Nagoya Grampus will welcome Vissel Kobe to the Toyota Stadium for the penultimate matchday of the J1 League season.
The home side were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the AFC Champions League with a 3-0 away defeat to Pohang Steelers last Sunday. Lim San-Hyub scored a second-half brace to guide the South Koreans to the last four.
Vissel Kobe come into the game on the back of a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Avispa Fukuoka in the league last weekend. Douglas stepped off the bench to score the match-winner in the 86th minute.
That victory means Kobe currently sit in third place on 60 points but Grampus are just three points behind them. This makes Sunday’s clash a direct knockout fixture for the final spot in the top three to secure qualification for the continent.
Nagoya Grampus vs Vissel Kobe Head-to-Head
The two sides have clashed on 34 occasions in the past and Nagoya Gramus have a better record with 18 wins to their name. Vissel Kobe were victorious in 10 matches while four matches in the past ended in a share of the spoils.
Their most recent meeting came in August when Nagoya Grampus’ 1-0 victory helped them secure progress to the quarterfinal of the Emepror’s Cup.
The hosts have lost their way in recent weeks after their long unbeaten run. Their defeat on the continent means they have now lost three of their last four matches in all competitions.
Vissel Kobe’s charge to the top three has been buoyed by a strong end to a campaign. It has seen them lose just one of their last five league games, winning the other four.
Nagoya Grampus form guide (all competitions): L-L-W-L-W
Vissel Kobe form guide: W-W-L-W-W
Nagoya Grampus vs Vissel Kobe Team News
Yuichi Maruyama is the only injury concern for the hosts with a cruciate ligament injury.
Injury: Yuichi Maruyama
Midfielder Hotaru Yamaguchi is the only concern for the visitors as he is still sidelined with a calf injury.
Injury: Hotaru Yamaguchi
Nagoya Grampus vs Vissel Kobe Predicted XI
Nagoya Grampus Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Mitchell Langerak (GK); Yutaka Yoshida, Min-Tae Kim, Shinnosuke Nakatani, Kazuya Miyahara; Kazuki Nagasawa, Sho Inagaki; Ryoya Morishita, Naoki Maeda, Mateus dos Santos; Jakub Swierczok
Vissel Kobe Predicted XI (4-4-2): Hiroki Likura (GK); Ryo Hatsuse, Leo Osaki, Ryuko Kikuchi, Gotoku Sakai; Sergi Samper, Andres Iniesta, Daiju Sasaki, Yuya Nakasaka; Yoshinori Muto, Bojan Krkic
Nagoya Grampus vs Vissel Kobe Prediction
There is a lot riding on the outcome of this game and Nagoya Grampus are likely to be more inclined to attack on home turf in search of all three points.
Vissel Kobe have enough quality to withstand the pressure of the hosts and we are backing the spoils to be shared in a thrilling draw.
Prediction: Nagoya Grampus 2-2 Vissel Kobe