I will be doing predicted lineups for the Japanese J1 League for each GW. These lineups will be made from information I gather from:
Press conferences/interviews with the manager
Lineups from last year if same manager
I will be updating the blog as and when I get information and giving a % for my confidence the player will start.
I know from general experience with monitoring lineups across all leagues on sorare, information can drop right up to the deadline (eg a positive corona case of a player a few hours before the deadline). So I will be in general updating the lineup prediction the day after the GW opens and then updating it again the day of the deadline.
I will also be providing betting odds where available, such as:
% chance of win
I am not expecting to be anywhere near perfect with these lineups and hope to improve as time goes on. The main aim is to illustrate where I see risk and what kind of opportunities there are each GW.
Best Scoring Players in GW 247
Elber - 100 points
Makino - 97 points
Marcos Junior - 85.1 points
Takuya Kida - 84.3 points
Akihro Ienaga - 80.30 points
GW 248 Fixtures
Jubilo Iwata vs Shimizu S Pulse
Jubilo Iwata predicted Lineup
Win - 41%
Most likely to play - Miura, Ohi, Endo, Matsumoto, Sugimoto
Combos - Germain & Sugimoto
Main set Piece taker - Endo
Pens - Sugimoto
COVID Cases/Injury -
Iwata opened their return to the J1 league with a 1-1 draw against Fukuoka with sub Germain getting the goal. The team was largely as expected with Miura getting the nod in nets. I expect a similar team this GW with perhaps Germain being rewarded for the goal with a starting spot.
Shimizu predicted Lineup
Win - 32%
Most likely to play - Gonda, Tatsuta, Suzuki
Combos - Gonda & Suzuki
Main set Piece taker -
COVID Cases/Injury - Santos, Silvano and Matsuoka out for 4-6 weeks
We got some news about Santos and Matsuoka who were missing from the first game, they are out for 4-6 weeks and will be a big miss for Shimizu but at least we got info from the club!
Shimizu opened the season with a hard fought 1-1 draw against Sapporo. Youngster Suzuki who has was wasteful in front of goal last year, finished excellently here and this could well be his break out year. Carlinhos Jnr was missing and wasnt in the squad for the league cup game so I cant see him starting this weekend either.
Shimizu signed a new striker, however there is no details of when he will be arriving in Japan/expect to be able to play
I can see this being a close game which Iwata having the edge against this Shimizu side that is missing a number of key players.
I dont see many goals being scores and think it will be either a narrow Iwata win
Iwata 1-0 Shimizu
Cerezo Osaka vs Kyoto Sanga FC
Cerezo Osaka Predicted Lineup
Win - 48%
Most likely to play - Kim Jin Hyeon, Shindo, Nishio, Harakawa, Okuno, Kiyotake, B.Mendes
Combos - Harakawa & Mendes
Main set Piece taker - Harakawa & Kiyotake
Pens - Kiyotake
COVID Cases - None reported
C.Osaka started the season very well with a surprise 2-2 draw again YFM in the opening game. Both goals came from set pieces, with Harakawa delivering from corners.
They just beat local rival Gamba in the league cup with almost a completely new team. This make me think that they will play the same X11 as last week. Matsuda played in the league and could well be at risk of rotation. Nishio had a very poor game and was at fault with the penalty, though this is highly unusual for him and I expect him to continue to start.
In other news, Jonjic was confirmed as returning to C.Osaka. He is an excellent defender who also scores great on Sorare - however there are only minimal cards available for him. He will be a starter for the team and both Shindo and Nishios place is at risk. It is still TBC when he will be ready to play due to covid restrictions stopping the issuing of new visas. The goverment did announce that these restrictions will be relaxed in March so I expect to see him and right winger Jean Patric join up with squad in late March
Kyoto Predicted Lineup
Win - 27%
Most likely to play - Kawasaki,Mendes, Takeda, Utaka
Combos -Matsuda & Utaka
Main set Piece taker - Matsuda
Pens - Utaka
COVID Cases - 1 reported
Kyoto had a dream start to their return to the J1 league with a surprise 1-0 victory against hotly tipped Urawa.
