J1 Preview: Club by Club capsules

As part of my J.League preview for The Japan News I provided a brief overview of each J1 club’s chances in 2016…

The Japan News, Thursday 25th February, 2016

Sanfrecce Hiroshima

2015: 23-5-6

Key addition: Peter Utaka (loan from Shimizu S-Pulse)

Already strong attack has been bolstered, will be right up there again

Kashima Antlers

2015: 18-5-11

Key addition: Ryota Nagaki (from Shonan Bellmare)

Well organized and with strength and quality in depth

Gamba Osaka

2015: 18-9-7

Key addition: Ademilson (from Sao Paolo FC)

Smart additions have further added to one of league’s strongest squads

Urawa Reds

2015: 21-9-4

Key addition: Branko Ilic (from FC Astana (Kazakhstan))

Edging closer to glory but need to be stronger mentality

FC Tokyo

2015: 19-6-9

Key addition: Yota Akimoto (from Shonan Bellmare)

Hiroshi Jofuku’s return should add unpredictability, if not necessarily trophies

Kawasaki Frontale

2015: 17-6-11

Key addition: Takayuki Morimoto (from JEF United)

Hodge-podge of signings suggests another season of nearly-but-not-quite

Sagan Tosu

2015: 9-13-12

Key addition: Jumpei Kusukami (from Cerezo Osaka)

Will be even more steady and well-drilled under Massimo Ficcadenti

Shonan Bellmare

2015: 13-9-12

Key addition: Paulinho (from JEF United)

Lost several vital players and may struggle to replicate last year’s performance

Vissel Kobe

2015: 10-8-16

Key addition: Naoyuki Fujita (from Sagan Tosu)

Another season floating in mid-table looks to be on the cards

J.League preview capsules, The Japan News, Thursday 25th February, 2016

Kashiwa Reysol

2015: 12-9-13

Key addition: Kosuke Nakamura (loan return from Avispa Fukuoka)

More key players have left without suitable replacements arriving

Jubilo Iwata

2015: 24-10-8 (2nd in J2)

Key addition: Kentaro Oi (from Albirex Niigata)

Will be proactive and cause teams problems, but survival main priority

Yokohama F.Marinos

2015: 15-10-9

Key addition: Naoki Maeda (Matsumoto Yamaga)

Could be a tough year after worryingly little transfer activity

Nagoya Grampus

2015: 13-7-14

Key addition: Robin Simovic (from Helsingborgs (Sweden))

Could be a tough season under inexperienced Takafumi Ogura

Albirex Niigata

2015: 8-10-16

Key addition: Musashi Suzuki (loan return from Mito Hollyhock)

New coach Tatsuma Yoshida will try to add adventure to steady side

Omiya Ardija

2015: 26-8-8 (1st in J2)

Key addition: Nejc Pecnik (from JEF United)

Plenty of attacking quality, but defence looks rather suspect for J1

Vegalta Sendai

2015: 9-8-17

Key addition: Hirotaka Mita (from FC Tokyo)

Steadily aging squad needs injection of vitality to avoid the drop

Ventforet Kofu

2015: 10-7-17

Key addition: Cristiano (loan return from Kashiwa Reysol)

Hard to see 2016 being anything other than another relegation battle

Avispa Fukuoka

2015: J2 Play Off champion

Key addition: Danilson (from Nagoya Grampus)

Terrific surge at end of 2015, but will struggle back in the top tier



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