The major European leagues (i.e. the Premier League) may be winding down their respective seasons, but the J-League is still going strong to provide your fix for great football action. The current campaign is just about a third of the way through, and the excitement continues to build.
This weekend’s 12th round of games, in particular, will have a trio of mouth-watering matchups worth wagering on with us.
Defending champions Kawasaki Frontale have a chance to break into the top three as they host second-placed Nagoya Grampus.
Meanwhile, leaders FC Tokyo will be looking to extend their lead at the top when they take on sixth-placed Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo.
And finally, struggling Vissel Kobe visit Yokohama F. Marinos with the hope of finally snap their winless run this weekend.
Kawasaki Frontale vs Nagoya Grampus
Kawasaki Frontale had a somewhat slow start to the season, winning just one of their first five games (three draws, one loss). But after that rough early stretch, the champions have returned to their best form over the past month.
Kawasaki have won five of their last six league matches, which has seen them shoot back up to fourth in the table. They are coming off their most impressive win of the season, a 4-0 thrashing of Shimizu S-Pulse away from home last weekend.
Kawasaki are currently the second-highest scorers in the league with 18 goals and have spread the scoring around evenly this season. Yu Kobayashi is their in-form forward, though. The 31-year-old has scored four goals in his last three matches.
However, the champions will face a firm test in Nagoya, who are the league’s top scorers with 20 goals. Nagoya are undefeated in their last five matches, winning two and drawing three. They are coming off a routine 2-0 home win over Urawa Reds over the weekend.
Jo — last season’s top scorer — was on target for the second straight game. The Brazilian and former Manchester City striker has five goals thus far this season.
Despite the two teams’ impressive defensive records — both have conceded just seven goals, the third-fewest in the league — the attacking talent on show should still provide goals in what is likely to be a very competitive match.
FC Tokyo vs Consadole Sapporo
Eleven games into the season and FC Tokyo are still undefeated. Of those 11 games, they’ve won eight and drawn three to build up a four-point lead at the top of the table.
Tokyo have their terrific defensive record to thank for their impressive unbeaten run. They’ve conceded just five goals thus far this season, which is the fewest in the league.
They haven’t conceded a single goal in their last four J-League matches. But including cup matches, they have actually kept six clean sheets in a row, which is quite impressive.
Meanwhile, Diego Oliveira has been taking care of business on the other end. The Brazilian is the joint-top scorer with seven goals.
Oliveira shares top spot with Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo striker Anderson Lopes. However, Lopes has missed the team’s last two league games, and it remains to be seen whether he will return against Tokyo.
Sapporo have been in fine form of late, going undefeated (four wins, one draw) in their last five games. However, the J-League 2019 betting odds will not be in their favour against Tokyo if they are once again without their star striker.
Yokohama F. Marinos vs Vissel Kobe
A season full of hope and expectations has not gone according to plan for Vissel Kobe, whose J-League 2019 results have been horrendous. Despite the arrival of Spanish star David Villa to join Andres Iniesta and Lukas Podolski, Vissel have lost their last six league matches and are languishing way down in 13th.
Kobe have found goals tough to come by despite the presence of Villa, who had a promising start to his Japanese career. They have scored just twice in their last four games. Meanwhile, their defence continues to let in goals. They have conceded 18 goals through 11 games, third-most in the league.
Kobe now travel to Yokohama to face a Marinos side that’s been unable to find much consistency this season. They are coming off a 3-0 defeat away to Cerezo Osaka last weekend.
But Yokohama have at least been able to consistently avoid defeat at home. They have won two and drawn three of their first five games. Look for them to frustrate a Kobe side that’s short on form and confidence at the moment.
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