Today's six J-League football betting tips.................
Shimizu S-Pulse- Gamba Osaka
I previewed Shimizu's recent home game with Yokohama last , speaking about the open nature of the host ...........
Chalk meets cheese in Shimizu with SSP, who favour an open game and who have conceded 23 times in ten starts, hosting miserly Yokohama whos last 10 have averaged just 1.9 goals per game, but then, they don't play Pulse every day ! Marinos have a good record in this fixture losing just once in ten visits, keeping six clean sheets and winning the last four, amazingly scoring 10 goals in the process.
SSP are back in the top flight after one year in JL2, they conceded 65 goals in that relegation season and all games averaged over 3, those issues have not been addressed and it feels like another long season in the offering, but they are fun to watch, can also score themselves and should be safe and JL1 needs teams like them.
Marinos won 3-1 and ahead of their next home league game a visit from FC Tokyo, I updated with more of the same ...............SSP overcommit too often and are very vulnerable to the counter and this is a good match up for the visitors and we should again expect goals, possibly an away win ............FCT won 2-0.
The hosts have subsequently beaten a poor Ventforet Kofu (see below) side here , but are 1-2-5 in home starts and happier on the road and not when they are expected to make the running against the strongest JL1 teams, which includes Gamba Osaka , who are coming off a midweek home loss to Kahima Antlers, where they could have gone top with the win and deserved at least a point against the best team in Japan. Notes on last weekend's 3-2 win at Sendai, their 6th on the road of the campaign (6-1-1) are reproduced below. Gamba have a great record in Shimizu, winning on 6/8 visits and scoring 3 times in five of those.
Bad news for SSP, they are without Jong Tae-Se, he has 7 goals and three assists, a 10 goal contribution to just 19 that the home side have scored this season, only game he missed was that loss to FC Tokyo and Gamba can follow up and register a fairly comfortable win.
1.5 units Gamba Osaka -0.75 ball 2.47 asian line/Sportmarket . Lost 2-0
Jubilo Iwata -Ventforet Kofu
Ahead of a recent Kofu trip to Vegalta Sendai (more of whom later) my notes included ........
We know that Vegalta are leaky and even conceded to Albirex and also have home issues , both teams have scored now in 9 of their 11 starts and are averaging north of 3 goals per game, so why is this line set at 2.25 and offered at big odds against ? Well, probably because Kofu are goal shy and always look to keep things tight, but they are coming off two games where both teams scored, a creditable 1-1 draw at FC Tokyo and 2-1 home loss to SSP where the visitors could have scored 3-4 and we know Sendai will attack and leave gaps to exploit. Hard to look at the table (they are 14th) and say that Ventforet have overachieved, but I feel that is the case and I have seen them overrun in two games, away to Vissel and home to Cerezo and they took four points from those, still not sure how !
Ventforet lost that 3-0 and have failed to score a single goal in four subsequent starts and my notes above were on the money and they are indeed fortunate to sit outside the bottom three.
Jubilo Iwata are on fire, they have scored 11 goals in winning their last four, including against three of the big name teams in JL1 something I spoke about ahead of last week's 2-0 win at Albirex Niigata, where my notes included ..................
Jubilo have now beaten Gamba, Urawa and FC Tokyo in their last three starts, scoring nine goals in the process. They have two very win-able fixtures to end the first half of the season, before a mini break and can push on towards the top 4 over the next 8 days, confidence has to be sky high and in stark contrast to that in the home squad.
The hosts can secure a top 7 spot ahead of the break today and ensure they go into it ahead of Urawa Reds which is a big deal for a club like Jubilo, who have struggled since being regular title contenders (3 time winners) around the millennium. It would also erase any lingering relegation concerns (they finished 13th last season) and they could then perhaps look to push on and see how far they can go in the second half of the campiagn. Only Marinos have conceded fewer goals than Jubilo, no team has scored less than Kofu, so easy to see a clean sheet for the host and it doesn't feel like anyone will stop them scoring at present, they have bossed this h2h series winning 6/9 meetings here and losing just once in 7 trips to Kofu.
