It's another historic match for Verdy as they match up against the Mighty Mikan of Ehime FC in the first battle of their brief J2 careers. Two teams that are a contrast in styles on and off the pitch. Verdy was the first dynasty of Japan, a monolith of hype and ego who finally met their demise last season. Ehime on the other hand, is the dream team of J league expansion.......an upstart backed by the local community, government, and business who by sheer will claimed a spot in the second division. Ehime is 1-1 so far and has the opposite problem of the men in green. While Verdy has a strong frontline and weak defense and keeping, the men in orange have a brick wall in the back 4, a keeper who has impressed, and strikers who couldn't hit the side of a barn. Whoever can dictate the pace and flow of Saturday's game will probably come out ahead. Ehime also has a coaches head over their mantle........the recently terminated Yusuke Adachi of Yokohama KazuMiura FC. Both teams look to rebound from tough losses.......Verdy losing in a frustrating 2-0 loss to Bellmare, and Ehime dropping a 1-0 decision to Vissel Kobe.
Probable Starting Lineups
Ehime FC (4-4-2)
GK 1. Keisuke Hada
DF 15. Ryota Moriwaki 5. Shingo Hoshino 7.Tomoya Kanamori 23. Hideto Inoue
MF 17. Kiyotaka Ishimaru 25. Yojiro Takahagi 27. Minoru Suganuma 8. Kazuhisa Hanaoka
FW 19. Yuya Nagatomi 33. Toshiya Tanaka
GK 1. Mizuhara
DF 13. Yanagisawa 2. Hagimura 4. Togawa 6. Sugawara
MF 7. Ohashi 15. Kanazawa 11. Ono 10. Anailson
FW 9. Basilio 25 Hiramoto
Bench: Nagai,Dedimar,Takagi, Iio, Kina (I'd like to see Saito instead of Iio)
ONE TO WATCH
1. GK-Keisuke Hada.............Hada has been opening eyes with his stifling play between the pipes for Ehime FC. Hada face a barrage of shots against Vissel last week and only let one in......he also shut out Yokohama in the inaugural match (Who couldn't shut out Yokohama FC? ). Basilio and friends will have to crack him early in order to succeed..........We'll see if it's the birth of a superkeeper or the luck of the schedule.
Also look for FW Hironori Saruta (#14).........Saruta usually comes off the bench in the second half for offensive punch. He has the lone Ehime goal this season.
When and where: Saturday, March 18th 2pm Komazawa stadium
I will have an actual eyewitness report on Sunday