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Friday, March 5, 2010


Cerezo Osaka

Staff writer

Team-by-team previews of the 18 teams competing in the first division.

Last season: second in J2

After watching Sanfrecce Hiroshima go from promotion to fourth in the first division last season, Cerezo will be dreaming of making a similar impact this time round.

With young internationals Shinji Kagawa and Takashi Inui on the books, the Osaka side will certainly not want for attention. The pair breezed through J2 last season, notching 47 goals between them, and both should be more than good enough to thrive at the top level.

Cerezo scored 100 goals last season, and their strike force has been further bolstered by the arrival of Ryuji Bando and Akihiro Ienaga from city rival Gamba.

Bando should be a good addition as long as he is not asked to bear the bulk of the scoring load, while Ienaga will be looking for something to get his teeth into after a frustrating two-year loan at Oita Trinita.

Teruyuki Moniwa also joins from FC Tokyo to help shore up a defense that was a shade on the generous side, but although Cerezo finished second in J2 they look like the strongest of this year's promoted sides.

Previews continued:

Yokohama F. Marinos

Jubilo Iwata

Kyoto Sanga

Omiya Ardija

Vissel Kobe

Montedio Yamagata

Vegalta Sendai

Cerezo Osaka

Shonan Bellmare

Kashima Antlers

Kawasaki Frontale

Gamba Osaka

Sanfrecce Hiroshima

FC Tokyo

Urawa Reds

Shimizu S-Pulse

Albirex Niigata

Nagoya Grampus

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