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J1 League | Gameweek 20
Jun 26, 2024 at 11am UK
Toyota Stadium

Nagoya Grampus
0 - 1

Uchida (37'), Nogami (55'), Kubo (81'), Patric (90+2'), Chang-Rae (90+6')
Uchida (57')
FT(HT: 0-1)

Preview: Nagoya Grampus vs. Urawa Red Diamonds - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's J1 League clash between Nagoya Grampus and Urawa Red Diamonds, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Both aiming to end winless runs and climb the J1 League table, Nagoya Grampus and Urawa Red Diamonds will square off at the Toyota Stadium on Wednesday.

The visitors narrowed the gap between the two sides in mid-table to a single point with a draw last time out, making it five games without a victory while their hosts' drought stands at four outings.

Match preview

Urawa Reds head coach Per-Mathias Hogmo on April 7, 2024 [Imago]© Imago

Nagoya Grampus return to the Toyota Stadium on Wednesday with the aim of reversing their fortunes in the J1 League, having endured a slump in recent weeks after a positive start to the season.

Following four consecutive top-eight finishes over the last four years, the Grampus Eight began the 2024 campaign on the front foot, amassing 25 points from their first 15 outings having won eighth of those alongside six defeats.

They have failed to continue that form since, though, adding just two more points to their tally in the last four attempts and slipping into mid-table in Japan's top flight as a result, firstly settling for a draw at home to Kyoto Sanga and suffering a 2-1 defeat to Kawasaki Frontale before prevailing over Kashiwa Reysol in the J League Cup playoff with a 2-1 aggregate win.

Then on their return to league action, Kenta Hasegawa's side hosted Shonan Bellmare and took a share of the spoils from another 1-1 draw, thanks to Kensuke Nagai's first-half opener, before most recently visiting Tokyo Verdy on Saturday and suffering a disappointing 1-0 defeat despite a dominant display, as Hijiri Onaga's goal soon after the interval made the only difference.

As a result of their sharp dip in form over the last month, Nagoya Grampus now find themselves ninth in the J1 League, three points behind sixth-placed FC Tokyo and 10 behind the top three, and they will be desperate to get their campaign back on track and charge towards the leading pack in the coming weeks, starting with a return to winning ways on Wednesday.

Their visitors head to the Toyota Stadium in a similar position on Wednesday, having also dropped away from the frontrunners after a positive start to the campaign.

Following a fourth-placed finish in the J1 League last year, Urawa Red Diamonds picked up where they left off at the beginning of the new term, collecting 23 points from their first 14 outings courtesy of seven victories alongside five defeats.

The Red Devils have failed to add another notch to that wins column in their five further attempts since, though, collecting just three more points in the process having firstly played out 1-1 draws with Jubilo Iwata and Vissel Kobe either side of a 2-1 loss at home to Machida Zelvia.

Then following a 2-1 defeat in a trip to Cerezo Osaka in mid-June, Per-Mathias Hogmo's side most recently hosted Kashima Antlers on Saturday and took a much more pleasing share of the spoils, having trailed 2-0 until the final 15 minutes only for Hidetoshi Takeda to net a late brace to salvage a point, with the leveller coming in injury time.

With some renewed confidence to take from that comeback result against the division's second-placed side, despite their recent drop to 11th spot, Urawa Red Diamonds will now set out to end their five-game wait for an eighth league win of the campaign with the chance to leapfrog their hosts and return to the top half.

Nagoya Grampus J1 League form:

Urawa Red Diamonds J1 League form:

Team News

Nagoya Grampus continue to contend with several injury issues heading into Wednesday's meeting, with Kasper Junker, Akinari Kawazura and Ryuji Izumi all set to remain confined to the treatment room.

Yuya Yamagishi and veteran Patric will fight to lead the line, while Kensuke Nagai is a key man going forward having notched up a team-high tally of five goals so far this term.

Sho Inagaki and Keiya Shiihashi should continue their partnership in the engine room, while Kennedy Mikuni, Ha Chang-rae and Yuki Nogami will likely line up in an unaltered back three.

Per-Mathias Hogmo has several decisions to make regarding his Urawa Red Diamonds starting XI on Wednesday, with Hidetoshi Takeda having laid a claim to come into the front line from the outset after his decisive brace off the bench last time out, while Bryan Linssen will also battle for a starting berth up top.

Thiago Santana should keep his place in attack too, though, having netted eight goals in all competitions so far this season including seven in 18 J1 League appearances.

With key midfielder Samuel Gustafson remaining out of action due to an injury, Atsuki Ito, Kaito Yasui and Ken Iwao will likely continue in the engine room, while Alexander Scholz will hope to again join Marius Hoibraten in the middle of the defence after making way in the second half of their eventual draw with Kashima Antlers on Saturday.

Nagoya Grampus possible starting lineup:
Langerak; Mikuni, Ha, Nogami; Nakayama, Inagaki, Shiihashi, Yamanaka; Nagai, Morishima; Patric

Urawa Red Diamonds possible starting lineup:
Nishikawa; Ishihara, Scholz, Hoibraten, Watanabe; Ito, Yasui, Iwao; Solbakken, Santana, Takeda

SM words green background

We say: Nagoya Grampus 2-1 Urawa Red Diamonds

With two sides who have experienced similar campaigns thus far, including recent ruts, we anticipate a tight contest on Wednesday which could be settled by a single goal.

While the visitors fought hard to earn a point against Kashima Antlers last time out, they may fall just short away at a Nagoya Grampus side full of quality with their own need to end a winless streak.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Group A

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4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

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