The K-League classic continues this weekend with another serving of matches that on paper have the potential to be another round of cracking matches. We have the home debut of Suwon FC, FC Seoul host Sangju after another barnstorming ACL display and we also have Incheon v Pohang which usually throws up a cracking tussle.
On Saturday we have only two games, first up we have…
Suwon City FC vs. Seongnam FC (3pm)
This will be Suwon City’s first ever home game in the top tier of Korean football after making their Classic debut away to Jeonnam last weekend and heading back North with a well-deserved point and in fairness few would have begrudged them come home with a full haul of the points, their confidence at times belied a team that many predicted would be out of their depth in the top league. In Seongnam though they face a team buoyed with confidence after beating the Suwon ‘big boys’ of Suwon Bluewings with hugely impressive debuts from Tiago and young goalkeeper Kim Dong Jun. They will be eager to complete the ‘Suwon double’ and in captain Kim Do Heon have a player who has both the ability and experience to lead them to victory. It should be a tight affair but if Seongnam perform like last weekend they should be the happier of the two teams come 5pm.
Prediction: Away Win – Suwon FC 1 Seongnam FC 2
Gwangju vs. Jeju United (4pm)
Gwangju have yet again defied all odds in the opening weekend of the season after earning a draw at Pohang last weekend, sure they let a 2-0 lead over Pohang slip but they showed great spirit and fight in sealing a point in the 98th minute from the penalty spot. Jung Jo Gook made a very impressive debut notching two goals and looked every bit as deadly as his “Patriot” nickname suggests. Jeju United beat Incheon 3-1 at home and for the most part looked solid enough being able to all but nullify the threat of Kevin Oris. They also looked deadly from set-pieces and their third goal especially looked like it came straight off the training ground. Jeju are not know for their swashbuckling away form though and if The Patriot his top form again they could find themselves in a tough match.
Prediction: Score Draw – Gwangju 1 Jeju United 1
Incheon United vs. Pohang Steelers (Sunday 2pm)
As mentioned above Incheon United lost last weekend away to Jeju United, but are not exactly renowned for their strong away form, at home though they generally are a tough nut to crack and definitely seem to favour Pohang at the Incheon Stadium having lost only four times in seventeen matches. In Kevin they possess somebody who is always capable of changing the game although you do sometimes get the feeling that he is plan A, B and C . Pohang Steelers draw 3-3 vs. Gwangju in what many consider to be the match of the day last weekend and the last ten minutes definitely rank up there with some of the craziest I’ve witnessed. Pohang were poor midweek in the ACL against Sydney FC at home and they might just fancy some respite on the road.
Prediction: Away Win – Incheon 0 Pohang 1
Ulsan Hyundai vs. Jeonbuk Hyundai (2pm)
Ulsan had a horrendous season last year and many were looking for them to bounce back this season especially given how well they finished the year, unfortunately it seems the players didn’t get the memo and they were soundly beaten by Sangju 2-0 away from home. They lost The Wookie in the close season to today’s rivals and it will be interesting to see what kind of welcome he receives from the fans especially if he finds the back of the Ulsan net. Last weekend Jeonbuk edged out FC Seoul in a tightly contested match running out eventual 1-0 winners which was then followed by a trip to Vietnam and an all important win in the champions league. On paper Jeonbuk should walk this one, but giving their last two matches they might just be a little tired and if Ulsan can press them from the off then who knows what could happen, one thing is for sure though it will almost certainly involve The Wookie.
Prediction: Away Win – Ulsan 0 Jeonbuk 2
FC Seoul vs. Sangju Sangmu (2pm)
FC Seoul bounced back from their league defeat last weekend to Jeonbuk to beat Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng in the champions league 4-1 in China with Adriano yet again continuing his devastating continental scoring record adding another two goals to take his season’s tally to nine. They are however known for their slow start in the K-League and that result last weekend seems to back up the accusation. They do have the guile and talent to worry most defences in the Classic and will be looking to bounce back with a victory in this one. Sangju Sangmu started their return season in the top tier in impressive form beating a rather tepid Ulsan and definitely looked a more solid unit than that which spent most of 2014 propping up the table. Interestingly one of Seoul’s best players so far Shin Jin Ho will be joining Sangju in the next few months to complete his military service. Another one that on paper should go with the ‘big’ team.
Prediction: Home Win every day of the week – Seoul 3 Sangju 0
Suwon Bluewings vs. Jeonnam Dragons (4pm)
Suwon Bluewings didn’t have the best of starts to the season last weekend as they crashed to a defeat at the hands of rivals Seongnam FC although they did create chances in that match but came up against some inspired goalkeeping on the day. Next up for them was a trip to Australia and a draw in the champions league against Melbourne City. The Bluewings are a dangerous team to write off and even though they don’t have some of the big names of prior Bluewings teams they do still boast the likes of Santos and Yeom Ki Hun who can always pose a threat. Jeonnam Dragons also didn’t have the greatest of starts to the season only managing to pick up a point at home against Suwon FC, key players Stebo and Orsic will need to perform if they are to avoid compounding their errors of last week.
Prediction: Home Win – Suwon Bluewings 2 Jeonnam 1