Well it had to happen eventually I guess as Daejeon managed to gain their first point on the board, but against Ulsan? That was a surprise indeed, even more surprising given that they came from behind. Also on Saturday we saw Pohang’s poor form continue as they fell to a 1-0 defeat in Jeju and Seongnam defeated Busan at courtesy of a penalty won and converted by Ricardo. Time for a look at this afternoon’s matches, will Park play 90? Will Suwon and Jeonbuk capitalize on Ulsan’s dropped points? Will Gwangju win their first ‘home’ match?
Incheon v Seoul (2pm)
Our first match up today is a bottom of the table tussle between 11th and 10th. A victory for either team today will see them leapfrog Busan with Seoul potentially being able to reach the dizzy heights of 8th if they can run up a cricket score. Incheon is a great stadium to watch football as you are right on top of the pitch but entry is a little like one of those rotating pole challenges in a Crystal Maze/Fort Boyard type ‘game show’ or at least that’s what it feels like trying to smuggle beer into the stadium. You always feel like are are just about there, begin to smile and suddenly some ‘security guy’ grabs you and knocks you off your perch. On the pitch both teams have been poor so far this season. Incheon have 2 defeats and 2 draw from their first four matches although both those draws were against Gwangju and Jeonbuk at home. They are in danger of repeating last season’s horrendous start and will need to turn the tide soon. Seoul are a team on the up? Potentially. Their first domestic win last Saturday was followed by a respectable draw in Sydney, which if not for a lack of goal line technology in football would have been a victory. The presence of Park last weekend really fired them up, will he make a full 90 mins today or will we see another cameo performance from him. The corresponding fixture last season ended 1-0 Incheon although it should be noted that Seoul fired 10 past Incheon in their two home league fixtures.
Prediction: Incheon 0 Seoul 1
Jeonnam v Suwon (2pm)
Undefeated Jeonnam host 3rd placed Suwon in our early kick-off. Unlikely to knock Ingikayo off it’s prime time SBS Sunday afternoon spot it does have the potential to be a pretty good match. Jeonnam have managed to turn themselves into something of a tough nut to crack this season conceding only one goal in four matches. Unfortunately they have been unable to do much at the other end of the pitch either and have only managed to find the net twice and both those goals have come at home. Ironically enough if Jeonnam find their shooting boots today and win by more than 2 goals then they could haul themselves above Suwon into 3rd place, but then again I’m probably just as likely to be hosting Ingikayo next Sunday as that happening. In contrast free-scoring Suwon come here brimming with confidence, league victories over Seongnam and Busan have been cemented by great results in the ACL. They defeated Brisbane Roar 3-1 on Wednesday evening and it feels like a long time ago I watched them lose 1-0 to Pohang which is the last match they failed to find the net in. Yum Ki Hyun has been on great form this season and if Santos, Leo or Kaio can find form beside him they will certainly be a match for any team.
Prediction : Jeonnam 1 Suwon 1
Gwangju v Jeonbuk (4pm)
Gwangju’s first home match of the season sees them face the formidable task of taking on Jeonbuk. This match isn’t actually being played at Gwanju’s home stadium and will take place in Mokpo, this is due to work being done on. Gwangju had been on an amazing run of form until Ulsan stopped them in their tracks last Sunday and it will be interesting to see how they react to that one. Most people expect them to fold after that defeat but then they haven’t exactly been following the norm so far this season have they? Last weekend was the first they had failed to score but I think the fact they conceded goals so easily will be the main concern for them. Jeonbuk can go 2pts clear at the top with a victory today. They come into this one on the back of a somewhat disappointing 1-1 in Vietnam after surrendering a 1-0 lead. Their form hasn’t been as impressive nor consistent as last season although in saying that they are still the team to beat in the K-League this season. Edu and Eninho have had a good start to the season and so much of their success for this season will surely continue to rest on their shoulders.
Prediction: Gwangju 0 Jeonbuk 2