Current Standings In J1-League & How It Could Play Out

Molten official UEFA Europa League Balls are seen on the net prior to the Uefa Europa League 2021/2022 group C football match between SSC Napoli and Leicester at Diego Armando Maradona stadium in Napoli Italy, December 09th, 2021. Photo Cesare Purini / Insidefoto cesarexpurini

There are few leagues in Asia that garner the attention that the J1-League has managed throughout its history. The stats show that the clubs competing in the competition take total revenue of nearly ¥114bn, while over nine million fans watch the action that plays out on a weekly basis. This season has been one of the most entertaining in decades, as there are interesting battles at both ends of the league standings.

Betting On J1 League

The fierce competition in the league this season has made it a very interesting betting opportunity for fans of football. The popularity of betting on football in Japan has been increasing annually along with the number of total fans that the sport is able to attract.

One of the biggest reasons for the success has been due to the growing number of players from the J League transferring to European clubs. That has seen players such as Takefusa Kubo, who was rewarded for exciting performances in Japan with a big move to Spanish giants Real Madrid. Due to the talent on show in the J League, the popularity of Japanese bookmakers is expected to continue for years to come.

Race For The Title

There are still over ten rounds of fixtures to go in the J1 League, and the battle at the top of the standings is heating up nicely. Yokohama FC are the current leaders, as they chase the top-flight title. However, they have limited breathing room at the top of the standings, as they sit just five points clear of Kashima Antlers. The team currently second look like the only realistic contenders to stop Yokohama at this stage of the campaign, as Kawasaki sit a further three points back in third.

Recent disappointing results for Kashiwa Reysol and Cerezo Osaka has meant that they have dropped down the standings, as both clubs have only won once in the previous four matches in the J1 League. But, both could still be in the mix for a place in the AFC Champions League qualifiers at the end of the season.

Battle To Stay In J1 League

The race to avoid relegation also looks set to go down to the final day of the season. The bottom seven all within a chance of going into the division below. Jubilo Iwata currently sit bottom of the standings, but a win could take them out of the bottom three at this late stage of the season.

Victories have been something that they have struggled for throughout the campaign. They have managed just four victories in 22 games. Shimizu S-Pulse and Gamba Osaka are also in the two other relegation places, with the latter sitting in the relegation playoff spot. The form towards the end of the season will be everything for the team towards the foot of the standings if they are to remain a J1 League team for next season.

Who Will Win The League Title?

At present, it looks very hard to see past Yokohama FM making their advantage count in the title race this season. However, their form has dipped slightly in recent weeks, as they have drawn each of their previous two games. All sights will be set on a potential title showdown at the end of July, as Yokohama clashes with Antlers. Victory for the side currently in second could mean that the title race may be back on with just under ten league games left to play.

However, defeat for Antlers may mean that their automatic spot for the AFC Champions League may come under pressure towards the end of the season. But, they will be unable to go into that game without thinking about anything other than getting the three points that they need to close the gap on the current leaders. Kawasaki may also not be out of the race at this late stage of the season, but they will need to improve in the final third of the field.

They have scored just 31 goals in 22 league games this season, which is the worst attacking record of the sides in the top three. However, defensively, they are extremely strong, and that could be the block that they should be building on. At the very least, Kawasaki should be aiming for the qualification spot, but an automatic place in the AFC Champions League shouldn’t be out of the realms of possibility.