Football column

J2 2022 predictions! Are V. Farren Nagasaki and Oita Trinita the favourites for promotion?

J2 2022 predictions

The content includes my personal subjective opinion.
Please note that this is only a forecast and should only be considered as a reference.
(This is as of 30 January 2022)

J1 championship prediction is here

The J2 League will start on 19th and 20th February, and the main feature of J2 is the promotion system. Last season, Jubilo Iwata and Kyoto Sanga were promoted to J1. Last season, Jubilo Iwata and Kyoto Sanga were promoted to J1, and many people are wondering which team will be promoted this season. In this article, we will introduce you to the J2 promotion candidates and the promotion system.

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J2: What is the promotion system for 2022?

Before we take a look at the promotion candidates, let’s take a look at the current season’s promotion system.

There are three promotion slots in J2 this season: two are reserved for the first and second-placed teams. The other two slots will be filled by a play-off between the third to sixth-placed teams in J2 and the 16th-placed team in J1, with the winner of the J2 play-off playing the 16th-placed team in J1. This means that a minimum of two and a maximum of three teams from J2 will be promoted to J1 this season.

V. Farren Nagasaki


The first team is V. Farren Nagasaki. Not only are they the favourites for promotion, but they are also the favourites to win the championship. There are three reasons why Nagasaki is a promotion and championship candidate.

The first is the presence of foreign helpers. In addition to Edigar Junio, who scored 15 goals last season, and Caio César, who scored 4 goals, Cristiano has joined us from Reysol Cristiano scored 7 goals and provided 3 assists in J1 last season and in J2 in 2019 he scored 19 goals and provided 18 assists. The addition of this foul-mouthed player gives us a head start over other teams.

Secondly, the coach and the main players have been retained, allowing us to keep the same squad as last season. Nagasaki’s only major loss will be right back Maikuma. Asahi Uenaka, who scored 10 goals last season, and Ken Tokura, who scored seven, also remain in the team. Nagasaki scored 69 goals last season, the second most in the J2 League. The fact that their main players have stayed means that they are likely to be able to maintain this attacking strength. It is a good thing that we are able to maintain our base from last season, as some teams are undergoing a new coaching regime.

Thirdly, the results of the last two years. Nagasaki’s position was third in 2020 and fourth in 2021. If there was a play-off system, we could be fighting for promotion to J1. The fact that we have been consistently good in recent years suggests that we are not going to collapse.

With such a good record in recent years and an outstanding squad, Nagasaki are considered by many to be the favourites this season.

Key players for V. Farren Nagasaki.

The key player for Nagasaki will be new signing Cristiano. If Cristiano can build on last season’s attacking performance, Nagasaki will be hard to stop. We’ll have to wait and see if Cristiano is the right fit for the team.


Oita Trinita


The second team is Oita Trinita. There are three reasons why we have listed Trinita in our promotion predictions.

There is a big difference between J1 and J2, as some teams are promoted from J2 and relegated within a year. Trinita spent three years in J1, two of them in the middle of the table. They were also relegated last season, but finished runners-up in the Emperor’s Cup, beating Kawasaki Frontale. This experience in J1 is an advantage for a team that has been relegated.

The second is the retention of the main players: when a team is relegated to J2, it often loses its main players. But Trinita have retained many of their key players, including goalkeeper and captain Takagi, defender Misao and last season’s top scorer Machida. This means that many of the players who fought in J1 are still here. This will strengthen the advantage mentioned above.

Thirdly, there is a new coach. Trinita’s long-time coach, Katanosaka, has retired and Shimodaira will be in charge from this season. Shimodaira, who was dismissed from his role as Yokohama FC manager last season, is a talented coach and led Kashiwa Reysol to fourth place in J1 in 2017. In 2017 he led Kashiwa Reysol to a fourth place finish in J1, and in 2019 he led Yokohama FC to promotion and the J2 Manager of the Year award. Katanosaka’s absence is of course a big one. But given his track record, Shimodaira is more than capable of filling the void.

For these reasons, we expect Oita Trinita to come out on top, despite the change of coach.

Oita Trinita’s key players

The key players are the new coach, Shimodaira, and the new recruits. The new coach has some concerns about the tactics he will have to instil. In particular, Shimodaira is a possession tactician, so the key will be how quickly he can perfect the Shimodaira football.

Trinita also scored the fewest goals in J1 last season. They will be looking to new signing Samuel, a Brazilian, to help them with their scoring problems.


Yokohama FC


The third team is Yokohama FC. Like Nagasaki, Yokohama FC are also favourites to win the championship. There are two reasons why Yokohama FC are favourites for promotion.

Firstly, like Oita Trinita, they have the advantage of having played in J1 last season. Yokohama FC competed in J1 for two years, in 2020 and 2021, and although there was no promotion/relegation system in 2020, they finished 15th, which would have been enough to stay up. We also drew 2-2 with league leaders Marinos at the end of last season, and won 2-1 at Kashima. So, despite finishing in the bottom half of the table, we are still capable of reaching the top of the J1 table.