They played flowing football with quick transitions from defence to attack. Utaka scored the winning goal and the 38 year old will be hoping to kick on from this and put show that he is still able to lead the line despite his age.
Ogiwara and Kaneko both werent able to play the last game due to playing against their parent club Urawa. Both played in the league up draw on Wednesday so I cant see they playing at the weekend. My instinct is to think Kyoto will stick to the same team that won last week, though Ogiwara is the player I can see potentially coming in.
In nets, Kamifukumoto won the battle to start and made a man of the man performance to keep Urawa out. It would be very harsh to drop him after that performance so I see him starting again. Important to note that the keeper spot is going to be highly competitive with 3 other decent keepers making challenging to start.
Kyoto impressed me last week, they created chances and were a match for Urawa in all departments. After they scored, unsurprisingly they were on the backfoot and were able to keep Urawa at bay with an excellent defence performance.
I expect this game to be a tight affair and think Cerezo will have the edge with their experienced players such as Harakawa and Kiyotake being the difference between the two
Cerezo Osaka 1-0 Kyoto Sanga FC
Kashima Antlers vs Kawasaki Frontale
Kashima Antlers Predicted Lineup
Win - 39%
Most likely to play - Kwoun, Min -Tae, Pituca, Ueda, Suzuki
Combos - Araki & Ueda/Suzuki
Main set Piece taker - Araki/Higuchi
Pens - Suzuki
COVID Cases - None reported
Antlers started the season in great fashion, with a highly impressive attacking display in their 3-1 away to Gamba. Yes, there was a controversial and very soft red card for Patric which changed the makeup of the game but the link up play between Ueda, Suzuki, Araki and Higuchi was highly pleasing on the eye and a warning sign for the rest of league.
What impressed me the most about Antlers was how fluid the team were, with players changing position constantly leading to it being v difficult to defend.
Antlers were inconsistent last year and it was only 1 game vs a poor Gamba squad who were in the game before the red. The game vs Frontale will be the true test for this new Antlers team. They have not been Frontale for a long time and were completely outplayed in a 3-1 loss at the end of last season in the emperors cup.
Sekigawa took a nasty blow to the head near half time and is a doubt for this game. He is back in training, so I do expect him to play but it is a risk especially he did suffer a concussion. Misao may come in for Doi, however I expect a very similar lineup to last GW especially as Antlers didnt have a cup game midweek so players should be fresh and ready to go.
Frontale Predicted Lineup
Win - 36%
Most likely to play - Damiao, Ienaga, Taniguchi, Yamane, Sung Ryong, Tachibanda
Combos - Damiao, Yamane/Ienaga
Main set Piece taker - Wakizaka/Ienaga
Pens - Damiao/Ienaga
COVID Cases - None reported but Seko not seen in training pics. Schmidt situation also unclear. Marcinho not in squad for the last game so his situation also no known.
Injuries - Jesiel (ACL, expected back May but TBC)
Frontale are coming into this game on the back of a 4-2 defeat to YFM. In the first half, they looked the most impressive ive seen them this year. The returning Tachibanda in particular was highly impressive and controlled the game. However, in the second half they were completely blown away after YFM made some tactical/formation changes. There is no doubt that Frontale are not the force they were last year, however, they are still formidable and its important not to right them off too early imo.
Saying that, they have major issues in CB, which I had been worried about since preseason. Yamamura is not up to the quality of a champion team and Kurumaya looks like he will be out for a while (no confirmation from the team about the extent of the injury, but that is the impression im getting from articles I have read)
Noborizato had a very poor game, he is usually such a reliable player and I see him starting this big game but can see Sasaki getting a chance soon enough. The left side in general has been problematic for YFM with changes to the attacking left winger in all 3 games. Miyagi is a bright prospect but struggled to make an impact again YFM. I am uncertain of Marcihos situation as he was not in the squad for the last game but can see this position seeing further changes. Tachibanda will certainly start if hes fit (looked fine to me). Wakizaka has been poor so far this season however so has Oshima so not sure what happens at this spot.
