2020 Japanese J1 League – Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama taking place? Sunday 23rd February, 2020 – 07:00 (UK)

Where is Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama taking place? NOEVIR Stadium Kobe

What television channel is Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama on? FreeSports will televise some J1 League matches this season so it is worth checking their schedule

Where can I stream Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama? 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 Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama? Ticket information can be found on each club’s official website

THE TEAM NEWS

VISSEL KOBE

  • Vissel Kobe finished eighth in the 2019 J1 League season but it was the Emperor’s Cup that saw them enjoy success as they beat Kashima Antlers in the final in the New National Stadium which was the first piece of silverware in the club’s history.
  • They followed that win with victory on penalties in the Japanese Super Cup as they edged past Yokohama F. Marinos a couple of weeks ago and they have since played and won their first ever matches in the AFC Champions League so they come into this new league season with plenty of confidence.
  • They can once again rely on Andres Iniesta to pull the strings in midfield while they will also be hoping Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen can stay fit all season and navigate a busy schedule between the domestic and continental competitiions.

YOKOHAMA

  • Yokohama sealed promotion to the J1 League for just the second time as they finished runners-up in the J2 League last season behind Kashiwa Reysol and motivation will be high to avoid relegation in just their second ever season in the top flight.
  • They were beaten in the cup 0-2 at home by Sanfrecce Hiroshima last weekend which gave them an early taste of what life will be like in the J1 League and the quality of opposition they will face and they struggled to create chances and openings in that match.
  • Their recruitment in pre-season saw them bring in a string of free and loan signings so there has been little investment in the side although they will hope Brazilian defender Maguinho who joins from Kawasaki Frontale can help solidify them at the back.

THE PREDICTION

It is highly likely that this will be a long and difficult campaign for newly-promoted Yokohama who simply look light on overall quality and have not really strengthened well enough to compete this season. They face a tough opening trip to play Vissel Kobe who are flying right now after their historic season in 2019. The hosts are expected to have far too much quality for Yokohama and expect a home win along with a clean sheet in this opening match.

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