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J.League Preview: Antlers clash with Yokohama, Tokushima seek first points

High-flying duo Yokohama F Marinos and Kashima Antlers will both be aiming to put recent defeats behind them when they meet on Saturday.

The last two remaining 100 per cent records in the J.League were ruined last Sunday as leaders Antlers were beaten 2-0 by a Diego Forlan-inspired Cerezo Osaka, while Yokohama suffered a shock 1-0 loss at Ventforet Kofu.

Yokohama, runners-up last season, will take confidence from their excellent home record, having lost just two of the last 20 league matches at Nissan Stadium.

Antlers lost seven away matches in a row last year but have since bounced back with six consecutive league victories on the road.

Cerezo Osaka moved up to second in the early standings with their triumph on Sunday and Ranko Popovic’s side take on Albirex Niigata in round five of action in Japan’s top flight.

Forlan grabbed his first league goal for the club against Antlers and the Uruguay striker will be looking to add to his tally.

Nagoya Grampus are the fourth side to boast nine points after four matches and they have the chance to go top for a while when they travel to Kawasaki Frontale on Friday.

It promises to be an entertaining match, with the hosts having seen an aggregate of 18 goals in their first four league fixtures this term.

Defending champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima have taken just one point from the last two games after starting the campaign with back-to-back wins.

Up next for them is the visit of newly promoted Tokushima Vortis, who are yet to pick up a point after winning the second-tier play-offs last term.

Vissel Kobe welcome Urawa Reds, while Gamba Osaka travel to mid-table Sagan Tosu.

Elsewhere this weekend, Kashiwa Reysol host Omiya Ardija, Ventforet Kofu head to Vegalta Sendai and Shimizu S-Pulse welcome Tokyo.

Wed 26 March, 2014
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