This is another difficult game for Frontale and previously they have been able to bounce back quickly from defeats. Antlers are the favourites for me, especially if they can use the tactics employed by Urawa and later YFM & mix up formations and pressure the Frontale defence and not allow them time in midfield.
Overall, I can see Antlers exploiting the defensive weakness that Frontale have and winning this game. I can see this being a very tight game and the midfield battle between Tachibanda and Pituca will be key to deciding the outcome of the game
Kashima Antlers 2- 1 Frontale
Urawa vs Gamba Osaka
Urawa Reds Predicted Lineup
Win - 57%
Most likely to play - Nishikawa, Ito, Esaka, Shibato
Combos - Nishikawa and Iwananmi/Inukai
Main set Piece taker - Esaka
Pens - Esaka
COVID Cases - 3+ reported
Suspensions - Akimoto (1 Game)
Urawa played an entertaining 2-2 draw with Vissel Kobe. There were lots of positives to take from the game, especially attacking wise where they created plenty chances. Akimotos was sent off after a rush of blood to the head and going for Kobayashis neck and that led to an onslaught from Vissel who equalised in the closing minutes.
I see lots of changes in this game as Urawa and it is very hard to predict how Urawa will lineup. Sakai will v likely return. Ohata was subbed at half time in the vissel game so can see him not starting here. Iwao came on as a sub and can see him starting as brings much needed experience to the team but it will largely depend on his fitness levels. With Akimoto being suspended, I expect to see a change in formation. Koizumi was an unused sub for the last game and I am hoping he at least get some minutes here as I feel his talent is being wasted (though the red card in the last game may have forced the manger to change his plans)
The CBs for Uruwa have been rotating with Iwanami the only player to start each game. I have read he has picked up a few knocks and he could be rested for this game with Inukai coming in. Its not an area I feel confident in and as a holder of both Inukai and Iwanami will only use them in a more speculative team unless I get more info. Esaka has played alot of minutes and could be a rotation risk. The lack of forward options should mean Rodriguez uses the talented and versitile midfielder upfront again. The situation with Junker is still unclear.
Gamba Osaka Predicted Lineup
You can see a preview of the game from a Gamba fan here
Win - 19.5%
Most likely to play - Ishikawa, Shoji, Kurata, Onose, Usami
Combos - Shoji + Ishikawa
Main set Piece taker - Usami
Pens - Usami
COVID Cases - none reported
Injuries - Higashiguchi and Fujiharu are both assumed injured, no details given yet
Suspension - Patric (1 game)
Gamba have had a very poor start to the season with a loss in the league and in the cup. To put make matters worse, they have had injury/covid issues with Higashiguchi and Fujiharu out. Patrics red card was very harsh imo but he he as handled himself with great dignity though will miss this game with Peirea coming in. He joined up late to pre season training so question marks still remain on his fitness/match sharpness.
At the back Miura was the big surprise exlusion last week. Im not sure if it was fitness or the managers choice. He did play the full 90 in the league cup defeat so I cant see him starting on the weekend.
Yamamoto played and scored but was subbed at the 60th min mark. He has a chance to start here but it is a risk. I hold him and will not risk him this GW however, I think for Gamba they need him in midfield so thats why ive got him starting (just about!)
Gamba have looked poor so far and not clicking as a unit, this hasnt been helped by injuries and a disrupted preseason training camp.
I can see Urawa winning this game comfortably especially if Iwao is back & in the first X11
Urawa Reds 2- 0 Gamba Osaka
Hokkaido Sapporo vs Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Sapporo Predicted Lineup
Win - 47%
Most likely to play - Fukumori, Tanaka, Takamine, Komai, Ogashiway
Combos - Fukumori & Tanaka
Main set Piece taker - Fukumori/Xavier
Pens - Koroki/Xavier
COVID Cases - None reported
Sapporo will feel a tad disappointed in only drawing the opening game. They dominated possession however, similar to last year, missed the cutting edge to finish their chances. Fernandes swapped wings and looked good on his return from injury, scoring the opening goal. Sugeno was in nets and I expect him to continue there.
