Some wild matches today, with a lot of potential for big battles. I have a lot of interest in Wakatakakage and Chiyoshoma, Endo and Takanosho, and Mitakeumi and Onosho. I am keen to see Takakeisho pick up his 8th win today and clear kadoban, and I think that Shodai is going to have a tough match if the genki Ichinojo shows up today.
Hunt Group: Myogiryu
Chasers: Shodai, Mitakeumi, Onosho, Okinoumi, Endo, Chiyonokuni
4 matches remain
What We Are Watching Day 12
Daiamami vs Chiyonoo – Loser of this match is make-koshi. For Chiyonoo, it nominates him to join the Juryo barge for the slow sail down the Sumida. There could be as many as 5 promotion candidates from Juryo, so it could be a shredder at the bottom of Makuuchi this time, as opposed to some of the more limited exchanges earlier this year.
Chiyonokuni vs Tochinoshin – I am going to guess they will give Tochinoshin any chance that they can to make his 8 and stay in the top division. The sentimental sumo fan in me likes this. This could also be a “how genki is Chiyonokuni” type match. Tochinoshin holds an 8-1 career advantage, so a win today by Chiyonokuni would be a signal that he is going to be in for a good lift in the November banzuke.
Chiyotairyu vs Kotoeko – Chiyotairyu is my pick to win this one. Both men come into to today with a 3 match win streak, and only one of them will make it to 4. Should be Chiyotairyu, he will be kachi-koshi for Aki, with 3 days to go.
Kagayaki vs Myogiryu – Myogiryu continues to be 1 win behind Terunofuji, and this match strikes me as a big of a “gimmie” to keep him in the hunt, and have the thinnest thread of competition in this yusho run for the kaiju. Myogiryu is fighting well, Kagayaki is fighting poorly, and I think this will be a Myogiryu win today.
Aoiyama vs Yutakayama – An evenly balanced match, both of them are ‘yama, both have 6-5 records, and they have an even 4-4 career match record. Both of them want to swat their opponents into next week, so I expect a log of power and maybe some blood today.
Tsurugisho vs Hidenoumi – Tsurugisho’s cellulitis has really sapped Tsurugisho of his offensive sumo. He has lost the last 3 in a row, and is probably hoping to just make it to the end of Aki without double digit losses. Because of Tsurugisho’s poor condition, I am going to give Hidenoumi a clear advantage today.
Tokushoryu vs Tobizaru – Tokushoryu is already make-koshi, and I think is likely captain of that Juryo barge. If he can muster a win today, he would send Tobizaru into make-koshi land. Given Tobizaru’s 1-6 career deficit, that looks somewhat likely today.
Shimanoumi vs Kaisei – Loser of this match is make-koshi, the winner gets to survive another day. Neither man has had a really good match this basho, and for Kaisei, he needs to worry about how deep a make-koshi he ends up with, lest he join the crew on that barge.
Ichiyamamoto vs Terutsuyoshi – The depressing matches continue. Both are already make-koshi, both are fighting hurt, and it’s going to be a battle of who can bring the least damaged sumo to the match. My bet is on Terutsuyoshi, but this one is going to be painful.
Ura vs Chiyomaru – Ura is also in the broad crew at 7 losses, who is on the road to make-koshi. Given his rank at M6, he will stay in the top division in all likelihood. He struggles against Chiyomaru, probably because of his enormous belly, and all of the problems it introduces into Ura’s grab and tug brand of sumo.
Wakatakakage vs Chiyoshoma – Chiyoshoma has won 3 of the last 4, and seems to be on the march toward squeezing out a few more wins before the end of the bahso. Given that Wakatakakage fights with a lot of energy, and is on the wrong side of the make-koshi line, I expect him to be at peak power today. This match has a lot of potential.
Okinoumi vs Kiribayama – Kiribayama is going to get his second shot at reaching 8 wins today, against wily veteran Okinoumi. Okinoumi has won all of their prior matches this year, and I am going to guess that maybe he has a recipe for dominating Kiribayama. We will see in the second half of day 12.
Hoshoryu vs Daieisho – Hoshoryu is already make-koshi, but I expect he is going to keep attacking hard for the last 4 matches. He needs to attenuate his drop down the banzuke, and hope to be able to battle his way back to the top. in the next few tournaments. This is a first time match for these two.
Endo vs Takanosho – Big rank gap (10) in this match, but I honestly think that Takanosho is at risk to finding his 7th win. Endo has been fighting very well, but he’s been fighting quite far down the banzuke. He’s now closer to his normal and expected rank in this match. Takanosho looked very good in his day 11 match against Hoshoryu, and I think Endo is going to need to work for it.
Takayasu vs Tamawashi – I doubt this match happens given that the wheeled Takayasu out on day 11 after his match with Terunofuji. If it does go forward, the loser is going to be make-koshi. They have 29 career matches, with Takayasu holding an 16-13 advantage. But I do expect Takayasu kyujo today.
Mitakeumi vs Onosho – Another tadpole fight! How much fun can this be? This time its the original tadpole against the junior tadpole. Both are kachi-koshi, both are fighting pretty well. Both favor an overwhelming power charge in the tachiai. Mitakeumi has a 9-2 career record against Onosho, so he has history in his favor. This one will likely end in a heartbeat, so don’t blink or you may miss it.
Shodai vs Ichinojo – If I am Shodai, do I let Ichinojo go chest to chest with me? He has a 9-3 career advantage over Shodai, and if he runs the same battle plan he did against Takarafuji on day 11, Shodai’s in for a hell of a fight.
Takarafuji vs Takakeisho – I like Takakeisho’s chances today, and a win would clear kadoban and secure a kachi-koshi. The challenge to Takarafuji is that he needs a moment to set up his defend and extend tactic, and getting a spare moment to set your feet around Takakeisho is tough to do.
Meisei vs Terunofuji – Meisei has yet to win against Terunfuji in 6 attempts. I am going to guess that won’t change today, and Terunofuji will stay at least 1 win ahead of anybody else.