Gamba Osaka hosts Vissel Kobe in the upcoming J1 League game at Suita City Stadium on Sunday.
The match between the two Central Japan rivals is sometimes referred to as the Hanshin derby. This is the first league game in over a month for Vissel Kobe, who was in Thailand for the AFC Champions League group stage games.
They are the only team in the league without a win and are at the bottom of the league standings.
The home side have fared slightly better than their western rivals with two wins in 11 games and sit 13th in the table with 11 points.
Gamba Osaka vs Vissel Kobe head to head
There were 57 cross-competitive encounters between the two sides. The hosts are currently in the lead with 28 wins while Vissel Kobe has 17 wins in this game.
A total of 12 games ended in draws between the two teams, but the last four games in the encounter ended with two wins for each side.
The visitors secured a league double against the home side last season and when they met on Sunday in July the game ended in a 2-1 win for the Ushi.
Gamba Osaka form guide (all competitions): DLDLW
Vissel Kobe Form Guide (AFC Champions League): DDWWL
Gamba Osaka vs Vissel Kobe Team News
Takashi Usami and Masaaki Higashiguchi remain injured at the moment, while Shu Kurata is also expected to sit out with a calf strain.
Hurt: Takashi Usami, Masaaki Higashiguchi, Shu Kurata
Sergi Samper, Noriaki Fujimoto and Daiju Sasaki are out for the visitors through injuries so they may not be able to field the best possible starting XI again.
Andres Iniesta attended the last few training sessions and will face a late fitness test to determine his involvement.
injuries: Sergi Samper, Noriaki Fujimoto, Daiju Sasaki
Doubtful: Andres iniesta
Gamba Osaka vs Vissel Kobe Predicted XIs
Gamba Osaka (3-5-2): Jun Ichimori (GC); Kyung-won Kwon, Gen Shoji, Genta Miura; Keisuke Kurokawa, Hiroki Fujiharu, Dawhan, Mitsuki Saito, Kosuke Onose; Patrick, Hiroto Yamami
Vissel-Kobe (4-2-3-1): Daiya Maekawa (TW); Yuki Kobayashi, Tomoaki Makino, Leo Osaki, Gotoku Sakai; Hotaru Yamaguchi, Takahiro Ogihara; Yuya Nakasaka, Yuta Goke, Yuya Osako; Lincoln
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Gamba Osaka vs Vissel Kobe Prediction
Gamba Osaka have had inconsistent performances throughout the season and have been a bit weak defensively as they have conceded 15 goals so far. Vissel Kobe currently has the worst offensive record in the league with just five goals in ten games.
They have recovered a number of players from injuries and could also qualify for promotion to the knockout rounds of the Champions League. Still, a draw seems the most likely result when the two teams meet on Sunday.
Forecast: Gamba Osaka 1-1 Vissel Kobe