Tucic played in the cup game and Suga played the full 90 so I expect both to be subs in this game however can see them challenging for the first X11 very soon.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima Predicted Lineup
Win - 30.8%
Most likely to play - Hayashi, Sasaki, Araki, Nogami
Combos - Hayashi + Sasaski
COVID Cases - none reported
Hiroshimas lineup last GW surprised me alot. It looks as though alot of attacking players were not match fit for the game and it showed in a meek performance for Hiroshima in a 0-0 draw with Sagan Tosu.
Defensively they were highly impressive and I expect the same GK+ defence for this game. They won the opening league cup game 3-0 vs Tokushima with Higashi, Morishma, Santos and Ezequiel all getting minutes. I can see an argument for any of these starting but for the time being have kept to the conservative lineup of last week.
I can see this being an even game with Sapporo controlling possesion but continuing their struggles to score. I expect an improvement in the general play from Hiroshima, especially if some of their attacking players are match fit and start (Santos/Viera/ Morishima)
Sapporo 1- 1 Hiroshima
Sagan Tosu vs Shonan Bellmare
Sagan Tosu predicted lineup
Win - 40%
Most likely to play - Park Gyu, Diego, Koizumi, Fujita, Hwang Seok
Combos - Park Gyu & Hwang seok ho
COVID/ Injuries Cases - Miyashiro, Nishikawa and Ono are all MIA, assume its covid or an injury and not seen them in training pics. Kakita was a sub for the cup game but only lasted 12 mins. Could be an injury and needs checking
It is well known that there have been a number of changes at Sagan in the offseason and last weeks game saw almost entirely a different team to the closing game last season. There were also notable absentees including Miyashiro. I have seen no info about them nor seen them in the training pics so dont expect them to play here. The team did well vs Hiroshima and dictated play for long periods. They were surprisingly fluid and Koizumi especially using his experience to manage the game. At the moment, its hard to know who the first X11 is especially with the attackers so I would tred carefully for sorare picks here. Kakita should start if fit, though he went off after only 12 mins in the cup game. I will check this if I have time, but if you hold him and I would do some research into this to make sure it wasnt an injury before you play him
Shonan predicted Lineup
Win - 30%
Most likely to play - Tani, Tachi, Yonemo, Tanaka, Hata
Combos - Tani and Tachi (u23)
Main set Piece taker -Barada, Yonemoto
COVID Cases - none reported
Suspension -Oiwa (1 game)
Shonans campaign started poorly after captain Oiwa was sent off in the first half against Kashima. Yonemoto was the standout player for them, on the pitch and also for his score on sorare. I can see him being pivotal for them this year. Youngster Tanaka was on the bench last week and played in the cup game. I am hoping/thinking he returns for this game either at the back or in the mid.
Overall, Shonans attackers are some I generally avoid on Sorare - they simply dont score enough and there is too much rotation/insecurity for my liking. The team does have a number of quality u23s with Tanaka, Hata and Tani being the pick of the bunch for me.
This game is between two teams I see struggling in the bottom half of the table. They both have a number of kids/youth playing who also lack the experience and consistency. At the moment, I worry about Shonans attack and can see this either being a low scoring draw or a narrow win for Sagan.
Sagan Tosu 1- 0 Shonan
Vissel Kobe vs Avispa Fukuoka
Vissel Kobe Predicted Lineup
Win - 55%
Most likely to play - Makino, Sakai, Yamaguchi, Muto, Maekawa
Combos - Yamaguchi + Sakai
Main set Piece taker - Iniesta 2) Hatsuse
Pens - Iniesta
COVID Cases - 1 case reported
Vissel came back from behind two draw 2-2 vs Urawa and have started the season relatively poorly with only 1 point. Iniesta came on as a sub and quickly notched up his first assist. I see him starting here and that could be the change needed to kick start Vissels season.
