In a week’s time, Vissel Kobe will return to continental action and resume their bid to win the AFC Champions League. First up is a Round of 16 tie against compatriots Yokohama F. Marinos on Aug. 18 and, with the subsequent two knockout-round stages in the East Zone to be completed by the following seven days, it will not be long before they know if they are headed for next February’s final.

Vying for continental glory is exactly the position Vissel are expected to be for all the star power they boast, headlined by Spanish legend Andres Iniesta and fellow ex-Barcelona men Bojan Krkic and Sergi Samper, as well as a whole host of Japan internationals who all boast European experience such as Yuya Osako, Yoshinori Muto, Hotaru Yamaguchi and Gotoku Sakai. What is less expected — and in fact, a huge shock — is that, with ten games remaining in their domestic J1 League season, Vissel find themselves rock bottom of the table.


Hosts Japan were undone by three second half goals on the way to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Tunisia in their final clash at the Kirin Cup international friendly tournament last week. The tournament was designed to be part of preparations for this year’s World Cup tournament. Apart from Tunisia and Japan, Chile and Ghana also played at the Kirin Cup this month. Only Chile won’t be part of the 32-team World Cup tournament in Qatar later this year.

For the Kirin Cup final, Tunisia took the lead after a goalless first half affair through Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane. Romdhane broke the deadlock from the penalty spot with ten second half minutes gone before further strikes from FerjaniSassi and IssamJebaliin the final quarter of the game sealed the convincing win for the North Africans who made the final after beating Chile 2-0 in the semifinals. On their part, hosts Japan thrashed Ghana 4-1 in the semifinals to qualify for the final.


North London giants Arsenal will be without their first choice fullbacks for the visit of Everton in their last game of the season as far as Premier League football is concerned. The Gunners play hosts to Everton on Sunday evening hoping to secure Champions League football ahead of North London rivals Spurs.

The Arsenal fullback duo of Scotland international Kieran Tierney and Japan international TakehiroTomiyasu will miss the Everton game due to injury. Scotsman Tierney is the first choice left-back at Arsenal, while Japan national team star Tomiyasu is the first choice right-back for the Gunners following his transfer from Italian Serie A club Bologna last summer.


Arsenal have been boosted with the news that Japan international TakehiroTomiyasuhas recovered fully from injury and returned to full training ahead of the Premier League clash with fellow London club Brentford this weekend. The Japan national team defender has been injured since the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg clash with Merseyside giants Liverpool atthe Emirates Stadium last month.

Tomiyasu has been a regular in  the starting XI since the Japan international joined North London team Arsenal from Italian club Bologna on deadline day of last summer’s transfer window. He had been available for selection throughout the course of this season before the FA Cup third round defeat to English Championship side Nottingham Forest last month.Tomiyasumissed the 1-0 away defeat to Nottingham Forest due to tight groin and the injury kept him out for two games including the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg clash at the home of Liverpool which ended in a goalless draw. He had picked up the groin problem during the controversial 2-1 home defeat to defending champions Manchester City in the Premier League at the start of last month.


North London giants Arsenal kept their fourth straight clean sheet at home on the way to beating West Ham United in their London  Derby clash at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night. The Gunners were able to pick up the three points at stake with the 2-0 home win over the Hammers.

Japan international TakehiroTomiyasu has been a revelation for Arsenal since signing for the club from Italian Serie A side Bologna in the summer. The Japan national team defender is the undisputed first choice on the right side of the Arsenal defence. The Japan international is part of the Arsenal defence that has not conceded a goal in each of the last four home games. The last goal conceded by the Gunners was to Aston Villa midfielder Jacob Ramsey. The young Villa player came off the bench to score the lone goal for his team as Arsenal ran out 3-1 winners with goals from Thomas Partey, Pierre-EmerickAubameyang and Emile Smith-Rowe.


Japan international Takehiro Tomiyasumade his debut for Premier League giants Arsenal against Norwich City on Saturday afternoon. The Japanese utility player was named in the Arsenal starting XI following his big transfer from Bolognaon deadline day as far as this summer’s transfer window is concerned.Arsenal paid around £17m to secure the signing of the Japaninternational.


Arsenal started the latest Premier League campaign with three straight defeats but they were able to stop the rot by beating Norwich City at home thanks in part to the influence of Japan footballer Tomiyasu and his other teammates who were involved in the win at home to Norwich City.


Japan international TakehiroTomiyasu has been made available for a transfer by his Italian Serie A team Bologna and two North London clubs are now vying for his signature according to the newest reports in the Italian media. It was revealed by Sky Sports Italia that Arsenal have initiated a move for the Japan national team player. Tottenham Hotspur were the first North London team to show an interest in the defender and their failure to agree a deal for the player has allowed the Gunners to launch efforts to sign the Japanese international.

Bologna defender Tomiyasu has impressed a great deal in multiple roles since signing for his Italian Serie A outfit two years ago. His versatility is a major reason why Arsenal and Spurs want to sign the Japan international. He can function well as a right-back or a centre back. Tomiyasu has also played for Bologna at left-back during his time at the Italian Serie A club.


Japan national team player Takumi Minamino will reportedly sit down with Liverpool to discuss his future at the club this summer. According to media portalHampshireLive, the attacking midfielder from Japan is determined to play regular first team football as from the start of next season even if it’s not going to be at parent club Liverpool and that desire will lead him to talk with manager JurgenKlopp and other Liverpool officials about his future at the club.

Liverpool signed Minamino at the start of last year and he was unable to break into the starting XI at the club in one year before he was farmed out on loan to fellow Premier League team Southampton at the start of this year. The Japan international moved to the Saints on a short-term loan until this summer and they arelikely to sign him permanently.


Asian football powerhouse Japan were one of the teams given a free pass into the second round of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) section.

12 teams contested the first round via the popular home and away leg. At the end of proceedings, six teams emerged to join Japan and the other 33 teams drawn bye into the second round. The 40 teams at this stage of the qualifiers were then drawn into eight groups of five teams each.


Several Liverpool fans were not happy with the team selection from Jurgen Klopp during last night’s league encounter with Burnley at home. The Liverpool fans complained about the omission of Japan national team player Takumi Minamino from the XI that started the Burnley game at Anfield last night. The Reds faithfuls wanted the petite Japan international attacker to start the game against the Clarets but they didn’t get their wish despite the fact that the Liverpool boss made several changes into the starting line-up with the likes of XerdanShaqiri, DivockOrigi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming into the XI.

Ahead of the game, Liverpool had gone four matches without a win after the Premier League encounters with West Brom, Newcastle United, Southampton and Manchester United. Liverpool picked up three points from those four games and that saw them drop to fourth position and six points off the summitpresently occupied by arch rivals Manchester United.