Aki Day 10 Preview

Just a quick look at the leaderboard, then on to the previews. I get the feeling the schedulers might try to set up a funnel soon. It’s the final day of act 2, and we get a head to head between the two leaders in the first half of the top division torikumi.

Aki Leaderboard

Takayasu fans are on pins and needles right now. They have been left disappointed so many times now, that I can’t blame them. But mathematically, one of the two leaders is the favorite to take the cup. I can see Atamifuji and Tsurugisho getting some big matches starting tomorrow. We can probably count on a fairly low score for the yusho this time out.

Leaders: Takayasu, Atamifuji
Chasers: Tsurugisho
Hunt Group: Kirishima, Takakeisho, Wakamotoharu, Hokutofuji, Gonoyama, Onosho, Endo, Myogiryu

6 Matches Remain

What We Are Watching Day 10

Nishikifuji (4-5) vs Hokuseiho (5-4) – A fun match to start the day, perhaps a bit out of order, but sure. We get to see the enormous Hokuseiho try to pick up his first win against Nishikifuji. Their only prior fight was day 13 of Osaka, which Nishikifuji won by sukuinage. Given that both are straddling the winning / losing record line, this may help ensure both contestants are motivated.

Kinbozan (5-4) vs Tsurugisho (7-2) – I would not be surprised to see the scheduling team keep big problems out of Tsurugisho’s path for now. They need him as a foil for the two leaders, and that means they would like to keep him one win behind. He has a 3-1 record against Kinbozan, and I think has an edge in this fight, with the bonus being a win will give him kachi-koshi.

Myogiryu (6-3) vs Endo (6-3) – 19 Career matches, the most recent going to Endo – day 14 of Nagoya. Both come in with matching 6-3 records, so the loser of this match will be eliminated from any consideration in the yusho race.

Midorifuji (4-5) vs Kagayaki (4-5) – This pair have matching 4-5 records, and Midorifuji has won 2 of their 3 prior fights. Right now Kagayaki is very much hit or miss, with plenty of misses, even when he wins. Midorifuji won both most recent matches, both of them via katasukashi.

Kotoeko (2-7) vs Daishoho (2-7) – The loser today will be make-koshi, and the winner will get to survive another day. They have 17 career matches with Kotoeko leading 10-7. Let me simplify, it’s Kotoeko’s job to deliver a make-koshi to Daishoho, and ensure he is the captain of the Juryo barge.

Chiyoshoma (2-7) vs Hiradoumi (2-7) – Likewise, the loser of this match will also be make-koshi. The bias given the 2-1 advantage to Hiradoumi is that Chiyoshoma will pick up his 8th loss, and possibly join Daishoho on the barge back to Juryo.

Takayasu (8-1) vs Atamifuji (8-1) – This match makes me a big grumbly. I would rather they hold this off for a few days, but here we go. Take both the leaders, and put them head to head. Both are already kachi-koshi, so this is just to make sure that only 1 person leads the yusho race at the end of act 2. This is their first ever match.

Kotoshoho (3-6) vs Oho (3-6) – On paper, Oho should dominate this match. Kotoshoho has shown in the past that his sumo is up to the task of defeating Oho, but this September, I don’t think he’s fighting well enough to be assured of pulling it off. They share a 4-5 career record, with Oho winning the 2 most recent fights.

Onosho (6-3) vs Sadanoumi (5-4) – Likely to be a Onosho win, if for no other reason – Sadanoumi is on the short end of their 3-7 head to head record. Onosho has won 2 of their 3 prior matches this year. Onosho wins in these matches tend to be oshidashi, where Sadanoumi wins when he is able to set up a throw.

Aoiyama (3-6) vs Ryuden (2-7) – An even 7-7 record between two injured long serving veterans. In all likelihood, both are headed for make-koshi, but a Ryuden loss today would be his 8th. Ryuden won both their prior matches this year.

Gonoyama (6-3) vs Mitakeumi (5-4) – A high interest, first time match. In fact, I am very interested in all of Gonoyama’s matches. We can assume that Mitakeumi will keep his arms tight to his body and put a lot of thrust down the center line. I am interested in watch to see what Gonoyama does in that situation. At 172 kg, there is a lot of Mitakeumi to try to overcome.

Takarafuji (4-5) vs Shonannoumi (5-4) – Another pair that are straddling the winning record / losing record line on the final day of act 2. Should these kind of matches constitute the start of some kind of funnel, the goal would be for Takarafuji to pick up the win, leaving them both at 5-5.

Shodai (3-6) vs Tamawashi (0-9) – We are going to get to watch what could be 15 continuous days of Tamawashi losses. Todays beneficiary of the white-star donation project is Shodai. At 3-6, he could certainly use the win.

Abi (5-4) vs Takanosho (5-4) – Abi has only lost to Takanosho once in 7 matches, Day 15 of November, 2011. Much as Takanosho could really use the win, this should be an Abi pick up today.

Hokutofuji (6-3) vs Tobizaru (5-4) – Tobizaru’s flying monkey sumo has little to no effect on Hokutofuji, as evidenced by Hokutofuji’s commanding 7-0 career match record against Tobizaru. Of course its always possible that today will be that magical, golden day, but don’t hock your car to bet on it.

Kotonowaka (5-4) vs Meisei (4-5) – Another set of straddlers, and I am starting to smell funnel oil. Ok, maybe wait until act 3 to say for certain. A Meisei win would bring them both to 5-5.

Daieisho (5-4) vs Asanoyama (5-4) – Remember you can’t spell funnel without “fun”. At least we hope one of these two guys has some fun. Daieisho was hoping for a shot at Ozeki not that long ago. Now he has to hope he can make his 8 and keep his Sekiwake slot. They have a 17 match record between them (10-7), with Daieisho tending to get Asanoyama so disrupted that he flys off the dohyo.

Wakamotoharu (6-3) vs Hoshoryu (3-6) – Normally, I would be biased to say this would be a Hoshoryu pick up, a much needed pick up, too! But he’s fighting so poorly right now that I am not sure that he can hold his own against Wakamotoharu. They have both won 2 and lost 2 this year, and if the pattern holds, it will be a Wakamotoharu win.

Ura (5-4) vs Takakeisho (6-3) – Takakeisho needs just 2 more wins to clear kadoban, and I think he should be able to dominate Ura today. He has a 12-3 match history against the man in the pink mawashi, who managed to throw himself so hard on day 9, he was airborne.

Kirishima (6-3) vs Nishikigi (4-5) – Like Takakeisho, Kirishima needs 2 more wins to clear kadoban. Nishikigi has never won against Kirishima in a head to head match, and it’s not likely he will today either.
Career Record (2-1[-1]) :

4 thoughts on “Aki Day 10 Preview

  1. “This match makes me a big grumbly. I would rather they hold this off for a few days, but here we go.” — I think they learned from last time. They held off so long on Hokutofuji vs. Nishikigi that by the time they pulled the trigger on it, one of them was completely out of the yusho race.

    • I agree that they’re striking when the iron is hot here. Scheduling this match now also tells me they expect both rikishi to get dirt on them in the coming days, so one loss doesn’t automatically mean the end of the yusho race for the loser here.

  2. Speculation on my part, but they’re putting their chips on Takayasu to beat him. If he does, I’m thinking they feel he is best positioned not be in any 2 or 3 way playoffs for championship.


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