Tomorrow’s match against Yokohama FM will be crucial for FC Tokyo as it begins the next phase of the Summer Counterattack. Currently 4 points out of an ACL spot and 15 from the top, Tokyo needs to buckle down and put together another long chain of victories after its recent stumbles.
Unfortunately, tomorrow’s game will see a drastically altered lineup due to a variety of circumstances:
-Yuto Nagatomo underwent an appendectomy on August 3rd; although he’s recovering and participating in team practices he does not yet feel ready to start and the team is probably looking to have him return in time for Kashima next Sunday.
-Yohei Kajiyama recived his 4th yellow card of the season in the Kawasaki match and will sit Sunday out.
-Naohiro Ishikawa, in what is certainly the most upsetting news for the team injured his calf during practice earlier in the week and will sit the game out.
-Bruno Quadros flew back from Brazil on Friday, having returned there last week to be with his wife while she underwent surgery. As a result of jet lag and not having practiced this week he will likely not be a part of the lineup.
How will Jofuku manage with this temporarily dire situation? His lineup will surely be a test of Tokyo’s roster depth, and fortunately it appears that there are plenty of players to fill the various gaps.
On defense, Nagatomo’s role could be filled by Kenta Mukuhara, while Bruno’s position could be taken by Teriyuki Moniwa or Hideki Sahara, neither of whom have not played in several months.
The second line is somewhat more strained; El Golazo predicts that Ishikawa’s position will be covered by Soutan Tanabe, while Kajiyama will be relieved by veteran Jo Kanazawa. Yet Jofuku has two more trump cards in the form of Yohei Otake and Hokuto Nakamura, both of whom have returned from injury and are regular participants in team practices.