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Friday, 6 March 2009

Omiya v S-Pulse (Preview)

July 27th, 2008. A goal-less draw, but in certain ways, the most memorable game of last year:

Sunday looks like rain again. :-D

Last year (which only finished 0-0 after a veeeery close looking off side in our favour at the death) was a bit of a nightmare all round. As if Fujimoto’s season being brought to a premature end wasn’t bad enough, the end-of-the-world style downpour which delayed kick off 90 minutes both tested our patience pre match, and severely reduced our drinking time in Tokyo post match. The not-especially-good memories of Saitama in 2008 are not the reason for missing it this year, though. That’s just down to having Nagoya away in a fortnight to pay for – a game I was making a priority even before the Johnsen factor spiced things up.

So this Sunday, we’ve got to be looking to kick the season off with three points. The home and away games with Omiya last campaign were wet, and they both ended 0-0. It's worth noting that both of those matches started with Nishizawa and Yajima leading the charge; both now departed. Each game also saw the introduction from the bench of Aurelio. The less said about him and his uselessness the better. I’m expecting Kenta to start with Okazaki and Johnsen up front as per the pre-season victory over the scum, with Hara and Nagai on the bench. An entirely more threatening prospect to the Omiya goal.

Kaito is still first choice between the sticks, and I’d go for Aoyama, Ichikawa, Iwashita and Arata to form the back four. What combination we’ll see in the middle of the park I can’t say. Teru, Edamura and Hyodo are all pretty much certainties, so that just leaves the 4th man. Yamamoto, Paulo or other? Over to you, Kenta.

The game is officially sold out, and you can be sure our travelling hoards will fill our end at The Nack5 to roar us on to victory! Three points to start the year, please!