Game two sees Bayern take on the home team in this tour, in what will also be the German champions’ maiden clash against Japanese opposition.
While Kawasaki’s branding is based mostly on Brazilian club Gremio’s distinctive sky blue and black kits, their recent dominance on the domestic scene is more reminiscent of Manchester City. A return of four league titles in the past six seasons shows that this side should always be taken seriously, especially with their last finish outside the top four dating back to 2015.
However, it should still be a straightforward task, even for a Bayern side not necessarily playing at full throttle. After all, they have a proud history of landslide wins against host nations when on pre and mid-season tours – especially during their decade-long reign as Bundesliga holders.
Amongst the more emphatic examples is the 6-2 walloping of DC United only last year, which featured six different goalscorers in red at Audi Field. Bayern also memorably kicked off 2018 with a 6-0 drubbing of Al Ahli over in Doha, again with six separate names on the scoresheet. Then there was an 8-0 thrashing of Kuwait SC four years before that, though Kawasaki should be too savvy to experience such a chastening scoreline.
As for key players to watch, a J-League top scorer in 2021, Leandro Damiao, remains on their books but is yet to score as of mid-July. Based on pure numbers, Kawasaki’s biggest threat to the Bayern goal will be Taisei Miyashiro. He leads the way with five goals so far this season in league action, alongside a recent cup tie winner against Mito HollyHock.
Yet, whether or not either man makes it onto the scoresheet in the middle chapter of these Bayern Munich preseason friendlies, Tuchel’s men should be in the territory of simply picking a number and then declaring.
Prediction: Bayern 4, Kawasaki 1