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Saturday, 28 March 2009

S-Pa v Kyoto Sanga (Nabisco Cup Preview)

Match day two of the 2009 Nabisco Cup is upon us! Being match day two, you may be wondering what happened to our match day one. Well that was on Wednesday, and due to the weird and wonderful way the competition is organised this year, we didn't have a game.

For those not in the know, this year's League Cup group stage is split into two groups of seven. We're in Group B along with Kashiwa, FC Tokyo, Chiba, Yamagata, Kyoto and Kobe. Teams play each other once with three games at home, and three games away. Who's at home for which game was all down to the fixture computer. Have a look here for our full group stage fixtures.

Having three match ups each time means once team gets a day off. We got lucky not having to play on a chilly Wednesday evening, instead getting a clear blue sky and warm 12 degree afternoon for our début game in this year's competition.

Painting the National Stadium Orange Last Year

As is common with the league cup, tickets are still in plentiful supply, with only around 12000 sold so far. Saying that, 12000 would still be one of our better league cup crowds, so bring it on!

As for team news, Okazaki is in Saitama with the national team (as I type, he's probably warming up) for the visit of Bahrain in the World Cup qualifier. Because of that, expect to see Hara starting up front. I'm wondering if Kenta will give Johnsen a rest tomorrow, perhaps giving Genki his first start. We may also see a start for Jungo. He's been on from the start in the reserves, but hasn't racked up a full 90 minutes yet, but that'll come in time.

Aside from that, let's just hope we can secure our first home goal, and three points, of the season! We're yet to win this year, but I think we were unlucky against a strong Nagoya team last week. We played some nice stuff, and I think we've got a whole lot of goals inside us just aching to get out. Expect some tomorrow!

We turned over Tokyo 3-1 in the same fixture last year on our road to the Kokuritsu, and while the run was glorious, the less said about the final, the better. All the more reason to win it this year!

One More Time to the National Stadium, Please!

Kick off 1pm, so I'll see you there!