With the emergence of sports betting in Japan and the legalization of betting on J-League soccer matches we are going to take a look at one of the fasting growing football leagues in the world and we will see if we can point you in the right direction of a winner or two. The J-League is the top football division in Japan and is one of the most successful football leagues in Asia. The league was formed in 1992 and originally consisted of eight clubs which has since grown to eighteen over the years. The most successful club since the league was formed is Kashima Antlers who have managed to win eight league titles in the eighteen years the league has been around. The J-League has attracted many star players from around the world and each year the league appears to grow with the addition of players such as Lukas Podolski, Andres Iniesta, Thomas Vermaelen and Renanto Augusto. As the league has grown so has the attendances with the match between Yokohama Marinos against FC Tokyo last year breaking the regular season attendance record when 63,854 fans attended the game which saw Yokohama win by three goals to nil.
On to The Present Day
This season is currently around halfway through with Kawasaki currently running away with the title as they have an eleven-point lead over second placed Cerezo Osaka. There is only a ten-point gap between second and ninth, so the chasing pack is tightly contested. The rear is currently being brought up by Shonan Bellmare who have a messily nine points to date and only two wins to their name. The form sides at present are both Kawasaki and Kashima Antlers who have both won their last five matches straight. The worst club at present is Vegalta Sendai who have lost their last five games in a row. The division’s top goal scorer is Olunga who has scored sixteen goals for the formidable Kawasaki so far this season.
This Weeks Preview
The game weeks starts with Nagoya hosting regelation threatened Shimizu. Neither side are in sparkling form and they are both looking to avenge heavy defeats last time out. There could be plenty of goals scored in this one as there has been three or more goals in Shimizu’s last eight games as there has been in Nagoya’s last six matches. As well as that there have been at least three goals in the last four matches that the sides have met. We then have a middle of the table clash between Urawa and Yokohama with both sides losing 3-0 last time out. Saturday’s action is completed with another middle of the table clash this time between Vissel Kobe and Consadole Sapporo. Both sides are in poor form having only won one of there last five games apiece. Sunday’s action kicks off with second from bottom Vegalta taking on second from top Cerezo. As previously mentioned Vegalta are on a five game losing streak and are set to make it six against a side in Cerezo that are currently on a three game winning streak and looking to put pressure on Kawasaki before there kick off later on in the day. The early morning action continues with top against bottom sides as fifteenth placed Sagan host third placed Tokyo. Although the odds are stacked against Sagan, they can take heart knowing that they have beaten Tokyo in their last two fixtures against them. Kashima Antlers will look to continue there impressive winning streak as they host Oita who have been in decent form themselves only losing one of their last five matches although history certainly favours Kashima who have won seven of the last eight head to head games. Sanfreece host Gamba Osaka with only one place separating these two sides and with a very similar recent run of form this one could well be heading for a draw. Another tightly contested match is expected between Kashiwa and Yokohama as both sides currently have thirty points apiece with only goal difference separating them. The last game of the round is probably going to be the least competitive as bottom placed Shonan host run away leaders Kawasaki. Shonan will take encouragement in the fact that they are unbeaten in there last three matches however Kawasaki currently look formidable winning sixteen of there nineteen matches so far this season and they have also scored seventeen goals in there last five matches. Shonan have also failed to beat Kawasaki in there last eight head to head fixtures.