after winning on the road last week at Kashima ( who were a defensive shambles) might feel that is enough for the time being and we could see them more focused for the visit from the league leaders next week. They have not kept a clean sheet in eight and conceded two or more in seven of those and the newly found defensive solidity of the hosts might just see them home, as they should score. 1.5 units Omiya Ardiya +0.25 ball 1.98 asian line. Yokohama have scored 58% of their goals in the last 30 minutes. Seven of the last ten h2h meetings here have ended in draws.
SANFREECE HIROSHIMA- SAGAN TOSU
The visitors are nine points adrift of Hiroshima and failure to win today would end any lingering title hopes, victory would make the rest of the season very interesting for them and is surely worth the gamble. They have not enjoyed their last two visits here, losing both 5-1. including a cup match earlier this season. They arrive in pretty good shape in terms of injuries and buoyed by a very nice 3-1 win over Kashiwa last week, they are without suspended right back Ryuhei Niwa, who is an ever present this season ( 26 appearances -0 goals -1 assist), actually he has played in the last 46 league games and must be considered a big loss defensively. They have the tighest defence in J-league, or at least the stingiest, but I feel they are a little better offensively than the goals "for" column suggests and they will probably need to be today without Niwa.
One look at the league table will tell you what Sanfreece have to play for, but with the lead, comes all the pressure and they are having to collect points the hard way, being without a cleansheet in nine and seven of their last ten matches going "over". They are without versatile central defender/ midfielder Hwang Seok Ho(14-0-1) and a couple of long term injuries, but nothing serious. First goal should see this match get stretched. I will opt for 1.25 units "over" 2.5 goals 1.95 asian line. If you are following this "in play", it might take a while for this to warm up, Sagan have scored 69% and conceded 67% of their goals after the break. Hosts like to produce all their excitement very late, scoring 36% and conceding 32% of all their goals in the final 15 minutes.
I must admit to having switched my opinion slightly here, I was originally keen on the draw, the two teams sit five and four points respectively outside the drop zone and a point each would be useful. But I expected the hosts to be asked to give up a quarter ball and off level, I have to favour them. First up, they have two on the road after this, trips to strong home side SSP and a six pointer with Albirex and to go into those without something from this game, could be very costly. By contrast, Cerezo have two home games to come and the pressure on them to get a result today, is not quite so great. I felt Vissel were very unlucky to lose 2-1 at second placed Sendai last week, they led and created several really good chances to restore the lead, before conceding the winner. They should take some heart from the performance and several others recently, where they have not got their just reward, but they need to quickly stop the rot after four matches without a win. They won this fixture 4-1 last season and also the reverse match this season 2-1. No confirmed injury problems of real note for either side. 1.5 units Vissel Kobe level ball 1.97 asian line. Vissel are vunerable before the break having conceded 43% of their goals between the 15th and 45th minute.
Elsewhere, if betting in "running"....
They must put something in the Albirex Niigata drinks at the break, they have not scored a single goal between the 46th and 60th minute all season.
Shimizu S-Pulse have conceded 39% of their goals in the last 15 minutes and today host VegaltaSendai, who have scored 72% of their goals after the break, 30% in the last 15 minutes. So a good chance for the visitors to get on the scoresheet late in this one.