(FC Tokyo fall to a surprising 2-1 home defeat to Kashima Antlers on Matchday Six. The Gas travel to the Yurtec Stadium in a challenging tie against league leaders Vegalta, but will be full of confidence after an excellent mid-week performance in the AFC Champions League)
League leaders Vegalta Sendai host fifth place FC Tokyo at the Yurtec Stadium on Saturday 21 April in what is sure to be a fascinating clash. FC Tokyo will visit Sendai on the back of a superb 3-0 AFC Champions League victory against Beijing Guoan, which took the Gas to the brink of qualification for the Round of 16. FC Tokyo will be relatively fresh for the weekend’s game, manager Ranko Popović having rested several regular starters for some youthful players in a team with an average age of just over 24. Undefeated Vegalta, meanwhile, have no reason to fear any side and particularly not at the Yurtec, where they average more than two goals per game in J.League Division 1 and but have conceded less than one across all competitions. With Vegalta spending six years in Division 2 until their promotion and championship winning season of 2009, and FC Tokyo’s relegation a year later, history tells us little of how the sides match up, Vegalta’s 3-2 win in the 2010 J1 campaign one of very few games played between the two teams in recent years. Join me from 10:30 BST/18:30 JST for team and squad news, with kick-off scheduled for 11:00 BST/19:00 JST.