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J1 League | Gameweek 20
Jun 26, 2024 at 11am UK
Yanmar Stadium Nagai

1 - 0
Sagan Tosu

Tezuka (8' og.)
Tanaka (55')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Cerezo Osaka vs. Sagan Tosu - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Two teams operating at opposite ends of the J1 League table will meet on Wednesday when seventh-placed Cerezo Osaka host 17th-placed Sagan Tosu.

The home side are enjoying a five-match unbeaten run in the league heading into this one, while a victory for the visitors last time out saw them climb out of the relegation zone.

Match preview

Cerezo had got off to a dream start in the division as they went unbeaten in their first eight fixtures, and just one defeat in their opening 11 left them in second place.

A downturn in form saw them go on to lose three straight matches and extended their winless run to six games, causing them to drop down to ninth place, but a recent return to form has seen Cerezo put together a run of five games without defeat.

Akio Kogiku would have been disappointed with his side's 1-1 draw with relegation-battling Jubilo Iwata in their last fixture and will be looking for a much-improved performance against Sagan Tosu on Wednesday.

Three points for the hosts could see them climb into fifth depending on results elsewhere and keep them in the running for a potential place in the top three by the end of the season.

Top-scorer Leo Ceara, who has struck 14 times this year, brought an end to a three-game dry spell in front of goal, his longest run without scoring this campaign, last time out and his side will be looking to him to make the difference once again here.

As for the visitors, they have been slowly slipping down the table since placing seventh in 2021, going on to finish 11th and 14th before finding themselves in a relegation battle after 18 games played this time around.

A crucial 3-0 victory against relegation rivals Kyoto Sanga lifted Kenta Kawai's team back out of the drop zone with a two-point lead over 18th-placed Shonan Bellmare.

Having played on one less occasion than those around them, a victory from their game in hand could prove vital in their survival hopes, while a win against Cerezo would prove a fantastic result come the end of the year.

Sagan Tosu have struggled on the road so far this season, amassing four points from their eight games away from home with just one win and one draw, leaving them as major underdogs coming into this one.

Cerezo Osaka J1 League form:

Sagan Tosu J1 League form:

Team News

Top-scorer Ceara has netted 14 times in the J1 League this season, two more than anyone else in the division, and the striker is sure to lead the line in this one.

Attacking midfielder Lucas Fernandes has also been in hot form so far this campaign and leads the league for assists with seven, and the Brazilian is expected to start here.

Despite a difficult year for the visitors so far one player that has prospered is 22-year-old forward Marcelo Ryan, who has netted nine times in 18 appearances including two in the last game, and the forward is expected to play in this one.

The remainder of the team is also expected to stay the same for this one after a fantastic performance in a 3-0 victory against Kyoto Sanga in their last fixture.

Cerezo Osaka possible starting lineup:
Kim; Okuda, Nishio, Toriumi, Funaki; Tanaka, Okuno; Fernandes, Uejo, Capixaba; Ceara

Sagan Tosu possible starting lineup:
Il-Kyu; Harada, Yamazaki, Kimura, Ueebisu; Fukuta, Kawahara; Naganuma, Horigome, Yokoyama; Ryan

We say: Cerezo Osaka 2-1 Sagan Tosu

Cerezo come into this game as strong favourites to win having enjoyed a much better first half of the season in comparison to their visitors, and just one defeat in the last eight meetings between these two leads us to believe the hosts will secure all three points from this one.

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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