Kawasaki Frontale hosts JEF United Chiba in the Japanese Emperor's Cup 1/16 finals. The match will be played on Wednesday, July 21st at Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium (Kawasaki)
It seems that nothing will stop Kawasaki from confirming the title and winning it for the fourth time in the last five seasons. As for the Emperor's Cup, this tournament is no less significant in Japan, since the winner gets a ticket to the Champions League and, accordingly, there is a corresponding interest from more or less worthy competitors. In the last round, Gremio from Japan beat the 7th team of the 3rd division (Nagano Parseiro) in a penalty shootout.
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JEF United Chiba represents the J2 League and is currently ranked 10th with 32 points after 23 rounds. The Dogs twice became the champion of the country and won the Emperor's Cup four times, but it happened in the last century. In recent history, JEF United Chiba twice managed to win bronze medals in the top division, but after relegation in 2009, the club no longer climbed into the J1 League. At the previous stage of the tournament, Yoon Jong-hwan's men defeated the outsider of their league Omiya (1-0).
The teams crossed paths in the 1/16 finals of this tournament in 2016, and Kawasaki scored three times in extra halves after a 1-1 draw in regulation time. Since that time, the favorite has grown stronger and is approaching the upcoming game with a long successful streak, including in the Champions League matches. An unexpected result at the previous stage can be attributed to relaxation. I think that the coach held a slap on the wrist, and the leader of the top division will confirm the status of a clear favorite not only on paper but with a confident victory with a difference of a few goals.
Prediction for the match: Kawasaki Frontale to win with -1.5 handicap