19 February 2020
Yokohama F. Marinos and Sydney go head-to-head at the Nissan Stadium in what will be the visitors’ AFC Champions League (CL) Group H opener.
The hosts have got off to a flying Group H start, securing a tight 2-1 away triumph over Jeonbuk Motors in their CL curtain-raiser to stretch their unbeaten run in all competitions to ten games (W8, D2). In turn, before a 3-3 draw with Vissel Kobe, they had put together five straight home victories, netting over 2.5 goals in each while keeping a clean sheet in two. Yokohama’s home action usually sparks into life after the break, with 56% (14) of their last 25 home goals (scored/conceded) coming in the second half. The Japanese giants have featured in some ‘high-scoring affairs’ recently, as 12 of their last 15 competitive fixtures have produced over 2.5 goals, with 11 witnessing both teams on the scoresheet.
Meanwhile, the Australian visitors travel to Japan in the midst of a purple patch, having racked up a 12-game unbeaten run (W11, D1), winning five successive matches ahead of this trip. Yet, the majority (six) of Sydney’s successes during that 12-game sequence has come via a single-goal margin (54.55%), with four yielding the same 2-1 scoreline. The Sky Blues have been impressive in the attacking third recently, scoring over 1.5 goals in their last five road trips. Quick-start Sydney have opened the scoring inside the first half an hour of play in each of those five away fixtures, with Adam Le Fondre being the author of all of those opening goals.
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