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Stranger things have happened in the J. League, but with four games of the season remaining, the title race is now almost certainly down to two teams.

Urawa Reds lead Gamba Osaka by three points going into the final stretch, with a further four-point gap beyond second place surely too much for third- and fourth-place Kashima Antlers and Kawasaki Frontale to make up. The fact that Gamba were in the relegation zone during the World Cup break shows just how quickly things can change, but the stage is now set for Reds and Gamba to reprise the rivalry that produced so many memorable title battles in the 2000s.

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