Tomorrow marks a homecoming of sorts for two of Verdy's elder statesmen, Toshihiro Hattori and Takashi Fukunishi return to Yamaha Stadium to face baby blue Jubilo Iwata in a MATCH FOR THE AGES!!!!!!!!! Actually, the game is semi-important because it will determine positioning for the 12th and 13th ranked team. A win pushes the winner farther away from relegation danger and adds more distance between themselves and the bottom 4. A loss puts them in peril of being caught by a semi-resurgent Consadole Sapporo squad.
Verdy has had trouble with Jubilo to say the least. In 29 league matches, their record is a staggeringly underwhelming 9-1-19. This year in league play and Nabisco Cup, Verdy has managed to put up 2 goals in 3 games. One was a decent effort by Kazuki Hiramoto for his only goal of the season in league and the other by Daisuke Nasu to bring victory and joy.........to Jubilo.
All 3 games this campaign have been chippy to say the least, with a combined 19 yellows and 1 red dished out (the red going to Shigenori Hagimura in what I believe was his only appearance this season). Jubilo has rode on the of Gilsinho, who has bedeviled Verdy with 3 goals and numerous moves. Norihiro Nishi, Hiroki Bandai, and Bad Bobby Cullen have also pitched in to put their names in the account.
Speculation by both Yahoo! Japan (graphic above blatantly stolen from them), and El Golazo is that former Brazilian U-2o captain and Strasborg midfielder Rodrigo will be making his FANTASTICO DEBUT!!!!!!!! at central mid. It also looks like workhorse GK Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi will be in between the pipes after sustaining 15 stitches in last weeks match against Oita Trinita. It seems the geriatric Ueslei not only managed to notch up a brace against the Shizuoka side, he also got an assist by knocking out Kawaguchi and hastening the entrance of backup keeper and potential nightmare Naoki Hatta who managed to let in the winner for Oita.
MORE HULK WATCH
Yomiuri Sports Hochi picked up on the story today
Our new friend and avid Porto fan Cesar happened to be the anonymous source yesterday that led me to the Porto information. So Obrigado Cesar! Any more info on the Hulk transfer, let me know and I'll post it!