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J1 League | Gameweek 20
Jun 26, 2024 at 11am UK
Kashima Soccer Stadium

Kashima Antlers
0 - 0
Gamba Osaka

Usami (39')

Sakamoto (19'), Suzuki (39'), Handa (79'), Yamashita (82')

Preview: Kashima Antlers vs. Gamba Osaka - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Kashima Antlers vs. Gamba Osaka - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's J1 League clash between Kashima Antlers and Gamba Osaka, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Kashima Antlers and Gamba Osaka square off on Wednesday with the opportunity to move to the top of the J1 League table if results go their way.

These two sides head into the contest at the Kashima Soccer Stadium sitting just two points adrift of leaders Machida Zelvia.

Match preview

After an indifferent start to the season, Kashima supporters would not have fancied their chances of competing for the league title.

However, a 10-match unbeaten streak has put them in contention, with a total of seven victories and three draws being recorded since the back end of April.

That said, Ranko Popovic has witnessed his team post draws against Albirex Niigata and Urawa Red Diamonds in their most recent two games, opponents sitting in the bottom half of the table.

With their latest win on June 1 also coming by a 3-2 scoreline versus Yokohama F. Marinos, momentum is not necessarily in their favour.

On the flip side, the Antlers have not suffered a home defeat in the J1 League since September last year, with each of their four defeats in the top flight during 2024 coming away from home.

Meanwhile, Gamba Osaka have put together their own eight-game undefeated run of late, with seven victories coming from those fixtures.

Such an impressive run came on the back of four defeats in six outings between the start of April and May as Dani Poyatos spearheads a strong campaign on the back of last season's 16th-placed finish.

The character of this squad has been tested with each of their last four victories all coming by a one-goal margin.

Nevertheless, when these teams last met in April, it was the Antlers who posted an away victory, with Kimito Nono netting the all-important goal in the 54th minute.

Kashima Antlers J1 League form:

Gamba Osaka J1 League form:

Team News

Having conceded two late goals to only draw at Urawa Reds, Popovic may be prepared to make changes to his Antlers XI.

Gaku Shibasaki could be brought into the midfield for his first league start of the campaign, while Aleksandar Cavric may be recalled in the final third.

Kota Yamada is expected to miss out for Gamba Osaka having been withdrawn during the first half against Vissel Kobe.

Isa Sakamoto looks most likely to take his place in a creative role in what may prove to be the only alteration.

Takashi Usami is now up to seven goals and three assists for the top-flight season and should retain his spot in attack.

Kashima Antlers possible starting lineup:
Hayakawa; Nono, Ueda, Sekigawa, Anzai; Sano, Chinen; Cavric, Nago, Nakama; Suzuki

Gamba Osaka possible starting lineup:
Ichimori; Handa, Nakatani, Fukuoka, Kurokawa; Dawhan, Suzuki; Yamashita, Sakamoto, Felipe; Usami

We say: Kashima Antlers 1-1 Gamba Osaka

This should be one of the matches of the season in terms of competitiveness, both teams bringing numerous qualities to the table. The defensive record of Osaka suggests they could keep things tight, yet we are backing the home side to earn a share of the spoils come the full-time whistle.

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

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Premier League Table
1Machida Zelvia23154436171949
2Gamba OsakaGamba Osaka23135528171144
3Vissel KobeVissel Kobe23125634181641
4Kashima AntlersKashima Antlers2312563729841
5Sanfrecce HiroshimaHiroshima23910439241537
6Cerezo OsakaCerezo2391043124737
7FC Tokyo2310673430436
8Avispa Fukuoka239862321235
9Urawa Red DiamondsUrawa239683630633
10Tokyo Verdy2371063136-531
11Nagoya GrampusNagoya Grampus2393112426-230
12Yokohama F MarinosYokohama2385103536-129
13Kashiwa ReysolReysol237882833-529
14Kawasaki FrontaleKawasaki2351083233-125
15Albirex Niigata2367103036-625
16Jubilo Iwata2366112938-924
17Sagan Tosu2372143040-1023
18Shonan BellmareShonan Bellmare2357113338-522
19Kyoto Sanga2357112037-1722
20Consadole SapporoConsadole2326151744-2712
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