The AFC Champions League is back in action with a series of Round of 16 fixtures this week as Yokohama F. Marinos take on Vissel Kobe on Thursday. Both teams have had contrasting fortunes this season and will want to win this game.
Vissel Kobe currently sits 16th in the J1 League table and has struggled this season. The hosts overtook Consadole Sapporo by a 2-0 margin in their previous fixture and will look to achieve a similar result this week.
Yokohama F. Marinos, meanwhile, is currently at the top of the leaderboard and has been impressive this year. The visiting side suffered a shock 2-1 loss to Sanfrecce last week and will need to bounce back in this game.
Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama F. Marinos head to head
Yokohama F. Marinos have an impressive record against Vissel Kobe and have won 19 of the 39 games played between the two teams. Vissel Kobe has eight wins against Yokohama F. Marinos and will be looking to improve on his record in this game.
The previous meeting between the two teams took place in March this year and ended with a 2-0 victory for Yokohama F. Marinos. Vissel Kobe struggled that day and has a point to prove this week.
Vissel Kobe Form Guide: WLLLL
Yokohama F. Marinos Form Guide: LLLWD
Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama F. Marinos Team News
Noriaki Fujimoto, Bojan Krkic and Sergi Samper are injured at the moment and have been ruled out of the match. Vissel Kobe is unlikely to make any drastic changes to his squad for Thursday’s clash.
Injured: Noriaki Fujimoto, Sergi Samper, Bojan Krkic, Ryuho Kikuchi
Ryo Miyaichi is currently injured and has been ruled out of this match. Yokohama F. Marinos will need to field their best team to overcome their recent slump this week.
Injured: Ryo Miyaichi
Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama F. Marinos Predicted XI
Vissel Kobe Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Hiroki Iikura; Tetsushi Yamakawa, Matheus Thuler, Yuki Kobayashi, Gotoku Sakai; Hotaru Yamaguchi, Yuya Nakasaka; Yutaro Oda, Andres Iniesta, Koya Yuruki; Yoshinori Mutō
Yokohama F. Marinos Predicted XI (4-3-3): Yohei Takaoka; Katsuya Nagato, Ryotaro Tsunoda, Shinnosuke Hatanaka, Ken Matsubara; Takuma Nishimura, Tomoki Iwata, Kota Watanabe; Elber, Kota Mizunuma, Leonardo de Sousa Pereira
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Vissel Kobe vs Yokohama F. Marinos Prediction
Yokohama F. Marinos are winless in their last three matches in all competitions and are currently in a crisis. The league leaders have conceded seven goals in their last three games and have a few issues to deal with ahead of this game.
Vissel Kobe have some impressive players in their ranks but have yet to prove their potential this year. However, the hosts can pack their day and are in better shape for this game.
Prediction: Vissel Kobe 2-1 Yokohama F. Marinos