Next up for the Squirrels is a home game against bottom of the League Consadole Sapporo. In fact we will be playing Consadole at home twice in quick succession, as we also take them on at the Nack5 on May 16th in our next game in the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup.
Saturday's game is far more important to me, as J1 survival remains our key target and the first seven games have done nothing to suggest that it is going to be an easy ride. Therefore when the team propping up the table comes to town, even the most despairing of Ardija fans must be thinking of bagging all three points. Our record so far is played 7, won 2, drawn 1 and lost 4. Those four losses make particularly bad reading this early on, however we do go into this game right off a confidence boosting 2-0 win over our local rivals Urawa Reds, so this is a big opportunity to back that up with a win over Sapporo. Football is a simple game, and simply put, goals win games. The key lesson of our two wins this season is the fact that it is only in those 2 wins that we have scored more than one goal. I'm guessing that injuries aside, Suzuki will stick with the same starting eleven that took the field last Saturday so we will hope to see Cho pushing on to support Rafael up front.
In the game against Urawa we basically played on the counterattack, and did it very successfully of course.Having said that, I'm hoping to see a more dominant performance against a team which has lost every league game so far and has only managed one draw and that point came on the very first day of the season against Jubilo Iwata a long time ago now. Just to throw in a bit of caution though, in their last outing at home to Kawasaki Frontale, Sapporo did race into a 2 goal lead. Sadly for them they failed to hold on to that lead, or even a share of the points and went down 3-2. One wonders how demoralizing such a loss might have been and will they fancy the long trip away from home.
My prediction then is for a home win. I'm going to plump for a 3-1 win to the Squirrels.
Let's go Omiya Let's Go!