Match Time: 6/28/2020 17:30 Sunday (GMT+8)
Ryukyu were missing goalkeeper Danny Carvajal, Yu Tomidokoro, Kazuki Yamaguchi and Ryohei Okazaki as the season began but they must all be close to fitness. More recent injuries though, to Shuto Kawai and Takuya Hitomi will also affect selection.
Avispa have Daisuke Ishizu back to fitness after knee surgery last year, but have lost Carlos Gutierrez to knee surgery until at least September.
Injured/Unavailable: Ryohei Okazaki (Cheekbone fracture), Danny Carvajal (ankle injury), Kazuki Yamaguchi (thigh strain), Yu Tomidokoro (broken toe), Shuto Kawai (ankle), Takuya Hitomi (knee).
Injured/Unavailable: Carlos Gutierrez (knee surgery)
MATCH PREVIEW MAIN PREDICTION: AWAY WIN
FC Ryukyu lost 1-0 away at JEF United Chiba in the opening game of 2020 J2. Away was where there form was good as the 2019 league season came to an end, while at home they had real problems, losing their last three home league games last year and conceding 11 goals in the process. So, while we could have hoped that away their form could continue, their home form appears to be where they have real problems.
Daiya Tono's goal a minute before half time was enough to give Avispa a 1-0 away win over Giravanz Kitakyushu in their J2 opener. This season will see Avispa improve immensely on last season's struggle against relegation. Manager Shigetoshi Hasebe and his captain Hiroyuki Mae from Mito HollyHock will make all the difference to a decent squad of players. Also adding to the mix is long-term injury absentee Daisuke Ishizu who is back to fitness. They will be dangerous in any game but also efficient at the back when needed.
Avispa have the makings of a great team for 2020, with manager Hasebe making some good transfers. They should have no trouble hitting the top six and must beat middling teams like Ryukyu with ease to have any chance of promotion.
SECOND PREDICTION: FIRST TEAM TO SCORE – AVISPA
Having already managed an away win to open their season, Avispa have now had months to gel as a team after bringing in some impressive players. They will look for goals from the start and get the early breakthrough.
HEAD TO HEAD
In J2 matches between these two teams last season Ryukyu won both matches.