1.5 units Jubilo Iwata -0.75 ball 2.18 asian line/Sportmarket. 1/2 W 1-0
Omiya Ardija - Consadole Sapporo
Two struggling teams meeting usually results in goals, something I mention often and this is a real relegation clash. I do not doubt that Consadole Sapporo would take a draw right now, as they are outside the bottom three, immediately above Omiya Ardija with a one point advantage. Also , I have spoken of the host as having more offensive threat than given credit for on many occasions and they will create chances, but today, they are without suspended top scorer Ken Tokura, who has five goals and two assists, when he scores, Consadole are 2-3-0, when he comes up short, 2-0-10 which includes losing 8 from 8 on the road.
In very early season I spoke about the Omiya issues .............
Omiya Ardija had a hugely impressive return to the top flight last season finishing a club-record fifth, they had completed ten seasons previously in JL1 between 2005-14 and finished 12th-16th in each ! That is a very narrow band and it is hard to think of them as anything other than relegation battlers despite such a fine 2016, when much went their way, they overachieved as both a team and individually, with Akihiro Ienaga scoring 11 goals, which was twice his previous best top flight tally and Ataru Esaka who, after only one season at JL2 level, stepped up to score 8 from midfield. They need something similar to repeat last year's heroics and I do not see where it is going to come from !
Ienaga has moved to Kawasaki Frontale and there were already signs in Stage 2 last season, that teams were handling Esaka better. Midfielders Tomonobu Yokoyama (Consadole) and Jin Izumisawa (Gamba) have also left and it feels like the team which had such a great two seasons has broken up and lost it's heartbeat. Ienaga missed seven stage 2 games last season through which Omiya were 1-4-2, posting a 7-2-1 record when he played, they lost 2-0 at home to Frontale last week and for now, I have to view them as considerably weaker and a team I do not want to side with until some of the newcomers step up and/or they prove otherwise.
However, prior to a recent visit to another struggler in Albirex Niigata, I said ...............
My gut feeling is that Omiya have a little more about them and whilst it is a very different competition given how teams approach it, they did score 11 goals in the League Cup, Albirex just 3. Two struggling teams meeting usually means goals and as poor an offensive threat as these two pose against stronger teams, I think we can still expect goalmouth action today, especially once the breakthrough comes, even if that is quite late, as that is when goals tend to arrive in J-Leage and one of these will then be forced to throw caution to the wind.
That played out perfectly, with Omiya winning 2-1 and I expect more of the same today, BTS (even missing Tokura there should be a goal in this for Consadole), but ultimately a win for improving Omiya who have lost just once in six starts in all competitions ( four wins) and who have won their last four starts against fellow bottom seven teams (one cup), scoring at least twice in each, with all going "over", picking up 13 points from 9 starts (top 8-9 form) after just 1 from their opening eight games.
1.5 units Omiya Ardija -0.25 ball 2.07 asian line/Sportmarket. 1/2 L 2-2
1.5 units "over" 2.5 goals 2.29 asian line/Sportmarket. Won 2-2
Vissel Kobe- Vegalta Sendai
Kobe are in freefall, after I spent early season bigging them up and they went top of JL1 with six games played (5-0-1) they are 2-2-7 since and have lost their last three by a combined 0-8 and head coach Nelsinho, who was supposed to build a team to contend and looked to have done so, is holding on to his job by his fingertips. I doubt he would still have it, if he had not helped arrange the signing of Lukas Podolski who arrived at the club this week, having his first training session on Thursday, amid much hoop-la. It would have been a little embarrassing to then announce the HC was leaving ! Podolski will not play until after the mini break, but will provide a much needed boost to the squad today, who are hard hit by injuries defensively and have been for some time. The German star was very diplomatic in press conferences, made it clear he was here not just for the money and with a firm target to finish top 3 this season ! They are 11 points off the pace at the moment and that now looks a very tall order, but three points today would completely change the mood at the club and they could really build on that during the break. His teammates were thrilled to be alongside such a famous player and defender Hirofumi Watanabe said: “When he hits the sweet spot, the balls he makes are of the quality Japanese players can’t imagine.” Podolski addressed the squad and gave a bit of a rallying call, I expect a response today.