Ohgiharu returns from suspension, the midfield has alot of players vying for a spot but I see him starting. As this is Vissles 3rd game inside a week and another huge game vs YFM on Wednesday we could well see players such as Muto being rested as they have played alot of mins.
The team are being very careful with no introducing Kikuchi too quickly. This could well be a good time to give him some minutes though might be from the bench rather from the start.
Fukuoka predicted Lineup
Win - 22%
Most likely to play - Murakami, Grolli, Mae, Crouz, Yamagishi, Lukian
Combos - Grolli & Murakami
Main set Piece taker - Yamagishi
Pens - Lukian
COVID Cases - Nara is MIA and i suspect either an injury or covid
Fukuoka started the season with a frustrating 1-1 draw against newly promoted Iwata after they conceeding in injury time. There were a couple of surprises including Tanaka not starting - he played in the league cup so I dont see him starting this game either. Nara was expected to be CB or at least fighting for that spot and was also not in the squad for the league cup defeat so I dont see him playing.
I expect Vissel to be dominant in this game, especially if Iniesta starts. Its been a tough start for them and they have a big game on Wednesday, however due to only having 1 point so far, I feel they cant afford to rotate too much and need to go for the win.
Vissel Kobe 2- 0 Fukuoka
Kashiwa Reysol vs Yokohama FM
Kashiwa predicted Lineup
Win - 24%
Most likely to play - Seung- Gyu, Koga, Savio, Mitsumura
Combos - Seung gyu + Koga
Main set Piece taker -
Pens - Douglas/Savio
COVID Cases/Injury - Douglas went off injured in the last game and is a doubt here
Kashiwa opened their campaign with a controlled 2-0 win versus Shonan. Savio was highly impressive for them and the defensive line did well with Koga and Seung Gyu combo again proving to be an excellent relatively lower price choice (compared to the premiums!)
Douglas went off injured and is a doubt for this game. Hope to get more news before deadline but for now be wary of using him
Yokahama F Marinos Predicted Lineup
* Nagato is currently not in full training. If he is fit, he play left back and likely Koike with replace Matsubura
Win - 54%
Most likely to play - Takaoka, Koike, Kida, Elber
Combos - Takaoka & Hatanaka
Main set Piece taker - M. Junior
Pens - M. Junior/ Lopes
COVID Cases - None reported
YFM had an emphatic 4-2 victory over Frontale on Wednesday which was a highly entertaining game. The first half started well for YFM but as time went on, Frontale confidence grew and they went into the half time break 1-0.
Things changed quickly with introduction of Hatanaka and a change of shape which caught Frontale out. Nakagawa, Elber and M.Junior all ran riot leaving Frontale stunned. The pick of the goals was Nakagawas second and his third in 2 games.
With Vissel Kobe on Wednesday, Muscatt could use this game to rest players such and M. Junior who have played both games. I personally would prefer keeping the momentum and perhaps taking these key players off if the game is won. Cera was disappointing and although Lopes didnt do much as an impact sub this game, I can see it being a coinflip on who starts.
Hatanaka was surprisingly on the bench, not sure if this was tactical or a fitness issue. Any 2 of Hatanaka, Eduardo and Iwata could start this.
I can see YFM being too powerful and dynamic in attack for Kashiwa to cope in this game. I reckon it will be a pretty easy win for Yokohoma, especially as they will come into this game full of confidence after beating last years champions
Kashiwa 1- 3 YFM
I hope you found this useful!
Remember this is just a guide based on the info I have. I have tried to keep it neutral but of course there will be bias at play. As I have said previously, I want this to be helpful to you in managing risk rather than picking the right player where its a 50/50 flip.
If you spot anything glaringly wrong (eg an injury or suspended player), do let me know! I will be updating this all the way up to the deadline as we can get info very last minute
Let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions of other players :)
I am always more than happy to talk things J1 League & Sorare on twitter or Discord
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