9 October 2019
Kawasaki Frontale will entertain Kashima Antlers at the Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium this midweek in the first leg of their YBC Levain Cup semi-finals tie.
The hosts go into this fixture on the back of a convincing 5-0 away triumph over Shonan, hopeful that they can post their first triumph in H2Hs after four unsuccessful attempts (D3, L1). Kawasaki had no problems edging out Nagoya in the quarter-finals (2-0 H, 2-2 A), but have struggled to live up to expectations since (W2, L2). Interestingly, while both of their wins in that period saw the Frontale beat their opponents to nil and score multiple goals, both of their defeats have witnessed them score at least one and concede two or more. Notably, a 2-1 defeat to Vissel Kobe in late September brought to a halt Kawasaki’s outstanding 17-game unbeaten home run in all competitions (W7, D10). It was also only the fourth time that they’ve conceded over 1.5 goals per home fixture since October 2018.
On the other hand, undefeated in their last 13 games across all competitions (W8, D5), the visitors will be looking to extend their unbeaten away streak in H2Hs to three games (W1, D1). The Antlers have dumped out Urawa on a thrilling 4-3 aggregate victory in the quarter-finals (3-2 A, 2-2 H) and are now on the verge of breaking into their first YBC Levain Cup final since 2015. However, Go Oiwa’s men don’t enjoy facing Kawasaki, who they managed to beat only once in their last seven competitive meetings (W1, D3, L3). The traveling side should be encouraged by the fact that they won four of their last five competitive trips (W4, D1), keeping a clean sheet four times across those matches.
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