Vegalta Sendai have featured very heavily this season, we have focused a lot on the open nature of Vegalta games in recent weeks (see below) and how they have struggled at home. They lost 4-2 against Cerezo Osaka two weeks ago and last week they entertained Gamba Osaka.......... who are title contenders, rarely sit back for long on the road, where they have already won five times and this has to follow suit and produce goals. Gamba have won on 5 of their last 8 trips to Sendai, three, including the last two by the same 3-1 scoreline and a repeat looks on the cards.
Sendai kindly lost that 3-2, quite a lot to like about Vegalta in general and that performance in particular where they battled incredibly well after being outplayed early and trailed 2-0, before levelling, but conceded a late winner and are very defensively suspect, but pose more goal threat than any team outside of the top 5, apart from Urawa Reds. Kobe will need 2 maybe 3 to win, but I think they might get them today, surely goals.
1.25 units Vissel Kobe -0.5 ball 2.28 asian line/Sportmarket . Won 3-0
1.75 units "over" 2.75 goals 2.03 asian line/Sportmarket. 1/2 W 3-0
Vegalta Sendai- Cerezo Osaka (written June 25th)
I have spoken about some suspect home form , yet increased goal threat from Vegalta
several times in recent weeks, writing ahead of a recent home game with Albirex
Vegalta Sendai are no world beaters , but have goals in them, both teams have scored in 8 of their last 10 starts, with four wins in that sequence and an average of 3.3 goals per game. They should win this, but seem happier on the road, where they have collected 11 of their 14 points , it was a similar tale last season, when they posted a home record of 7-0-10, although one was a 4-2 victory in this fixture. They obviously have home issues and rarely keep a clean sheet and there is likely to be a goal , maybe two for a team even as goal shy as Niigata and taking the basic asian quote for Sendai (-0.25 ball) when it factors too much into the draw and they have not had a home stalemate since mid September 2015 (!) seems wrong on almost every level, so, I will go with......
Then ahead of a visit from Ventforet Kofu ........
We know that Vegalta are leaky and even conceded to Albirex and also have home issues (see both above) , both teams have scored now in 9 of their 11 starts and are averaging north of 3 goals per game, so why is this line set at 2.25 and offered at big odds against ? Well, probably because Kofu are goal shy and always look to keep things tight, but they are coming off two games where both teams scored, a creditable 1-1 draw at FC Tokyo and 2-1 home loss to SSP where the visitors could have scored 3-4 and we know Sendai will attack and leave gaps to exploit. Hard to look at the table (they are 14th) and say that Ventforet have overachieved, but I feel that is the case and I have seen them overrun in two games, away to Vissel and home to Cerezo and they took four points from those, still not sure how ! BTS and maybe another Sendai win.
They actually won that 3-0, but went back to BTS last week, away to Sagan Tosu in a 1-1 draw, I left them alone there, firstly as they were on the road and secondly as top scorer Crislan was suspended. He is back today and it is easy to see goals again , with Cerezo scoring for fun, something we discussed ahead of their own recent games with Albirex
...............what is suddenly a daunting trip to Osaka to face a Cerezo team on fire, having won their last three starts scoring ten goals, Cerezo play 5 of their next six at home and already in third and within two points of the lead, they could really put in a charge and might even go into the break top of the table were they to win this, so very exciting times .
Cerezo won 4-0,but could only draw 1-1 with Shimizu S-Pulse subsequently in their last outing, however, they had 21 attempts, 14 inside the box and three "big" chances and they can play their a leading part in at least a mini shootout.
1.75 units "over" 2.5 goals 2.11 asian line/Sportmarket.