This weekend sees a bit of a return to earlier kick-offs. There are three games on Saturday and 2 on Sunday, Suwon having drawn with Busan on Monday evening.
First up is the 4pm kick-off
Jeonbuk v Sangju
Jeonbuk sit joint-top with Pohang having lost against Jeonnam last weekend. On paper they should have more than enough to dispose of Sangju at home although K-League top scorer Lee Dong Gook did play in last night’s friendly against Venezuela, scoring two, so it will be interesting to see how much he plays tonight if any. They will also know that Pohang will be waiting to pick up any chance they can to go above them. Sangju are still struggling to find a victory, they sit 9th on 22 pts but with the bottom of the table so tight that’s only 3pts from bottom. They are still really poor at the back and don’t seem able to buy a clean sheet.
Prediction : Jeonbuk 2-0
Next we have the massive 6 pointer that is
Seongnam v Incheon
This one kicks off at 5pm and is a huge match for both teams. Seongnam who have just brought back legendary ex-manager Kim Hak Bum ,who won the title in 2006, will hope that he can stop the rot. Since the return after the World Cup break they have been pretty poor. After a watertight start to their season they have been leaking goals left, right and center (literally). They really need to win this one to try and prevent a play-off battle. Incheon have been quite the opposite, after an atrocious start to the season they have been picking up results regularly the last 6 weeks or so. They might even believe a top 6 spot is possible. Ivo has been the inspiration for them and he will be the man to stop for Seongnam.
Prediction : 1-1
The final match on Saturday is
Jeju United v Jeonnam
5th takes on 4th in the 7pm kickoff. Only 3 points separate the teams and this one is also a 6 pointer, though not with the same repercussions as Seongnam Incheon. I watched Jeju at Seoul last Sunday and they were tight at the back, which is polite for awful upfront. They have drawn their last two games 0-0 and to be honest I imagine them to try and keep it tight again today. Jeonnam must be buoyed by their victory of ‘rivals’ Jeonbuk last weekend. They probably no longer have their sights set on winning the league but an unexpected top three finish is not beyond them in their first season with the ‘Jeonnam’ name.
Prediction : 0-0