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Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs Avispa Fukuoka
When: Saturday, April 24 – 14:00 JST
Where: Edion Stadium Hiroshima in Hiroshima, Japan
Weather: Cloudy, 22°C
Sanfrecce Hiroshima should be confident ahead of their clash with Avispa Fukuoka. They haven’t lost this bout since 2011, and have since picked up two big 4-1 and 4-0 victories.
That said, these sides last met way back in 2016, and a lot has chances since. Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Avispa Fukuoka are no longer the same teams, but does that mean the visitors can turn things around
Sanfrecce Hiroshima Don’t Score Enough
Sanfrecce Hiroshima enter this match with a 4-5-2 record on the season and 17 points, which is good for a seventh-place on the ladder. Although it would be fair to expect this side sitting higher up the standings, it’s very easy to figure out where their main issue is.
It’s quite simple – Sanfrecce Hiroshima don’t score enough goals.
In 11 games played this season, Sanfrecce Hiroshima managed only 15 goals. That might not seem too bad, but their last five outings show a different story.
Hiroshima have scored only four games across their last five, three of which came against the worst defensive team in the league – Yokohama FC. And their problems don’t stop here.
Hiroshi Jofuku’s men are a terrible team at home, holding a disastrous 37.21% win rate at Edion Stadium Hiroshima since August 2018. With that in mind, it doesn’t make too much sense to bet on them as the favorites.
On a more positive note, Hiroshima can score goals. They have managed 15 so far, largely thanks to their creator and top scorer Asano Yuya with three goals to his name.
Avispa Fukuoka Proving They Belong
The newly-promoted side have managed only three wins in 11 (3-4-4) games this season. That’s obviously not optimal, but it’s not like Avispa Fukuoka have been playing particularly poorly.
Avispa Fukuoka are 1-2-2 across their last five with losses against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo (1-2), Kawasaki Frontale (1-3), two draws against Gamba Osaka (0-0) and Cerezo Osaka (2-2), and a win from their last bout against FC Tokyo (1-0).
If we look deeper into those games, Avispa Fukuoka’s record looks far more impressive. They’ve managed a 2-2 draw against no.4 Cerezo Osaka playing with only 10 men since the 14th minute.
Even against the J-League frontrunners Kawasaki Frontale, Avispa Fukuoka played very well. They held Frontale at only one goal deficit for half of the match and never seemed like they’re ready to give up.
That’s a very impressive trait to have since Avispa Fukuoka don’t fold after conceding a goal. Adding to that, they beat FC Tokyo 1-0 in quite a commanding fashion.
Avispa Fukuoka might not have flashy stats, but they’re playing with confidence. They’ve even beaten Sagan Tosu 1-0 in the League Cup and while that competition doesn’t mean much, wins like that will surely boost their confidence even further.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs Avispa Fukuoka Betting Picks
Avispa Fukuoka might not be one of the best teams in the league, nor are they very good travelers (1-4-1), but they’re playing much better than how many want to give them credit for. They looked good against Frontale and you can’t really complain about their 2-2 draw with Cerezo Osaka two weeks back either.
I don’t expect Avispa Fukuoka to suddenly emerge as one of the top-six teams in the league, but they have definitely impressed of late. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima clearly have issues finding the back of the net, and it doesn’t help that they’re not a very good home team either. The only two teams Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat at home were Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo (2-1) and Shimizu S-Pulse (0-1).
As mentioned before, you can’t really fell confident about Sanfrecce Hiroshima as 1.70 favorites. But you can definitely make a case for Avispa Fukuoka to make it out with at least a point.
Prediction: Avispa Fukuoka +0.75 AH, 1.87 at Pinnacle
Prediction: Avispa Fukuoka to win, 5.59 at Betfair