J.League champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima face an early test of their title credentials when they host Kawasaki Frontale on Saturday.
Thanks to a late collapse from long-time league leaders Yokohama F. Marinos last season, Sanfrecce won their final two games to claim a second successive J.League crown.
Kawasaki Frontale won each of their last four matches last term, securing a third-placed finish and ending just three points behind the champions.
Sanfrecce picked up a slender but valuable 1-0 win at Cerezo Osaka in their opening match of the new season last weekend, with Tsukasa Shiotani's 71st-minute strike enough to secure three points.
Frontale, meanwhile, slumped to a disappointing and surprising 2-2 home draw with newly-promoted Vissel Kobe. Ryo Matsumura netted in the 90th minute to seal a commendable point for the visitors.
Like Sanfrecce, Marinos got off to a winning start by comfortably dispatching Omiya Ardija 2-0 and up next is a trip to Shimizu S-Pulse.
Recent history will not provide much inspiration for Shimizu, who have only beaten Marinos in one of their last eight meetings in all competitions, while the corresponding fixture in the league last season ended in a 5-0 away win, with Marquinhos – now at Vissel – netting a hat-trick.
Sagan Tosu have enjoyed a huge change in fortunes since losing to Marinos back in August. That 2-1 defeat was the last in a run of 11 losses from 16 J.League matches and since then they have only failed to win five of their 15 domestic fixtures.
Tokushima Vortis were brought back to earth with a bump following promotion to the J.League as Sagan Tosu ran out 5-0 winners last Saturday. Urawa Reds host Sagan this weekend hoping to contain their attacking threat.
Two of the promoted sides – Tokushima and Vissel – face home games against Cerezo and Kashiwa Reysol, respectively.
Gamba Osaka are the third new side and they head to Albirex Niigata, who triumphed 2-1 at Vegalta Sendai in the opening round of games.
In the capital, Tokyo host Ventforet Kofu as both look to pick up their first wins, while Kashima Antlers welcome Sendai and Nagoya Grampus head to Omiya Ardija.
|Coach: H. Moriyasu|
for Kazuyuki Morisaki 63'
for G. Notsuda 72'
for H. Satō 78'
|Lemina rejects Gabon call-up|
|Toure a doubt for Sunderland clash|
|Millen ´ready´ to manage Palace|
|Carver urges Newcastle to kick on|
|Bellarabi extends Leverkusen deal|
|Wenger hails ´committed´ Arsenal|
|Diouf will be missed - Hughes|
|Millen elated at resolute Palace performance|
|Lambert: Big point for Villa|
|Martinez rues Cisse decision|
|Dyche delighted by Burnley character|
|Allardyce: Officials got it horribly wrong|
|Poyet rues dropped points at Villa|
|Bruce frustrated as dominant display yields no points|
|Pellegrini laments key turning points in Burnley setback|
|Newcastle United 3 Everton 2: Pardew´s men impress at St James´ Park|
|League One Review: Swindon climb into second, MK Dons suffer surprise defeat|
|Championship Review: Bournemouth go four points clear, Boro held|
|Koeman hails Southampton spirit|
|Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0 Aberdeen 1: Pawlett strikes sends McInnes´ men second|
|Mourinho fumes at ´campaign´ against Chelsea|
|Manchester City 2 Burnley 2: Barnes claims a point to deny champions|
|West Ham 1 Arsenal 2: Wenger´s men climb above hosts|
|Hull City 0 Leicester City 1: Mahrez fires Pearson´s men to victory|
|QPR 0 Crystal Palace 0: Millen makes solid start as temporary Palace boss|
|Aston Villa 0 Sunderland 0: Delph sees red in stalemate|
|Stoke 2 West Brom 0: Diouf brace secures back-to-back wins|
|Southampton 1 Chelsea 1: Mourinho´s men end 2014 on top|
|Van Gaal frustrated with wasteful finishing|
|Pochettino content with goalless draw|
|Tottenham 0 Manchester United 0: Honours even at White Hart Lane|
|Klose vows to fight for Lazio place|
|Hughton admits interest in Palace and Brighton roles|
|Injuries not behind retirement plans, says Rolfes|
|Podolski: Arsenal exit not a formality|
|Wellington Phoenix 1 Western Sydney Wanderers 0: Krishna wins it|
|Taylor wary of ´beast´ Lukaku|
|Al Habsi to lead Oman at Asian Cup|
|Lacazette will stay at Lyon - Aulas|
|Southampton like Atletico, says Alderweireld|
|World Cup held PSG back - Blanc|
|Everton facing ´pivotal´ moment - Martinez|
|Zamora urges QPR to tie down Austin|
|Badstuber, Alaba set for New Year return|
|Burgos: Atletico will get the best out of Torres|
|Chelsea to offer Terry new deal - Mourinho|
|Rodgers excited by Sterling development|
|Strinic close to finalising Napoli switch|
|Torres to join Milan on permanent deal|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Celtic held to shock draw, rivals fail to capitalise|
|Wenger sings Song´s praises|
|Pochettino calls for bravery|
|West Ham could lose Allardyce - Sullivan|
|League One Preview: Saunders takes charge for Colchester clash|
|Aguirre denies any involvement in La Liga match-fixing scandal|
|Mourinho impressed by Koeman´s Southampton|
|QPR v Crystal Palace: Millen recast in familiar role|
|West Ham v Arsenal: Allardyce eyes further home comfort|
|Elusive Coppa Italia on Juventus´ wish list - Marotta|
|Jones eyes swift response|
|Millen focused on QPR clash|
|League Two Preview: Shrewsbury, Wycombe and Burton vie for year-end top spot|
|Mancini not expecting big-money signings at Inter|
|Tottenham v Manchester United: Carrick expects tough return|
|Pearson eager to see Leicester resolve|
|Newcastle United v Everton: Martinez demands clinical touch|
|Liverpool v Swansea City: Rodgers backs returning Mignolet|
|Bayern can still improve - Sammer|
|Warnock sacked by Palace|
|Aston Villa v Sunderland: No club too big to go down, says Lambert|
|Hull City v Leicester City: Pearson vows to keep going|
|Stoke City v West Brom: Hughes targets elusive back-to-back wins|
|Rodgers dismisses Balotelli exit rumours|
|Modric will not rush Madrid return|
|Dyche pleased with Vokes return|
|Southampton v Chelsea: Koeman vows to go on the offensive|
|A-League Review: Six-goal Gosford thriller, Victory leave it late|
|Manchester City v Burnley: Pellegrini warns against complacency|
|Dortmund can fight on two fronts - Watzke|
|Sterling hails improved Liverpool belief|
|Rosicky eager to build on QPR winner|
|Wenger: ´We made it hard for ourselves´|
|Kane: Spurs eye top four|
|Di Maria in doubt for Spurs clash|