Urawa Red Diamonds talismanic center-back Marcus Tulio Tanaka stated prior to their clash against Gamba Osaka in the second leg of the AFC Champions League that:
"This is an important game because this is our chance to prove we are worthy champions. You can’t compare this with the J.League."
The Nippon Daihyo in acknowledging the Red Diamonds recent fall in the J-League which has seen them winless in their last four matches and fallen six points behind the Kashima Antlers, added:
"You can’t compare this with the J.League."
"If we had won the 10 games before today it wouldn’t matter because it would still be a problem if we were to lose tomorrow’s game."
The Red Diamonds have been plagued with of late and will be missing goalkeeper Ryota Tsuzuki, Hajime Hosogai and Takahito Soma in the match due to suspensions.
The opening leg of the match-up ended in the 1-1 draw giving Urawa the narrowest of margins, based upon the "away-goal" decider. Clearly in both clubs memories with be Gamba's 3-2 defeat of the Red Diamonds at Saitama earlier this season. Tomorrow's match at Saitama will undoubtedly be very closely played between the two J-League giants.