You can say alot of derogatory things about Rui Ramos. Hell, I do it on a regular basis. the one area where you can't question the man is his devotion to Tokyo Verdy 1969 and its incarnations. For parts of 1996 and 1997, Rui Ramos plied his trade for Kyoto Purple Sanga during the franchises first rough years. In a controversial decision, Ramos left the Kyoto squad midseason to go back to the team that made him legendary. Kyoto fans were not pleased to say the least.
The last time Ramos squared off against his other former club was in 1998 in the last days of his career. It's actually been 4 years since the two teams faced off and the first with Ramos at the helm.
Kyoto has had a rough start that has people scratching their heads about the makeup of the J2 champs from 2 years ago (Goru No Ura did a great preview 2 months ago...check it out here http://brilliantomiya.blogspot.com/2007/02/2007-preview-kyoto-sanga.html). Even with the bumps in the road and the disappointing string of results to Montedio (1-1), Tokushima (1-1), and Cerezo (2-3), Kyoto finds itself just one point away from the magical top three.
Kyoto built on a dramatic last minute victory over Avispa last week with a 2-0 win against Mito Hollyhock. Kyoto couldn't feel comfortable with the game however after getting a borderline PK call for Paulinho and a (in my opinion) slightly offside second goal by substitute striker Yasumasa Nishino.
(Highlights here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0QFSKFV7lU&mode=related&search=)
Kyoto goes into the match without central defender Kazuki Teshima, who got booted for a second yellow after pulling an attacking Mito player down from behind. This is going to cause a shuffle to a back line that has been less than reliable this season.
Another mystery involves one of Kyoto's two super strikers. Andre missed the last contest against Mito for unknown reasons (to me at least). While Nishino managed to get on the board, I'm sure Verdy would take their chances against him over the power duo of Andre and Paulinho.
Potential Kyoto Lineup
DF Watanabe Morioka Akita Kakuda
MF Nakahari Ishii Saito Tokushige
FW Paulinho Andre
Gora, if you read this, HELP?
Verdy 11 (Pure speculation)
DF Kaimoto Tsuchiya Togawa Hattori
DMF Kanazawa Ze Luis
Wing Sato Hiroyama
FW Diego Hulk
Bench: Hiramoto, Inoue, Nanami, Sugawara,Takagi
I gotta admit, I'm stumped on both lineups to tell you the truth. The lineup I posted for Verdy is the one I would go with. Not because I'm disappointed with the play of Nanami or Takagi, I'm not. I'd do this because this is the second of three big games. It's a chance to keep some miles off of the old wheels of Nanami and a chance for Takagi to see the game from a different angle. It also gives a chance for guys who have been toiling in the depths of the satellite league, producing reults but not seeing the light of day. I go with speed on the wings to attack the older and less athletic Kyoto lineup. And I go with two strong Brazilians to pummel the aged central defense of Kyoto.
It's a good chance to experiment with Diego. He was effective last year as the hammer in the middle for Kashiwa. In this system he still doesn't look comfortable.
You might notice the name "Hiramoto" on the bench. He's back from injury....slowly. I'd give him a 10 to 20 minute run if the game is going well just to let him get the juices flowing.
Granted, this game is a mystery to me but here are my "POINTS" for beating Sanga
1. Shoot the ball- The offense has been in a funk. Shots have gone from 13,12, and 18 to 6,8 , and 5 in the loss to Avispa. Get the ball, take your shot. Kyoto has a decent offense but you can exploit certain areas. Keep Ueno busy.
2. Beware Paulinho- Don't get too physical in the box because as you saw in the clip, he will go down. And its 50-50 dive call/PK. Actually between him and Hulk, Greg Louganis is crying a little tear of happiness. Oh yeah, he's also a darn good striker and if he's paired with Andre, it's gonna be a long night for the Verdy defense.
3. Take the fight to them- Lately, it seems Verdy has been passive in their approach to attacking. Waiting for a chance to counterattack. Snap out of it. Punch em in the face and take the three points. command the midfield.
I won't get a chance to see this game, but I am travelling to Hiratsuka for the Bellmare wing ding. Probably the wrong choice but I gotta do what I gotta do!
If you see the game and want to report on it, let me know!
Verdy took out Hosei University 4-1 on Sunday
Goals were scored by Inoue, Tomisawa, BIG MARTIN and the popular OG.