Yokohama F-Marinos head in to Saturday’s top of the table clash against defending league champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima in less than impressive league form. Their opponents, on the other hand, are undoubtedly the form side having won their last three games by a margin of two goals.
Having picked up just 6 points from a possible 15 in the past 5 games, Marinos fans could be excused for feeling slightly pessimistic heading in to Saturday’s match. Their poor results recently have, in no small amount, been due to the drop in form of Brazilian striker Marquinhos, who has failed to score a single league goal since the 3-0 victory at home to championship rivals Urawa Reds in August. With just two goals in their last five league matches, F-Marinos will be keen to pick up the win against Sanfrecce in what has been described as a ‘six-pointer’ by commentators and fans alike.
Hiroshima will come in to the match riding the crest of a wave having won their last four games in all competitions. With 31-year old striker Hisato Sato in irresistible form this season, scoring 17 goals so far including a wonder strike against Sagan Tosu in round 26, F-Marinos will be wary of the threat posed by the league leaders.
Things aren’t all doom and gloom for the Kanagawa men, however. Despite crashing out of the Nabisco cup last weekend, F-Marinos comfortably defeated J-1 rivals Kashiwa Reysol 2-0, putting in a strong performance against a side that has often proven to be something of a ‘bogey’ team for Yasuhiro Higuchi and his side. That match also marked the return to form of Marquinhos, who has since scored four goals in his last two games including a hattrick over J2 side Tochigi in the Emperors cup on Wednesday.
Be sure to look out for the display put in place by the ‘Brigada’ group of F-Marinos fans before the game on Saturday.
VAMOS F-MARINOS! (Couldn’t help myself!)
@MarinosJamie – 1-0 F-Marinos
@Stuartcw – 1-0 F-Marinos. Fabio 95’ (after coming off the bench at 90+1)
@TricoBen – 2-0 Sanfrecce.
@tgR_tsuru – 2-1 F-Marinos
@CND_Marino – 2-0 Good guys.