2020 Japanese J1 League – Vegalta Sendai vs Nagoya Grampus Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Vegalta Sendai vs Nagoya Grampus taking place? Saturday 22nd February, 2020 – 05:00 (UK)

Where is Vegalta Sendai vs Nagoya Grampus taking place? Yurtec Stadium Sendai

What television channel is Vegalta Sendai vs Nagoya Grampus on? FreeSports will televise some J1 League matches this season so it is worth checking their schedule

Where can I stream Vegalta Sendai vs Nagoya Grampus? 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 Vegalta Sendai vs Nagoya Grampus? Ticket information can be found on each club’s official website

THE TEAM NEWS

VEGALTA SENDAI

  • Vegalta Sendai come into this new season aiming to build on last season’s excellent home form which ensured they stayed clear of any relegation trouble as they picked up an impressive 31 of their 41 points on home turf.
  • Their season did not get off to the best of starts last week in the cup as they were comprehensively beaten 5-2 at Urawa Reds after they found themselves 3-0 down within 35 minutes so coach Takashi Kiyama will be demanding a fast start, especially in front of their home fans.
  • The club signed Portuguese forward Alexandre Guedes and Brazilian defender Para with the latter making his competitive debut coming off the bench, and there is every chance he will come into the back four here, while the status of Guedes remains uncertain for this opening league match.

NAGOYA GRAMPUS

  • Nagoya Grampus won 9 of their first 11 matches of the J1 League last season that virtually led them to survival at an early stage of the season but their form in the second half of the season was poor and they will have to buck that negative trend if they are to get off to a good start once again.
  • Italian head coach Massimo Ficcadenti saw his team pick up a 1-0 win in the cup last weekend against Kashima Antlers and the clean sheet will have been hugely pleasing as they look to build on that result here although they will be without former Japanese international Kosuke Ota who has been ruled out for up to three months.
  • Naoki Maeda is going to be a key figure for them once again this season as the speedy left-footed right-sided player will be hoping to improve on his nine goals last season though he may switch flanks to the left with Brazilian Mateus expected to feature more from the right.

THE PREDICTION

Just four points separated these two teams last season in the bottom half of the table but the slide down the table for Nagoya Grampus after such an impressive start will be something of a concern for them. Their form in the last two-thirds of the season was that of a relegation candidate so they will have to reverse that trend at the start of this new campaign to stay out of trouble. The hosts were formidable at home last season and they are tough to beat in Sendai so expect them to take at least a point in this opening round of the league season.

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