2020 Japanese J1 League – Shimizu S-Pulse vs FC Tokyo Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Shimizu S-Pulse vs FC Tokyo taking place? Sunday 23rd February, 2020 – 04:00 (UK)

Where is Shimizu S-Pulse vs FC Tokyo taking place? IAI Stadium Nihondaira

What television channel is Shimizu S-Pulse vs FC Tokyo on? FreeSports will televise some J1 League matches this season so it is worth checking their schedule

Where can I stream Shimizu S-Pulse vs FC Tokyo? If the match is televised on FreeSports, Premier Sport subscribers will be able to stream the match live via Premier Player. Alternatively, Bet365 customers can stream the match live on their website

Where can I get tickets for Shimizu S-Pulse vs FC Tokyo? Ticket information can be found on each club’s official website

THE TEAM NEWS

SHIMIZU S-PULSE

  • Shimizu S-Pulse were in a relegation fight all the way last season and due to their poor goal difference, they were candidates to be dragged into the relegation play-off place but a last-day win over Sagan Tosu sealed their safety for another season.
  • The size of their challenge this season to stay clear of trouble was evident yet again in the cup last weekend as they were comprehensively beaten 5-1 by Kawasaki Frontale so they already find themselves under plenty of pressure.
  • Following that heavy defeat, the club announced the signing of Brazilian forward Carlinhos Junior from Swiss side Lugano on a permanent deal so he will be a key addition although he is unlikely to be available for a couple of weeks until he builds his fitness.

FC TOKYO

  • Tokyo produced their highest ever J1 League finish in 2019 as they ended runners-up behind champions Yokohama F. Marinos and they will come into this new campaign full of confidence and motivation to have another successful season.
  • The club have embraced their return to the AFC Champions League having won their two home matches against Ceres and Perth Glory without conceding in either game and picking up a draw in Korea against Ulsan in the last three weeks.
  • It has been an active pre-season for them in the transfer market and the signings of Adailton and Leandro to support star striker and compatriot Diego Oliveira already looks to be paying dividends as they form a fearsome attacking trio that will pose the S-Pulse defence plenty of problems here.

THE PREDICTION

There have been contrasting pre-seasons for these teams as Shimizu S-Pulse already look like they are going to have a difficult long season ahead while Tokyo are flying after some good results in the AFC Champions League. Tokyo have strengthened their team from last season and have bolstered their attack to complement their already strong defence. S-Pulse have greater resources than most teams that were near the bottom last season but the 5-1 loss in the cup last weekend suggests they may struggle once again and a defeat in this opening league match is on the cards.

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