So, the headline says it all really. It’s Derby Day in the K League! All matches are played tomorrow with the earliest matches kicking off at 06:00 tomorrow morning UK time and the final two at 08:00. Will Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors be able to keep their gap or can Suwon Samsung Bluewings close it down again?
Let’s start with the derbies then, no need to keep you waiting more than necessary now is there?
Donghaean derby, who will win the mid-table matchup?
If you’re not that familiar with the K League and Korean football then the Donghaean derby will tell you absolutely nothing. Well let me explain this to you then. The match is between Ulsan Hyundai and Pohang Steelers, two teams who this season sit bang-smack in the middle of the table.
They are on equal points and have the same record over the last five matches (1-2-2) so this should be a very tight contest. In the meeting between these two earlier this year Pohang took a 2-1 win, but over the last three years Ulsan Hyundai has been the most successful in head-to-head matchups.
Super Match, could it really be that super?
The other derby this weekend is between FC Seoul and Suwon Samsung Bluewings. That kicks off at 8 tomorrow morning. Suwon lost ground to Jeonbuk and need a win here, while Seoul also needs one to latch onto the teams above them to try to climb into the top half.
These two drew 0-0 back in early April but Seoul have been the better of the two when the matches haven’t ended in a draw. Five of the last ten have been draws, while Seoul have won four and Suwon have one win. Form often go out the window and with a historical advantage on their side Seoul might be the team to back here.
The rest of the lot, can Jeonbuk keep going like this?
Well… can they? Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors play Jeonnam Dragons and you would back them to win this one although Jeonnam are in decent form with two draws and a win from their last three. However, Jeonnam should be a number or two too small in this match and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jeonbuk win by three or more.
The other matches this week sees bottom of the table Daegu play newly-promoted surprise package Gyeongnam in a match Daegu have every opportunity to win as the team in third are highly unstable.
Incheon United play Jeju United, who could jump Gyeongnam if they win, while the hosts are still looking for their second win of the season and could fall to the bottom spot if Daegu pick up a win over Gyeongnam.
The final match is Sangju Sangmu playing Gangwon. Sangju could jump their opponent who could, if all results go against them, fall from fifth to eight in one swoop. However, they could also go up to third with a win. Have I mentioned that the league is a very tightly contested affair?
That’s all for this preview, enjoy the matches and don’t forget to come back on Monday for the full roundup of the action.