Yokohama F. Marinos
There is a real sense of optimism at Yokohama despite dropping points at home against Iwata. They have yet to lose in the Second Stage and have 12 goals in their past five matches, a marked improvement from their flaccid showings in the First Stage.
Cayman Togashi was held out of the Iwata match despite some recent good performances, with clubs sources suggesting the move was precautionary over a minor injury concern. Kayke showed good understanding with Quentin Martinus and had a fine finish on his goal, but misplaced passes and several giveaways took the shine off his performances. Fans continue to express frustration about his uneven showings, as well as the lack of clear candidates to replace him.
Few changes are expected from manager Erick Mombaerts as Yokohama take on a Nagoya side in dire straits. Kayke is expected to have yet another chance to prove he is worth a starting spot, and Nagoya’s rickety defense should provide plenty of opportunities to score.
The front office has come under increasing fire for their backing of manager Takefumi Ogura. Following the loss to Kofu, several hundred supporters remained in the stands in protest and would eventually spend several more hours encamped in front of the stadium demanding answers from president Kazumasa Kume. The club responded the following day by announcing an August 31 fan meeting in which Kume will explain the state of the team to 100 supporters chosen by lottery to attend.
Grampus defeated Marinos 3-1 at home in their previous match, with Robin Simovic and Kengo Kawamata both scoring. Simovic in particular will need as much support as he can get, but that may not be enough against opponents who are in way better form at the moment.
Grampus are scraping the ground with uninspired play and a manager who seems completely out of his depth. As anger amongst supporters continues to mount, it appears as though the team is all but doomed to relegation despite being just three points from safety at the moment.
Prediction: Yokohama F. Marinos -0.75 AH
Odds: 1.85 SBOBET