Oita Trinita will clash with Sagan Tosu on Saturday, May 15 at their home venue, Showa Denko Dome. The hosts have not lost against Sagan Tosu at home since 2013, but there is a real possibility that the streak will come to an end today.
Oita Trinita vs Sagan Tosu
When: Saturday, May 15 – 15:00 JST
Where: Showa Denko Dome in Oita, Japan
Weather: Cloudy, 20°C
Oita Trinita have not been doing too well this season. They sit at the edge of the expanded relegation zone and are in desperate need of points.
Although the season is still very young, Oita need to start making moves before they fall too far behind. Doing so against the in-form Sagan Tosu, however, won’t be easy.
The visitors are unbeaten in their last four and will look to make it five. A win for the visitors would catapult them inside the top-three in the league and put them in reach of the second-placed Nagoya Grampus who have five more points with two more games under their belts.
Oita’s Early Success a Bit Misleading
Oita Trinita got off to a strong start of the season. They were unbeaten in their opening three games of the season but even at the time, we were a bit skeptical about this side.
After four rounds of play, Oita were 1-2-0, however, they played Tokushima (1-1), Yokohama FC (2-1), and Tokyo (1-1). There are arguments to be made that they were a bit lucky not to lose against Tokyo, and you can’t be really too excited about their wins against Yokohama and Tokushima either.
It didn’t take long before Oita Trinita started showing their true colors. Since their opening three games, they have managed only two wins and two draws across all competitions.
During that stretch, Oita lost seven out of eight league matches and managed a disastrous 4-16 goal difference. On a slightly more positive note, they have scored twice in their last three outings.
They’re now 2-2-8 in the league with eight points, which is good for 17th place. Even though they have played fewer games than most of the teams above them, Oita are still four points short of escaping the expanded four-team relegation zone.
Seeing Oita struggle as much is not a big surprise, considering they sold some of their best players in the offseason. That includes their best scorer of 2020 Tatsuya Tanaka, as well as Kei Chinen, and Kazuki Kozuka, who left for Kawasaki Frontale.
Sagan Tosu in Hot Form
Two weeks back, we sided with Sagan Tosu to beat Tokushima, and they did not disappoint. Kim Myunghwi’s side won that match 2-0 with goals coming from Keiya Sento and their top scorer (six goals) Keita Yamashita.
Sagan Tosu have since lost against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo (1-2) in the YBC Levian Kup and drew with Sanfracee Hiroshima (0-0) on Saturday.
Drawing with Hiroshima broke Sagan Tosu’s three-game winning streak, but we wouldn’t overreact to that result. Sagan Tosu were the better team that day and should have won.
They ended the fixture with 62% ball possession and shot the ball 4/11. Although Tosu should have used their chances better, it’s not like they don’t know how to score goals.
Sagan Tosu have one of the best goal differences in the league, with 19 goals scored and only five conceded. They have scored six goals in the last four league matches and seven across their last five across all competitions.
Oita Trinita vs Sagan Tosu Betting Picks
Oita Trinita forced a 2-2 draw when they last met with Sagan Tosu in December and have won two out of the last four head-to-head meetings (2-2-0). What’s more, they haven’t lost to Sagan Tosu at Showa Denko Dome since 2013 and are 2-0 up in the H2H meetings at their home venue.
Regardless of what that might indicate, it’s hard to make a case for the hosts. Although they’ve been doing better at home (1-2-3) than in away games, they weren’t very good at Showa Denko Dome.
Oita Trinita conceded nine goals in six home games and scored only four. That includes three goals against Nagoya Grampus (0-3) and Sanfrecee Hiroshima (1-3). This is Sagan Tosu’s game to lose.
Prediction: Sagan Tosu to win
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Betting preview and prediction for the match between Kawasaki Frontale and Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo will be posted tomorrow.