Secondly, we have a strong supporting cast. Yokohama FC had a bit of an upturn in form last season with the arrival of some foreign players in the summer. The team has renewed the contracts of these foreign players. One of them is Saulo Mineiro. He scored four goals in eleven games last season and has the ability to play in J1, so we expect him to play well in J2.

With such a strong squad, Yokohama FC have a good chance of coming out on top and fighting for the championship.

Yokohama FC’s key players

Yokohama FC’s key man is new manager Shuhei Yomoda, who was manager of Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo from 2015 to 2017 and coach from 2018 until last season. During his time in charge of Sapporo, he led the team to the J2 championship and promotion. It will be interesting to see how his experience as a coach for Mihajlovic at Sapporo, which he gained during his four years there from 2018, will translate to Yokohama FC.


JEF United Chiba


The fourth team is JEF United Chiba. There are two reasons why JEF are the favourites for promotion.

The first is their good performance in the second half of last season. From the 30th to the last day of the season, JEF did not lose any of their 13 games, a record of 8 wins and 5 draws. This is the same record as Jubilo Iwata, who won the championship in the last 13 games, and the fact that second-placed Kyoto Sanga had a record of 6 wins, 2 draws and 5 losses shows just how far JEF have come. Some of those who watched JEF say that in the second half of last season, JEF were capable of competing in J1.

The second is the continuation of the Yoon Jung-hwan regime. The second is that Yoon Jong-hwan will continue to manage the team, which means that he can continue to build on the success of the second half of last season. Yoon Jung-hwan is a defence-building coach, and in 2017 he won two Cups with Cerezo Osaka using a solid defence. Last season, JEF conceded just 36 goals, the second most in the J2 League. If they can keep up this defensive performance and score more goals, they could reach the play-offs or even the automatic promotion places.

JEF United Chiba’s key players

The key players for JEF are Tomoya Miki and Hiroya Kazama. Miki is the team’s top scorer with 14 goals last season. Kazama, a midfielder who joined from Ryukyu, is fifth in the assist rankings with nine assists last season. With Miki scoring in double figures and Kazama assisting, the key to JEF’s attack will be to revitalise it.


Montedio Yamagata


The fifth team is Montedio Yamagata. There are two reasons why we have listed them as promotion candidates.

The first is their solid reinforcements. Montedio lost their main players Hikaru Nakahara and Vinicius in the off season. However, we have made some solid additions in the positions we lost, such as midfielder Aragaki from Kitakyushu and FW Fujimoto, who scored 10 goals for Ehime last season. The loss of Vinicius, who scored 14 goals last season, and Nakahara, who provided eight assists, is certainly painful, but my impression is that Montedio has made solid additions.

Secondly, there is the manager and coach. Cklamovski has been in charge since the middle of last season. He has been in charge since the middle of last season, and he has led the team from the bottom of the table to the top of the table, with seven consecutive wins and no defeats in 12 games. We lost a bit of steam towards the end of the season and finished 7th, which was a good result considering we were in the middle of the season.

This season, in addition to starting with a good base, we have a new coach in Susumu Watanabe. Watanabe spent six seasons in J1 with Vegalta Sendai between 2014 and 2019. This means that Montedio has two people who can work as coaches. It is said that his tactical orientation is close to that of Cklamovski. So we can expect a more complete team.

If the solid reinforcements work for the team and the high level of coaching and coaching can be improved, we could see a breakthrough.

Montedio Yamagata’s key players

The key man at Montedio is coach Cklamovski. As mentioned above, in the last half of last season, the opponents studied us and we won 1 game, lost 4 and drew 1 in the last 6 games. It will be interesting to see if they can overcome their opponents’ countermeasures and make up for their loss in the final stages of the season.


Fagiano Okayama


The sixth team is Fagiano Okayama. There are three reasons why Fagiano are favourites for promotion.

The first is their defensive frailties. Last season Fagiano finished 11th in the table, but they conceded 36 goals, which was the second highest in the league. If we can maintain this level of defence, we will not fall far behind.

Secondly, the results at the end of last season. In the last ten games of the season, Fagiano’s record was 6 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses. In the 19 games between the 24th and the last day of the season, they lost only two. If we can maintain this momentum and win more draws than we did last season, we can move up the table.

Thirdly, we have made some major additions to our squad, including the signing of Thiago Alves from Gamba Osaka, despite the loss of Uekado. We have also added two new players, defender Jordy Buijs from Kyoto Sanga, who played 41 games last season, and defender Yasutaka Yanagi from Tochigi SC. These are two of the best defenders in J2. They are two of the best defenders in J2 and will help to strengthen Okayama’s defence. Yanagi scored 8 goals and Jordy Buijs 5 last season, so we can expect more goals from them.

Fagiano Okayama are a dark-horse side, but if the reinforcements are right, they could move up the table.

Fagiano Okayama’s key players

The key man for Fagiano Okayama is their new manager, Kiyama. Kiyama has worked as a coach at Montedio Yamagata and Vegalta Sendai, and since the middle of last season he has coached Gamba Osaka. Can maintain the solid defense of last season, and the tactics can be dropped quickly, this area depends on the coach Kiyama.



The above team is only a prediction, there is a good chance that the team will not be here. J2 is said to be a more magical place than J1, so keep an eye out for these teams when you watch J2 and see how far they progress.


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