Yokohama F. Marinos will continue their quest to lift the J-league division 1 title when they travel to the Yamanashi Chuo stadium to face a resurgent Ventforet Kofu on Saturday evening.
With top-scorer Marquinhos returning from injury and youngster Manabu Saito returning from suspension, Marinos will hope a victory will put some distance between themselves and Sanfrecce Hiroshima who are currently two points behind in second place.
Kofu have been in good form recently however, losing just two of their last 8 games in the J-League. Currently the leagues lowest scorers with 27 goals, they sit 5 points clear of 16th placed Shonan Bellmare. A win for the home side would all but guarantee their survival in J-1 this season.
With this match pitting the best defence in the league against its worst attack, bookmakers have Marinos as clear favourites to pick up the win. However, coach Yasahiro Higuchi need only look back to the last encounter between the sides to remind his men exactly why they must be aware of the danger Kofu possess. The sides played out a 1-1 draw at the Nissan stadium in April, with former Marinos defender Naoki Aoyama hitting the equalizer in the 94th minute after Shunsuke Nakamura hit a long-range free-kick to give the Kanagawa men the lead in the first half.
@MarinosJamie – 2-0 Marinos.
@CND_Marino – 10-0 F.Marinos
@TricoBren – 4-1 F.Marinos