GGOA only has time for a very brief preview of what has rather surprisingly turned out to be one of the most eagerly-anticipated matches of the season. FC Tokyo visit Omiya Park on Saturday as arguably the form team in J1, with four wins in their last five matches and new coach Hiroshi Jofuku has led his side to a top four placing, mainly off the back of a improved midfield area featuring the likes of Yasuyuki Konno and former JEF United man Naotake Hanyu.
The Gasheads' one recent defeat came at Shimizu S-Pulse in a close-fought encounter, a fixture in which Ardija managed to claim a draw thanks in the main to Koji Ezumi's superb last-minute penalty save. Omiya have at times ridden their luck in 2008 - most notably in the scheduling that enabled them to play both Asian Champions League entrants Gamba Osaka and Kashima Antlers in the middle of what is for them a particular exhausting period - but for the Squirrels to have gained five points from the last three games is nothing short of remarkable.
Striker Kota Yoshihara has indicated that the positive results being achieved now are to a great extent due to the gradual development of the team and perhaps surprisingly he had words of praise for all of his previous coaches at the club - Toshiya Miura, Robert Verbeek and Satoru Sakuma - as having laid the ground for current incumbent Yasuhiro Higuchi.
There was a lapse in quality at Gamba in midweek but the gathering of points can do noting but encourage a group of players that throughout last year had little to enjoy in their football. But now, a win against Tokyo could see them climb to within an ace of the very top of the league.