J.LEAGUE PREVIEW: Team by team capsules

As part of my J.League preview for The Japan News I wrote short and sharp capsules for all 18 J1 clubs, in order of where I think they’ll finish after 34 games in 2015…

The Japan News, Friday 5th March, 2015

Kashima Antlers

2014: 18-6-10 (3rd)

Key addition: Mu Kanazaki (loan from Portimonense SC (Portugal))

A very strong squad which should challenge for the title


Gamba Osaka

2014: 19-6-9 (1st)

Key addition: Shingo Akamine (from Vegalta Sendai)

Largely unchanged personnel-wise and hoping consistency is key


Kawasaki Frontale

2014: 16-7-11 (6th)

Key addition: Makoto Kakuda (from Vegalta Sendai)

Enforcements in key positions make them a realistic play-off contender


Vissel Kobe

2014: 11-12-11 (11th)

Key addition: Michihiro Yasuda (from Sagan Tosu)

Plenty of talent and experienced new coach, dark horse for the title


FC Tokyo

2014: 12-12-10 (9th)

Key addition: Ryoichi Maeda (from Jubilo Iwata)

Unspectacular but efficient, may fancy chances of a play-off place


Urawa Reds

2014: 18-8-8 (2nd)

Key addition: Wataru Hashimoto (from Kashiwa Reysol)

Hopeful that influx of new signings can spur them to the title


Sagan Tosu

2014: 19-3-12 (5th)

Key addition: Yutaka Yoshida (from Shimizu S-Pulse)

Tough team to beat and could make the end-of-season shake-up


Shonan Bellmare

2014: 31-8-3 (1st in J2)

Key addition: Naoki Yamada (loan from Urawa Reds)

If they can maintain 2014’s form could surprise a few people


Nagoya Grampus

2014: 13-9-12 (10th)

Key addition: Milivoje Novakovic (from Shimizu S-Pulse)

May lack squad depth to make a concerted challenge for honors


Kashiwa Reysol

2014: 17-9-8 (4th)

Key addition: Yuki Otsu (from VVV Venlo (Holland))

May be a year of transition after the departure of coach Nelsinho

2015 J1 team by team info

Sanfrecce Hiroshima

2014: 13-11-10 (8th)

Key addition: Douglas (loan from Tokushima Vortis)

May struggle to cope with the loss of key players in the off-season


Albirex Niigata

2014: 12-8-14 (12th)

Key addition: Ryohei Yamazaki (from Jubilo Iwata)

Probably don’t have enough to threaten at the top of the table


Yokohama F.Marinos

2014: 14-9-11 (7th)

Key addition: Ademilson (loan from Sao Paolo (Brazil))

New coach, few signings of note, more mid-table mediocrity looks likely


Shimizu S-Pulse

2014: 10-6-18 (15th)

Key addition: Peter Utaka (from Beijing Guoan (China))

Depends how newcomers adapt, may struggle at wrong end of table again


Matsumoto Yamaga

2014: 24-11-7 (2nd in J2)

Key addition: Tatsuya Sakai (loan from Sagan Tosu)

Dependent on enthusiasm of coach and passionate supporters, especially at home


Vegalta Sendai

2014: 9-11-14 (14th)

Key addition: Hirofumi Watanabe (from Kashiwa Reysol)

Need to turn draws into wins to avoid another relegation dogfight


Ventforet Kofu

2014: 9-14-11 (13th)

Key addition: Adriano (from Tokushima Vortis)

Another season of treading water would be more than acceptable


Montedio Yamagata

2014: 18-10-14 (6th in J2, Play Off champion)

Key addition: Kodai Watanabe (from Vegalta Sendai)

Hard to see anything but a swift return to the second division


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