The 3rd round of J-League will serve us with an entertaining match between Yokohama Marinos and Kawasaki Frontale on March 10th. The fixture will take place at Nissan Stadium, the home of Yokohama.
Yokohama Marinos have started this season the best way possible, with a win against Gamba Osaka (2:3) in the first round, to which they added yet another win in the 2nd round against Velgata Sendai (2:1). Looking back at their most recent match, Yokohama was the dominant side. In the first half, we did not see much action, with only 2 shots on goal and 2 goal attempts, which both belonged to the home side. Despite that, Yokohama managed to produce 2 goals. The opener was scored in the 27th minute by Junio from a penalty, to which Yokohama added another goal only 12 minutes later. The second half, however, was much more attractive, but once again in Yokohama’s favour. Nonetheless, it was Velgata who produced a goal in the dying moments of the match, but it was too late, too little for them to bounce back. The match ended with a deserved 2:1 win for Yokohama Marinos. Additionally, Yokohama played a draw against Sapporo (1:1) in the YBC Levian Cup on March 6th, which means they have not yet tasted a defeat this season.
The visiting side, Kawasaki Frontale, unlike their opponents, did not manage to start the season the way they would have wanted. In the opening match against FC Tokyo (0:0), Kawasaki Frontale only managed to grab a point, which was a disappointing result to say the least. Only a week later, Frontale were to face off against Kashima, who surprisingly fought well and got away with a point as well. With 2 disappointing draws behind them, Kawasaki Frontale travelled to Shanghai SIPG for the first round of AFC Champions League, where they lost 1:0. If there is one word to describe Kawasaki Frontale this season it’s underwhelming or disappointing, whichever you like best. Despite playing their first 2 fixtures of the season at home, they failed to grab more than 2 points, which now puts them at the 14th spot in the league. Their morale can’t be high as they travel to Nissan Stadium, which surely won’t help the cause. Additionally, I’m a bit dumbfounded Frontale did not decide to rest their key players in their AFC match, which they ultimately lost.
Kawasaki Frontale travels to Nissan Stadium with broken morale and tired legs after 3 disappointing results behind them in the 2019 campaign. On the other side, Yokohama Marinos come into this match with good results behind them and fairly rested players. What confuses me about this match is the odds. In what universe are Kawasaki Frontale the favourites? Yes, they are the last season champions, but from what we have seen from them this season, I don’t believe they will be as threatening as last season. Or at least until they get into their rhythm. In addition, I’m still trying to figure out why they decided to use their key players against Shanghai SIPG, which now means they have to play with tired players. All in all, they are not the favourites in my eyes. To be fair, this match is a 50/50 in the worst case scenario. Here I have not even added the home ground advantage of Yokohama Marinos and the fact they have got their players rested and highly motivated to defeat the visiting team who are both mentally and physically tired.
Prediction: Marinos +0.00 Asian Handicap
Odds: 2.29 Pinnacle