The 2011 J. League kicks off on March 5, and it looks set to be another bumper season.
A handful of marquee match-ups dominate the opening day, including the Osaka derby between Gamba and Cerezo and a regional showdown between promoted Ventforet Kofu and Jubilo Iwata.
Defending champions Nagoya Grampus kick off their campaign with a tricky home fixture against Yokohama F. Marinos at Toyota Stadium, while promoted Kashiwa Reysol host Shimizu S-Pulse in a Saturday night slugfest that has been sold out for weeks.
Sunday's games see Vissel Kobe take on Urawa Reds just months after Vissel salvaged their top flight status with an astonishing 4-0 final-day victory over the Reds, while heavyweights Kashima Antlers welcome Omiya Ardija to Kashima Stadium.
Round 1 fixtures:
Ventforet Kofu vs Jubilo Iwata (Yamanashibank Stadium)
Nagoya Grampus vs Yokohama F. Marinos (Toyota Stadium)
Gamba Osaka vs Cerezo Osaka (Expo '70 Stadium)
Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs Vegalta Sendai (Big Arch Stadium)
Avispa Fukuoka vs Albirex Niigata (Level-5 Stadium)
Kawasaki Frontale vs Montedio Yamagata (Todoroki Stadium)
Kashiwa Reysol vs Shimizu S-Pulse (Kashiwa Hitachi Stadium)
Vissel Kobe vs Urawa Reds (HOME'S Stadium)
Kashima Antlers vs Omiya Ardija (Kashima Stadium)
Copyright © Mike Tuckerman & Soccerphile.com
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