Shonan Bellmare were destroyed in a 4-1 loss at Urawa Reds, their fifth straight defeat and just the second time they have allowed four goals this season. They announced a surprise signing in Brazilian striker Dinei, whose registration was completed just in time to see him make the bench and play 22 minutes as a substitute, as their new No. 9. The 32-year-old spent a season and a half with Kashima Antlers before being released in June. He managed just one goal in six appearances this season and has struggled with injuries. If healthy he can provide moderate to significant upside for the team, but at first glance he is absolutely a desperation signing. Seiya Fujita was dropped from the squad to make room for the new arrival, while Yuji Kajikawa replaced Tando Velaphi on the bench for the first time this season. The arrival of Dinei gives the hosts more of an attacking bite, but that’s not saying much considering their recent form. No matter how Choi tweaks the line up, Bellmare will likely spend most of the game sitting deep in their own area and waiting for Sanfrecce to move.
Hiroshima won 2-0 against Nagoya Grampus, easily dismantling a struggling side. Peter Utaka easily scored his 16th goal of the season in the second minute while Takumi Miyayoshi doubled the lead midway through the first half. The return of captain Toshihiro Aoyama to the starting line up has infused the side with confidence, and even as Miyayoshi’s first-half injury to his right thigh keeps him out of Saturday’s trip to Shonan Bellmare, the team will feel confident in a second straight win against a relegation-threatened opponent. Shonan Bellmare have allowed 12 goals in the course of their current losing streak. Much as was the case with Nagoya Grampus, Sanfrecce should find it relatively easy to get behind the opposing defenders and get the ball to Peter Utaka. Defensively Sanfrecce will need to remain wary, especially if Bellmare newcomer Dinei takes the pitch. One of the Brazilian’s two career J1 League goals came against Sanfrecce in 2015, and he could be the spark that ignites the Bellmare attack if they aren’t trailing.
Verdict & Prediction
Expectations will be high for their next match, as the opponents have lost five in a row and are themselves mired in the relegation dogfight. Sanfrecce will not want to leave BMW Stadium with anything less than a full three points. And with their captain Toshihiro Aoyama back in the line up, the visitors will have the cutting edge they lacked in July. Take Hiroshima to win this one.
Prediction : Hiroshima -0.75 AH
Odds : 1.93 SBOBET