9 October 2019
Gamba Osaka and Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo go head-to-head at the Suita City Football Stadium for the first leg of their YBC Levain Cup semi-finals tie.
The hosts have bowed out FC Tokyo on away goals in the quarter-finals (1-0 H, 1-2 A) after edging past V-Varen Nagasaki 4-3 on aggregate in the round of 16 (4-1 A, 0-2 H). However, Tsuneyasu Miyamoto’s side have endured mixed fortunes in their last six matches across all competitions (W3, L3), with all of those wins arriving at home though. Interestingly, each of those triumphs has seen Gamba beat their rivals to nil, with two of them ending with the same 1-0 scoreline. On the other hand, all of those three defeats have witnessed them concede at least two goals and score precisely one. The home fans should be encouraged to know that Gamba hammered Sapporo 5-0 in their J1 League encounter less than a week ago, stretching the unbeaten run in H2Hs to three consecutive games (W1, D2).
Meanwhile, the visitors travel to the Suita City Football Stadium on a run of four successive games without a win (D2, L2). While both of their draws in that sequence ended with the same 1-1 scoreline, each of those defeats has seen them concede three or more goals and score one or less. Consa successfully negotiated their way to the semi-finals thanks to a 4-3 aggregate win over Hiroshima (3-2 H, 1-1 A) after comfortably moving past Jubilo Iwata in the round of 16 (2-1 A, 2-1 H). But, Sapporo’s indifferent away form over the past few months can be a major influence here (W2, D2, L4), especially as they’ve kept a clean sheet only once in that period.
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