Match Time:8/1/2020 18:00 Saturday（GMT+8）
Gen Shoji is fit enough to be in full training but Gamba Osaka do not seem to need him right now and have been allowing his ankle injury to fully recover. Riku Matsuda did recover from a broken toe and was given his debut as a late substitute last weekend. The team will still be missing three fringe players from the squad.
Kawasaki Frontale's Kengo Nakamura is injuried. Tatsuya Hasegawa will be out for one month with a knee injury.
Injured/Unavailable: Jun Ichimori (shoulder), Lee Yun-oh (knee), Haruto Shirai (broken toe).
Injured/Unavailable: Kengo Nakamura (knee), Tatsuya Hasegawa (knee)
MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN
Yuji Ono and Takashi Usami scored the goals that gave Gamba Osaka a comfortable 2-0 away win at Vissel Kobe last weekend in the league. They are in 2nd place in J1 as they go into this game and fully deserve that spot. Their squad is full of youngsters who are being thrown in to league games when most managers would surely go for more experienced players, and the young players are maturing quickly. The older heads, some of whom have played in Europe – Takashi Usami, Yosuke Ideguchi, Yuji Ono – combine well with the younger players and a very good team is growing weekly.
Kawasaki Frontale went behind just after half time against Shonan Bellmare last weekend in the league, before blasting three goals in the final half hour to win 3-1 and stay top of the division. The goals came from less-familar goalscoring players: Miki Yamane, and substitutes Kaoru Mitoma and Ao Tanaka, to show just how deep the squad is at this club. Like Gamba Osaka, they have some excellent young players coming in and a manager who is not afraid to use them.
This promises to be the game of the season so far and, if the away team can win it, they will be well clear at the top, but if Gamba Osaka win, the teams will be locked together in pole position with same points. I expect Gamaba Osaka to grab all three points at home.
HEAD TO HEAD
In league matches between these two teams last season Gamba Osaka won away and drew at home.