Shimizu S-Pulse vs Tokyo FC
IAI Stadium Nihondaira is the venue, as Shimizu S-Pulse and Tokyo FC square off in a bottom-half-of-the-table J1 League showdown.
Shimizu are desperate to find their feet against a side they have lost to in each of their last four J1 League meetings as they take the field winless in nine league matches on the trot (D4, L5). Ahead of the kick-off, Shimizu have suffered back-to-back league defeats, both of which came by over 1.5 goals ‘to nil.’ Furthermore, the hosts are one of just two sides in the J1 League yet to taste victory on home soil this season (D4, L3). Much of the blame for S-Pulse’s disastrous home form has to be pinned on a clueless attack that has netted an average of just 0.57 goals per home J1 League outing. In fact, only Gamba Osaka (1) have scored fewer home league goals than Shimizu (4) so far.
On the other hand, the visitors have gone from five consecutive league defeats to back-to-back triumphs, both of which saw them keep a clean sheet. Tokyo’s 4-0 thumping of Kashiwa Reysol in their most recent away league outing ended a run of five consecutive J1 League trips without winning (D3, L2). Additionally, prior to that victory over Kashiwa, Tokyo had failed to get on the scoresheet in four of their previous six away fixtures in all competitions. Indeed, entertainment has been sparse in their away J1 League games this season, as four of their six league trips have contained under 2.5 FT goals. Kenta Hasegawa’s men had registered three away shutouts against Shimizu in a row before a 3-1 victory in this exact fixture last season.