The worst imaginable thing happened at the start of the 2017 season. Here’s a brief pre-match information ahead of the away match against Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo.
Cerezo’s guardian Kim Jin-Hyeon couldn’t play last week due to a lower back pain, and he’s still unavailable for the game. Nikkan Sports just reported that Kim went back to South Korea for recovery from that injury.
Although manager Yoon Jong-Hwan said “it’s not that bad situation” in that article, it is not at all certain when he can come back to the pitch. As with the last game, Kenta Tanno will be selected to the starting lineup tomorrow.
The good news is that Hiroshi Kiyotake, who had been on the sidelines due to recurrence of his old injury, will be finally back on the pitch as a Cerezo Osaka player - the first time in nearly 5 years. Yoon said it won’t be possible for Kiyotake to “play 90 minutes but I want him to run as long as possible and give good performance which leads to a goal.”
According to reports, Yoon tested new 4-2-3-1 formation with (R-L) Kiyotake, Kazuya Yamamura, and Yoichiro Kakitani placed behind Kenyu Sugimoto. This may be described as 4-4-2 (in that case Yamamura is deemed as a second striker), but whichever it is, Yamamura is very likely to play from the start of the game tomorrow.
Tomorrow is March 11 - an important day for Japan and its people. The game against Consadole Sapporo will be kicked off at 15:00, about 15 minutes later than when the disastrous earthquake happened 6 years ago.