After picking up maximum points from their games with Consadole Sapporo and Gamba Osaka, Omiya Ardija make the long trip to Kyushu on Sunday for a difficult-looking encounter with Oita Trinita. Prior to kick-off, it is tough to imagine that the Squirrels are anything more than outsiders when it comes to keeping going their winning streak.
Trinita's coach Pericles Chamusca has done a superb job to take his team as high as fourth in the J1 standings on such limited resources and indeed Oita are currently unbeaten since mid-May. Basing their approach on a strong and aggressive defence, Chamusca's side are hardly prolific in front of goal - their veteran top scorer Ueslei has scored only five - but keeper Shusaku Nishikawa presides over the back line with easily the best record in the league.
This is hardly the ideal time, then for the Squirrels to be without two key members of their line-up. Star forward and top scorer Denis Marques is suspended following the straight red card he picked up against Gamba, while midfield lynchpin Yoshiyuki Kobayashi faces a month on the sidelines through injury.
New forward Klemen Lavric is likely to be key for Ardija, both in terms of the absence of Denis and the physical challenge that is presented by the Oita defence. But a likely return to the starting line-up of under-performing forward Kota Yoshihara and midfielder Yosuke Kataoka would suggest that coming away from Kyushu with a point may be the most that Omiya supporters can expect.