Both leaders face maegashira wrestlers today. Though they should win easily, I’ve got Hakuho’s match with Arawashi circled. Arawashi’s only win comes against Kakuryu and he demonstrated a forceful attack. Will he bring the same ferocity today? He’s got nothing to lose. Okinoumi’s been underwhelming this tournament – his win against Kotoshogiku not withstanding.
Kotoshogiku will beat Shohozan. Quite simply, he has to. Next week is going to be a bear if he wants to save his ozeki status and the other sanyaku wrestlers are in either yusho or “face-saving” modes. No one really has wins to spare. Consequently, our first Ozeki matchup pitting Terunofuji against Goeido, will be a barn burner.
Mitakeumi’s load will lighten significantly this week as he faces Sekiwake and lower. Tochinoshin is now out and this should improve his chances slightly at getting not only a winning record but possibly an impressive 9 or 10 wins. If he is to capitalize on this, he needs to put the Takayasu bout into the win column.
As always, I am eager to see Ikioi do well. But he’ll face a real wall with Kotoyuki. Kotoyuki needs to turn things around and Ikioi can get into a funk sometimes. We’ll see how fresh he is after today’s freebie fusen.