FC Tokyo v Avispa Fukuoka – J-League Betting Preview + Prediction
29 Apr 2016, Ajinomoto Stadium , 08:00
Tokyo will face Avispa Fukuoka on Friday, a national holiday, in deference to next week’s away trip to Vietnam for their AFC Champions League match against Binh Duong. An arguably more important fixture with a spot in the ACL’s Round of 16, an important benchmark for the club, at stake, one would not blame Jofuku if he were to rest some of his star players, especially if the game is well in hand. Although Tokyo have just one win in their last league fixtures, they were somewhat relieved to take a point on the road at Ventforet Kofu after falling behind early in the first half. Sota Hirayama saved blushes with his second-half equaliser, but many questions remain unanswered regarding the team’s chemistry and actual potential under manager Hiroshi Jofuku.
Avispa Fukuoka’s inability to create scoring chances has been frustrating for the players more so than for the fans, but a lack of positive results throughout the start of the season has started to take its toll on the group as a whole. As relief efforts for those affected by the Kumamoto earthquakes continue, Avispa Fukuoka have been driven to increase their work rate both on and off the pitch to show their support. The team rallied together against Gamba Osaka in front of a home crowd on Sunday and showed some positives, but were ultimately undone by their lack of threat from open play and fell to a 1-0 defeat. The loss of Kim Hyun-hun through suspension leaves a gap in the defence and one less option for their threatening set pieces, leaving a frustrated Wellington with even more pressure to provide for the J1 newcomers.
The Golden Week holiday will attract somewhat larger than usual crowds and a weaker opponent presents Tokyo with an opportunity for an easy win and some momentum ahead of next week’s crucial AFC Champions League match at Binh Duong. Anything less than three points would be a failure.
Prediction: FC Tokyo -1.00