It was a little weird last week, when Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors didn’t win a game for the first time since the opening day. Granted it was only a draw and not a loss, but the neutral viewer could perhaps hope for another slip-up from Jeonbuk to bring some more competitiveness to the K League. Suwon Samsung Bluewings will certainly hope for it, as they need to pick themselves up ASAP after three winless games that have seen them fall to third behind Gyeongnam and with Jeju United breathing down their neck.
It didn’t go well for Jenobuk or Suwon in the Champions League in midweek either as both teams lost their games. Jeonbuk fell to 3-2 against Buriram from Thailand away from home, while Suwon lost 1-0 to Ulsan Hyundai, also away from home. The question is if any of the three sides will be resting any players this week to get maximum effort in the return leg on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Can Pohang end poor run against Jeonbuk?
This weekend, Jeonbuk will face Pohang Steelers in tomorrow’s early kick-off. Pohang are sitting in that crowded midfield area, only three points off the top half and will hope they can end their poor form that has seen them go winless in the last five games, only picking up two points. Can they bring some form of tension back into the top fight by ending their poor run?
The other early kick-off tomorrow is between Gangwon and FC Seoul, two teams who desperately need a win to avoid getting dragged out of the top-half fight. It’s more important for Seoul than Gangwon as they are four points off Ulsan, while Gangwon are only two off. Seoul is the team in better form as a win last time out against Suwon means that they have five points from the last three, compared to Gangwon’s four points from the last three and a loss in the last match.
The late kick-off sees Jeju United play Jeonnam Dragons, two teams in opposite ends of the table. Jeju are fourth with only a single point up to second place, while Jeonnam is third from bottom. Despite this it might not be an easy win for Jeju as Jeonnam have gone four games without a loss, getting three draws in a row. Can the draw-kings do it again or will Jeju climb in front of Suwon and Gyeongnam for at least a day?
Can Daegu climb up from bottom spot or will Incheon pull away?
On Sunday the early kick off gives Incheon yet another opportunity to climb out of the threat of the bottom spot. However, their opponents are Sangju Sangmu, who have not lost in five matches and sit in fifth, with an outside chance of climbing up on the podium if this form continues.
Later that day Daegu could climb out of the bottom spot if Incheon fail to do anything against Sangju, but that is no easy feat as they play Suwon, who, despite their poor form, should be a much better football team. Daegu have not taken a single point in their last five matches and their season has been riddled with red cards. That’s something they have to keep under control if they want to get anything at all from this match.
And finally this weekend, Ulsan Hyundai invite Gyeongnam to their lair. Gyeongnam are the newly promoted surprise package as they sit in second, while Ulsan have had a poor start to the season and sit down in sixth. However, there are only three points between the two sides so a win here for Ulsan could be just the boost they need to really mount a challenge. A loss could see them dropped back into the lower half of the table and make the season turn into a fight to get to the right side of the split instead of a fight for the top three.
That’s all for this week’s preview, come back on Monday for the roundup!