With just three games left in this season’s J-league division one title race, league leaders Yokohama F-Marinos will head to already-relegated Jubilo Iwata in the hope of moving a step closer to lifting their first league title in a decade. Iwata, on the other hand, will be playing for pride as last weeks 1-0 defeat to Sagan Tosu saw them relegated to J2 for the first time in their history.
A founding member of the J-league, Jubilo have a proud history and have played host to some of the biggest names to have graced the league. Whilst the club has undoubtably seen better days, fans will hope their heroes can still have a say in the eventual desitination of the J1 title and cause an upset at the Yamaha Stadium.
F-Marinos will be boosted by the midweek return of talismanic playmaker and club captain Shunsuke Nakamura, who played 30 minutes of normal and another 30 minutes of additional time in the Emperors cup against JFL leaders AC Parceiro Nagano. Nakamura may not start, however, and the fitness of winger Manabu Saito is also still in doubt, with the youngster facing a last minute fitness test to decide wether or not he’ll start.
@stuartcw – I’m hoping, since we are playing a team that has being relegated that we will have a convincing win taking 3 points and upping our goal average. We should be aiming for 2-0 at least. Given the horrible game I saw on Wednesday, we could easily loose. We barely scraped the win against a (to-be) J3 team. It’s shocking that it was almost the same team that beat Manchester United in the summer. I fear that again, Shunsuke will only come on at half time and hopefully it won’t be to drag us out of a mess.
@TricoBren- 1-0 to us. Scraping through. Goal from Enomoto.
@KanagawaKiwi – I am quietly worried about tomorrow too. All will be clear in the first 10 mins I’m guessing. Either Jubilo will have the pressure off to stay up and will feel a little freer just to play without having to worry about results or they will be seriously demoralised and just give up. I would like to see us go really aggressive in the first 10 just to make them second guess themselves and start wondering if it is going to be a really shit result. I think either a 1-0 win to them or 4-0 to us. It all depends on the first 10. Fuckin get em.
@tgR_tsuru – Already relegated, Jubilo could either have lost all fight in them, or just come out not giving a damn and going for it. I’m sure they’d like to spoil our party. Luckily Yamada is out. Being optimistic, if Shun starts, we could go 2-0. If he’s on the bench, I’ll say 1-0. It’s going to be ugly if we have Nakamachi in Shun’s position again…
@CND_MARINO – Saito and Shun not starting will be a real test for us, I hope it’s not the case. This game is a must win. Close to call I say we edge them 2-1.
@MarinosJamie – I agree with Blake; the first 10 minutes of this are huge. If we can get out early tomorrow morning and set a high tempo we may find ourselves playing against a side who simply don’t have the stomach for a fight. 3-1. Marquinhos hasn’t scored in the league for 3 months and we’re struggling badly without his goals so I’m looking for a performance from him too.