Showdown in Tokyo one of five key matchups in Japan XLeague’s 4th round

The fourth round of Japan’s XLeague closes out this weekend with five games including a pair of key matchups. The Lixil Deers (#8) and  Nojima Sagamihara Rise (#5), both 2-1,  face each other in Tokyo in an important encounter while the n#1 ranked IBM Big Blue (2-1) takes on the #6 Elecom Kobe Finies (2-1) at Fujitsu Stadium in Kawasaki.

 

All Mitsubishi Lions (2-1) -v- Tokyo Metropolitan Police Eagles (1-2)

The Lions were very unlucky in Narashino and the scoreboard didn’t reflect their efforts against the Seagulls. The Eagles got their first win of the season in a close fought game with Minerva. All-Mitsubishi hasn’t really found a rhythm yet this season but we think that’ll change in week four.

Prediction: 31-7 Lions

 

Obic Seagulls (2-1) -v- Asahi Beer Silver Star (1-2)

Two teams going in opposite directions. Obic after losing to Big Blue in their opener, were in total control against a strong Nojima side and then crushed the Lions. Silver Star looked good in their first game and a half but were totally outmatched by a Lixil side we’d fancied them to beat. Hard to see anything but a Seagulls win here.

Prediction: 42-10 Seagulls

Meiji Yasuda Penta Ocean Pirates (1-2) -v- Fuji Xerox Minerva AFC (0-3)

The Pirates lost a heartbreaker against the Lions in game one, got blown out by IBM in game two and then almost allowed the Bulls back into a game they seemed to have sewn up last time out. Hard to know exactly how good of a team they are, but they are better than Minerva. Fuji Xerox has put up a good fight in every game so far and with Bulls and Cyclones to come they’ll fancy their chances of getting a win or two this season. Not this time though.

Prediction: 21-10 Pirates

 

Lixil Deers (2-1) -v- Nojima Sagamihara Rise (2-1)

Two teams that had their most impressive showing of the season in week three. Lixil beat a decent Silver Star side that some had tipped to beat them. Nojima put in a performance for the ages in an incredible 49-42 shootout win over top-ranked IBM in Sagamihara. The Deers are a good side but it’s hard to see them hanging with the scoring machine that is Devin Gardner, who is making a strong case for MVP.

Prediction: 42-21 Rise

 

IBM Big Blue (2-1) -v- Elecom Kobe Finies (2-1)

The Finies are an ascending team. They have two winnable games to close out the regular season and they are sure to be eyeing a good playoff seeding. Despite the fact that Nojima put 49 points on them IBM are still one of the top sides in the XLeague and let’s not forget they scored 42 points of their own last Sunday and also beat Obic. They don’t face Panasonic so the number one slot is out of their hands but it’d be a surprise if they don’t finish 5-1

Prediction: 49-7 Big Blue

 

Inside Sport: Japan
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