Avispa Fukuoka will host Vissel Kobe at the Best Denki Stadium on Wednesday in the second leg of their J League Cup playoff tie.
The Avi have had mixed results of late but returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory in the first leg. John Mary and Lukian both got on the scoresheet for Avispa Fukuoka, with the latter scoring his first-ever away goal for the club.
Avispa Fukuoka are now in a strong position to advance to the quarterfinals after their first leg win and will be looking to do so in front of their home fans.
Vissel Kobe have had a campaign to forget and are on the verge of exiting the domestic cup. Their first leg defeat was followed by a 3-0 loss to Cerezo Osaka in the league last weekend which saw the Ushi drop to the bottom of the J League table.
The visitors were knocked out at this stage of the cup competition last year after losing 4-3 on aggregate to the Urawa Reds. They will hope they can overturn their first leg result here to avoid back-to-back playoff exits in the cup.
Avispa Fukuoka vs Vissel Kobe Head-to-Head
There have been 10 meetings between Avispa Fukuoka and Vissel Kobe. The hosts picked up their first victory in this fixture last time out while the visitors have won four times. Their other five matchups have ended in draws.
Avispa Fukuoka Form Guide (All Competitions): W-L-D-W-W
Vissel Kobe Form Guide (All Competitions): L-L-L-D-W
Avispa Fukuoka vs Vissel Kobe Team News
The hosts boast a clean bill of health ahead of their midweek game.
Yoshinori Muto’s involvement remains in doubt as he works his way back to full fitness. Noriaki Fujimoto and former Barcelona midfielder Sergi Samper are both injured and will not play this week.
Injured: Noriaki Fujimoto, Sergi Samper
Doubtful: Yoshinori Muto
Avispa Fukuoka vs Vissel Kobe Predicted XI
Avispa Fukuoka Predicted XI (4-4-2): Takumi Nagaishi; Yota Maejima, Douglas Grolli, Tatsuki Nara, Takaaki Shichi; Tatsuya Tanaka, Hiroyuki Mae, Shun Nakamura, Jordy Croux; Juanma Delgado, Lukian
Vissel Kobe Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Hiroki Iikura; Tetsushi Yamakawa, Ryuho Kikuchi, Yuki Kobayashi, Gotoku Sakai; Hotaru Yamaguchi, Yuya Nakasaka; Yutaro Oda, Andres Iniesta, Koya Yuruki; Stefan Mugosa
Avispa Fukuoka vs Vissel Kobe Prediction
Avispa Fukuoka’s latest victory ended a run of back-to-back winless outings and marked their fourth win in their last six games across all competitions.
Vissel Kobe are on a three-game losing streak and have failed to score any goals in two of those games. They have struggled for results on the road this season and could lose this one.
Prediction: Avispa Fukuoka 2-1 Vissel Kobe