Missed absolutely nothing yesterday with my internet down, so no harm done.

The japanese Emperor’s Cup begins proceedings today. Cup games are difficult at the best of times, but in a league I rarely visit, well…… I’ll have a look at the shorties and see if there is any value we can eek out.

11am – G-Osaka v Mito – 1.41 home – J1 league v J2 league. I would prefer a bigger gap in leagues. Only 2 defeats in the last 9 for Osaka see them in reasonable form. Those defeats were against 2nd and 8th. osaka are 2nd bottom in the J1 league at present so could easily be targeted in this Emperor’s Cup.

No defeat in last 6 at home in all competitions , sees Osaka scoring 3-2-7-3-1-2. Consistent goalscoring presently.

Osaka have an excellent record in the Emperor’s Cup AT HOME  which suggests their attitude towards it. Since 2007, they have only been beaten once in 90 minutes. Funnily enough they were beaten in extra time in November 2011 by today’s opponents. In 90 minutes Osaka led 1-0 and 2-1 before a 2-2 equaliser, then lost 2-3 in extra time. Only 2 defeats in the Emperor’s cup home and away in 90 minutes suggests league woes could be put to one side at home today?

Only 1 defeat in last 7 for Mito sees them on a reasonable run of unbeaten form. In their last 13 away matches, however, they have lost lost 9, drawn 2, won an Emperor’s Cup match 2-2 in extra time,and won 1 away 1-2 with an 86th minute goal. 3 of Mito’s last 4 Emperor Cup matches have gone to extra time twice and penalties once. This suggests a defensive tack in 90 minutes and hold on for extra time. 4 of their last 5 matches away in the Emp Cup have gone to extra time /penalties, including that 2-3 v Gambo Osaka.

As to 90 minutes, then, they don’t look like they’ll win, but they are probably priced too high to lay. The draw might be value here particularly if Osaka score first. Mito seem adept at forcing extra time in this competition.


11am – Kashima v Tottori – 1.19 home – 13th of 18 in J1 plays 21st of 22 in J2.  At home, in the J league, Kashima have beaten 5th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 18th suggesting an ability to cope with 2nd bottom of J2. Their home wins against bottom and 2nd bottom in J1 were emphatic, 5-0 and 7-0.

Defeats in the J1 league have come largely at the hands of top 10 sides.

Only 1 defeat in the last 7 in all competitions, scoring 1-3-7-2-1-2-5. At home, in all competitions, Kashima rarely lose. They have only lost 3 of their last 17 at home, 2-3 to Grampus care of an 86th minute goal, 0-1 to Albirex, and 1-2 to Yokohama

Only 2 defeats in the emperor’s cup since 2007 in 90 minutes suggests they like this competition and field a strong side.  A slight note of caution December 2011 saw Kashima go 0-1 down in the Emp Cup to another J2 club. Perhaps 0-1 could be an insurance bet today?

Kashima have conceded 1 goal in 8 of their last 9 home Emp Cup matches, so note that.

Tottori are 2nd bottom of J2 league and current form in all competitions reads DLLWWDLWL – inconsistent. Only 2 wins in last 24 away matches, featuring 19 defeats says it all .

LWLW in their rare Emp Cup forays sees 2 wins against J2 league opponents and defeats away to J2 and J1 sides in 90 minutes.

it is Tottori’s poor away form which might be the clincher here. Kashima could really let loose if they scored 12 to no reply against 2nd and bottom in J1 league. What could they do against 2nd bottom in J2 league?

0-1 saver for me on Tottori though just incase.

2pm – Greece U19 v Moldova U19 – 1.29 home – not a friendly so expect both teams to field their strongest sides.  This is taking place in Lurgan ( Northern Ireland?) so there is no real home advantage, making it difficult to look at Greek’s previous home form as against Moldova’s previous away form. Greece have only been beaten by Spain twice this year so seem to be at a reasonable level in this age group.

3pm – Slavoj Vysehrad v Teplice – 1.21 away