Preview: Consadole Sapporo vs. Yokohama F Marinos – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s J1 League clash between Consadole Sapporo and Yokohama F Marinos, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Consadole Sapporo are set to host reigning champions Yokohama F Marinos at the Sapporo Dome on Sunday in Japan’s J1 League, and the outcome could affect both ends of the table.

The home side are last place in 20th with 11 points and are four from safety, while the visitors are 12th with 23 points but they have played a game less than every side above them and victory would put them eight points behind the AFC Champions League playoff spot.

Match preview

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After 18 games the hosts have conceded 38 goals and scored just 16, and this makes them the division’s worst defensive side and the second-worst offensive team.

Sapporo are averaging just 0.61 points per game this season and at present this is their lowest figure since the 2012 campaign, when they averaged 0.41 and were relegated with just 14 points.

This season will be particularly disappointing considering they have collected at least 40 points in each of the last three seasons and are on track to accumulate just 22 this term.

Although there is only a four-point gap between the home side and 17th-placed Shonan Bellmare, who occupy the final spot above the relegation zone, they come into Sunday’s clash in poor form having lost their last four league games.

In fact, Sapporo have only won twice in the league this term and have lost six of their last seven top-flight matches, including a 2-0 defeat to Kyoto Sanga most recently last weekend.

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The hosts have fared better at home than on the road having picked up eight of their 11 points at the Sapporo Dome, but even so they have only won four of the last 19 league fixtures played in their own stadium.

Manager Mihailo Petrovic has been in charge since January 2018 and though he led the club to their highest top-flight position in the 21st century with a fourth-placed finish in 2018, his team are on track to register a declining points total for the fourth consecutive season.

Opponents and reigning J1 League champions Yokohama F. Marinos will also be disappointed with their showing this term considering that in the last five seasons they have won two titles and finished second twice.

In fact, their average return of 1.35 points per game this campaign is their lowest since 2018, when they finished 12th.

Although Marinos are at present 11 points from third-placed Gamba Osaka, who occupy the division’s AFC Champions League playoff spot, they do have a game in hand on all 11 teams above them.

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Assuming they win this extra game, it is feasible that they could make up the remaining eight-point gap over the rest of the season, especially considering their track record of competing at the top of the table.

Manager Harry Kewell has only been in charge since December 2023 and in his 24 matches so far he has led his side to 10 wins, six draws and eight losses.

Kewell’s team come into Sunday’s clash in mixed league form, as while they did win 3-2 against Sanfrecce Hiroshima last time out on Wednesday, they did lose two of their previous three matches.

Additionally, their recent away record in the top flight has been poor, with Marinos losing three times and drawing twice in their last five.

Consadole Sapporo J1 League form:

Yokohama F Marinos J1 League form:

Yokohama F Marinos form (all competitions):

Team News

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The hosts have a number of injury absentees including goalkeeper Shun Takagi and defensive midfielder Kazuki Fukai, who are both out due to cruciate ligament injuries.

Attacking midfielders Yuya Asano and Ryota Aoki both suffered hamstring injuries in May and are not expected to be back for Sapporo on Sunday.

Elsewhere, midfielder Supachok Sarachat and centre-forward Gun-hee Kim also picked up hamstring injuries on June 12 and 13 respectively, and are out of this weekend’s clash.

Midfielder Hiroki Miyazawa has been out since May 23 after suffering a calf injury and his place in the team is doubtful.

As for the visitors, they will hope that the injury right-back Katsuya Nagato picked up last time out in his side’s 3-2 win against Sanfrecce Hiroshima is not too serious.

Elsewhere, centre-forward Asahi Uenaka and left-back Taiki Watanabe are at risk of suspension, and they must do their best to avoid picking up yellow cards.

Consadole Sapporo possible starting lineup:
Sugeno; Nishino, Okamura, Nakamura; Kondo, Baba, Arano, Tanaka; Komai, Suzuki, Kobayashi

Yokohama F Marinos possible starting lineup:
Popp; Matsubara, Kamijima, T Watanabe, Eduardo; Amano, Kida, K Watanabe; Matheus, Lopes, Inoue

We say: Consadole Sapporo 0-3 Yokohama F Marinos

Considering that Consadole Sapporo have lost their last four matches in the J1 League, it is fair to say that they could struggle on Sunday.

Additionally, the hosts have the worst defensive record in the division and this could be something that Yokohama F Marinos are able to take advantage of.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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