There will be a full card of Classic fixtures again this weekend after Jeonbuk and then Seoul had matches rearranged to aid their ACL campaigns. There will also be a one week break for a series of International friendlies although Jeonbuk have opted to play their rescheduled match with Gwangju next Saturday. As we completed the first set of matches it definitely looks like like we are beginning to see a small pack of front-runners put some light between themselves and the rest of the table, with Seoul, Jeonbuk and Seongnam opening up a gap at the top. This week’s fixtures could see that gap open up just a little wider still.
Seongnam FC vs. Incheon United (2pm)
Seongnam have had a strong season so far and the boys in black are currently sitting pretty in third in the table, two blips against Seoul and Jeonbuk aside they’ve looked a pretty solid unit and have won three of their last four games. Much of this is down to new signing, and top scorer, Tiago who has been a fantastic capture for the Tancheon faithful. This week will also see captain Kim Do Heon make his 300th K-League appearance and there is no denying the importance he plays at the heart of the Seongnam midfield. For those attending Tancheon this weekend there will be a special event to mark this landmark near the gate to the Sky Seok stand. Where Seongnam have excelled this season Incheon have been shocking and remain still the only team to not have won all season. They lost to a last minute goal at home to Gwangju last weekend and have truly looked like a team that has resigned themselves to Challenge football next year. Their new Vietnamese signing, Lương , played last weekend but lasted only an hour before being hooked for Kim Dae Kyung. Seongnam won the last meeting of the two teams 3-2 at Incheon, it will take a mighty effort from the visitors this weekend to avoid shipping all three points again.
Prediction: Home Win : Seongnam 2 – Incheon 0
Jeju United vs. Ulsan (3pm)
The 3pm kick-off on Saturday is a clash between 4th and 5th in what is a pretty huge match for both sides if they want to keep within sniffing distance of the top three. Jeju’s home form this year has been impressive as always and they remain undefeated on the island having won three of the five league matches played there in 2016. They have, like last season, been scoring for fun at home and fourteen goals in five games is a pretty amazing return. There were rumours that they were looking to add ex-Daegu front man Jonathon to their attack but that seems to have been scuppered by the Bluewings. Ulsan are 2pts below Jeju in the league table, but have been inconsistent in the opening rounds, although they did run out 4-2 winners at the Big Bird last weekend with Croatian playmaker Kovacec putting in a faultless and tireless performance. They lost the last clash with Jeju 1-0 and will need to repeat last week’s heroics to get something from this match.
Prediction: Home Win : Jeju 2 – Ulsan 1
Gwangju vs. Suwon FC (4pm)
The final match on Saturday is between two rather surprising victors from Round 11 as Gwangju host Suwon FC and both will have their tails in the air after coming through Round 11 with all 3 pts. Gwangju have put a little bit of a run together and have won their last two matches including last weekend’s away victory at Incheon. They currently sit seventh in the table and although it’s still early they look like they have enough about them to avoid being drawn into a relegation dogfight.With Jung Jo Gook spearheading their front line they always look like they have a goal in them and although he didn’t find the net last weekend he was a constant thorn in the side of Incheon’s defence. Suwon FC come into this match having picked up a shock win last weekend when they defeated Pohang in The Steelyard which in turn ended a rather worrying run of defeats. They seem to be having trouble adjusting to the demands of playing in the top division and will need to become both more clinical and more consistent if they are to cement a place for 2017. This is probably the closest match to call on Saturday, last time out Suwon came from behind to win the tie with two late goals. It will be another close one this time around and both teams could end up cancelling each other out.
Prediction: Draw : Gwangju 0 – Suwon 0
FC Seoul vs. Jeonnam Dragons (2pm)
FC Seoul will host Jeonnam on what is known as ‘Expat Day’ as the club try to capitalize on the growing number of foreign residents within their catchment area, with free beer and hotdogs on offer to all expats they will hope the game is up to a standard that ensures a return to the stadium in future. Seoul remain atop the table, albeit on goal difference, after postponing last week’s clash with Jeju. They have started to show signs of fatigue of late having drawn with Suwon Bluewings before being comprehensively beaten by Pohang on their own patch. They did however get back on track with an away victory over Seongnam in Round 10 and will hope to keep that momentum going in the league. They came through their midweek ACL clash with Urawa as victors although extra-time and penalties were required to dispatch the stubborn Japanese team, this could impact on them if the match is still alive as we enter the final stages. Jeonnam continue to look like a team lost as they fell to defeat yet again last weekend, this time throwing away a 1-0 home lead in the Jeolla derby. They have just one victory to their name from the first eleven rounds and are in real danger of letting tenth placed Suwon FC out of their sights. The last time these teams met was embroiled in controversy as Seoul were awarded a ridiculously contentious penalty in the final minutes which won them the match. Jeonnam will be keen on revenge but then again I’m keen on dating Seol Hyun from AOA but it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
Prediction: Home Win : Seoul 2 – Jeonnam 0
Jeonbuk Hyundai vs. Sangju Sangmu (4pm)
Champions Jeonbuk have been in the news a lot this week for both the right ad wrong reasons. They emerged victors in the Jeolla derby last weekend before progressing to the quarter finals of the Asian Champions League at the expense of Melbourne. However they have been implicated in a bribery scandal involving which dates back to 2013 similar to that of Gyeongnam who recently received a whopping points deduction for their role. All eyes will be on the KFA to see how they deal with one of their favorite sons. Back to football though and in the league they are still unbeaten and have won their last three, this while still playing at what looks like less than 100%, heaven help the rest of the league if they hit form. Sangju will be looking to bounce back from a home defeat at the hands of Seongnam last weekend, it was a match they will feel they should have taken something from after fighting back from 2-1 down to level things only to concede an own goal. The two teams drew the last time out in a pretty epic match, can Sangju hold their own again?
Prediction: Home Win : Jeonbuk 2 – Sangju 1
Pohang Steelers vs. Suwon Bluewings (5pm)
To say Pohang have had a pretty poor season so far would be an understatement, out of the ACL, the FA Cup and languishing in eighth place is not the start new coach Choi would have imagined. They have only managed to win three matches thus far this season with last week’s home defeat to Suwon FC being probably the lowest point of their league campaign. In reality they don’t look like a team capable of turning things around and it you get the feeling more misery than cheers is in store for the POSCO boys. That being said today’s visitors, Suwon Bluewings, also went out of the Champions League at the same point and have only managed to win twice this season. They are another team that have looked devoid of both ideas and character and have been easily brushed aside at times this year. Both sides need a win desperately the last match finished a 1-1 draw at The Big Bird and you would have to imagine a similar score this time around wouldn’t be unexpected.
Prediction: Draw : Pohang 1 – Bluewings 1