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FC Tokyo vs Sagan Tosu
When: Saturday, April 24 – 14:00 JST
Where: Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo, Japan
Weather: Sunny, 22°C
FC Tokyo will look to grab their fifth win of the season on Saturday, April 24 when they play host to Sagan Tosu at Ajinomoto Stadium. Having lost both of their last two league fixtures, Tokyo’s chances to impress don’t seem too high.
Last time out Sagan Tosu won 3-0, marking their third head-to-head victory against Tokyo. Can they make it four, or will the hosts show their teeth and begin their climb up the J-League ladder.
FC Tokyo Are Showing Improvement
FC Tokyo enter this match after dropping two important league fixtures against Kawasaki Frontale and Avispa Fukuoka. This side haven’t looked too good this season, but there are definitely a few positives to take from their showings.
FC Tokyo were unbeaten in five straight games before they clashed with the league frontrunners Kawasaki Frontale. They ended up losing the bout 2-4, to which they added another painful 0-1 loss against Avispa Fukuoka.
Much of Tokyo’s struggles this season were due to their tendency to conceded a few too many goals. However, outside of their last two bouts, it seemed like they’ve improved in that department.
Looking back at their match with Nagoya Grampus (April 3), Tokyo played well and were arguably the better team that day. Even though they had to settle for a 0-0 stalemate, forcing a draw against J-League no.2 is nothing to sneeze at either.
Tokyo’s solid showing that day was largely due to their improved performance in the back. Up to that point, Tokyo were conceding goals fairly regularly and are still one of the worst defensive teams in the league.
With 16 goals from 10 games, Tokyo conceded the most goals out of any teams outside of the relegation zone. As noted, they looked better in the back that day, and you can’t really criticise them too much for their 2-4 loss against Frontale.
On a more negative note, in their loss to Avispa, Tokyo started to show a lot of their old problems even though they let only one past Tsuyoshi Kodama. That begs the question of whether FC Tokyo have returned to their old ways or have they had an off-day.
A Much Stronger Version of Sagan Tosu
Sagan Tosu enter this match with a 6-2-3 record and 20 points, which is good for a third-place on the ladder. That said, they’re 2-0-3 across their last five, which doesn’t look too good.
Interestingly enough, Sagan Tosu have not conceded a single goal until their 0-1 loss against Cerezo Osaka at the start of the month. And it seems like that defeat has started a domino effect, with Sagan Tosu conceding two more in their losses against Kawasaki Frontale (0-1) and Gamba Osaka (0-1).
Despite how solid they’ve looked a couple of weeks back, Sagan Tosu haven’t faced any tough teams early into the season. For that reason, I can’t praise them too much for the numbers they’ve put up so far.
In the games where Sagan Tosu were met with a tough opponent – namely in the League Cup fixtures – they lost badly. On a more positive note, Sagan Tosu looked good in their 2-1 win against Nagoya Grampus last week, so they might have it in them to compete for a strong finish.
There is no denying this is a much-improved version of Sagan Tosu we were used to watching last season. The question is whether they are truly a top-six team or are their numbers a bit misleading?
FC Tokyo vs Sagan Tosu Betting Picks
Even though Sagan Tosu lost their tag as the only team without a conceded goal, they’re playing great football. They have dropped a few games but if their performance against Nagoya Grampus last week is any indication, this team will see plenty of success this season.
Sagan Tosu are 3-2 in the head-to-head with FC Tokyo across the last five but are unbeaten in their last three. Sagan Tosu won this match in October 2019 (2-1), and twice more in 2020 with 3-2 and 3-0.
Considering Sagan Tosu are playing much better than how they did in 2020 it’s hard to imagine FC Tokyo getting the better of them here. And I will continue to believe that until Tokyo start showing a bit more consistency in the back.
Prediction: Sagan Tosu +0.25 AH, 2.03 at SBOBET