It would seem we are running out of superlatives for Yokohama F Marinos, as victory this past week over Sanfreece Hiroshima made it five wins out of five for the Yokohama based outfit.
Led by Japan legend Shunsuke Nakamura, Marinos have surprised everybody with their early season form and will hope that they can keep that form going as they entertain Kawasaki Frontale at the International Stadium, this weekend. Frontale are yet to win this league season and it looks highly unlikely that this will change against the table toppers.
As for Sanfreece, they are already eight points behind Marinos and will have to go on some run to haul them back. A home game on the Sunday should provided Sanfreece an ideal opportunity to pick up three points against Sagan Tosu, whom also lost last time out, 1-0 to Shimizu S-Pulse. It will have been a welcome victory for S-Pa, and a first clean-sheet of the season after conceding 12 goals in their first four games. They face another side who are yet to claim a victory in the J1 this season - Jubilo Iwata.
A first win of the season for last season’s J2 champions Ventforet Kofu will have come as a relief as they will want to pull away from the relegation zone as quickly as possible.
They will hope to continue on the winning track when they welcome Kashiwa Reysol to the Yamanashi Chuo Bank Stadium. Reysol drew 3-3 with Nagoya Grampus last weekend; Grampus now face Albirex Niigata who beat J1 runners-up Vegalta Sendai.
Sendai faces a difficult prospect in FC Tokyo who are looking to bounce back after three defeats in a row. The start of the season for Tokyo seemed so promising but some unlucky defeats have seen them drop down the table somewhat.
In-form Omiya Ardija face Cerezo Osaka; Cerezo suffered their first loss of the season last week, being defeat by a solitary goal from Kashima Antlers player Yasushi Endo. Antlers then travel to Oita Trinita this weekend hoping to make it two wins in two.
To the final game of the weekend, second place Urawa Red Diamonds host Shonan Bellmare, which should be relatively straightforward for the Reds.
It may only be six weeks old but the J1 is starting to take a bit of shape as Marinos lead the chasing pack, with Oita and Jubilo cemented to the bottom.
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