venerdì 9 marzo 2012

J League 2012 Preview

The 20th J.League season is underway. Last season newly promoted Kashiwa Reysol shocked everyone by claiming their first ever J1 Championship. Can a newly promoted team repeat it? Hard to image. The newly promoted trio includes FC Tokyo, Sagan Tosu and Consadole Sapporo. Big things are expected in Tokyo where the team recovered from their relegation in 2010. It will be a key season for 6”4 striker Sota Hirayama, who struggled to show the potential he had. Hirayama, Kazuma Watanabe and Kentaro Shigematsu will have to show to be able to become the real goalscorer that the team needs. It will be exciting to see how the new manager Ranko Popović will build his team. Sagan Tosu's chances to avoid relegation rely on Yohei Toyoda, 23 goals last season. Consadole Sapporo team hopes to avoid Montedio Yamagata's fate.  Nobuhiro Ishizaki's team counts on young players to reach the goal. Urawa had a very bad season last year. The answer were an obviously technical and tactical change. Mihailo Petrovic is an experienced manager and veteran internationals Tomoaki Makino and Yuki Abe also added experience to the Serb's 3-4-2-1 system. The departure of Petrovic left a void to fill in Hiroshima, where Sanfrecce also lost Tadanari Lee to Southampton. We will see how manager Hajime Moriyasu will lead the new era. Albirex Niigata lost Gotoku Sakai and ChoYoung Cheol and could get in troubles. Consadole Sapporo is a yo-yo club that will need of Australian international Jade North and Brazilian striker Thiago Quirino to stay out from the bottom three. Shimizu S-Pulse is a promising team under under Afshin Ghotbi regime. Freddie Ljungberg has gone, but veterans Shinji Ono and Naohiro Takahara will lead a good core of young players. Midfielders Junichi Inamoto and Kengo Nakamura, with Yu Kobayashi and Rui Komatsu, are the key for the success of Kawasaki Frontale. One of the most exciting teams to watch, Cerezo have seen a lot of youngsters like Shinji Kagawa and Takashi Inui flew to Europe latest seasons. Manager Sergio Soares needs to retain Hiroshi Kiyotake if he wants to enjoy success this year. On the other side of Osaka, Gamba lost Korean forward Lee Keun-Ho but still has Lee Keun-Ho. 61-years-old manager Jose Carlos Serrao's appointment is the surprise...we will see. Vegalta Sendai hopes to repeat last season and it needs of Shingo Akamine's goals to do it. One to watch is North Korean midfielder Ryang Yong-Gi. Jubilo Iwata has a nice potential but needs to Ryoichi Maeda to find the net. Kashiwa has a exciting duo in Brazilians Leandro Domingues and Jorge Wagner and remains a strong side. Antlers lost head coach Oswaldo Oliveira and will have to adjust to new manager Jorginho's system. Veteran Juninho up front could help. Yokohama F. Marions seems ready to challenge this year with the pair of veteran Shunsuke Nakamura and young winger Yuji Ono.

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