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What to watch in the K-League Classic

Posted November. 01, 2014 02:55,   


Win by just one match?

The point to note in the K-League Classic is how the top-ranked Jeonbuk Hyundai and second-ranked Suwon Samsung fare. This is possible since Jeonbuk could win the championship trophy in the first split round match of the top six teams from which the champion will be decided. If Jeonbuk with 68 points beats Suwon with 58 points, the differential between the two widens to 13. In this case, even if Suwon wins all of its four following matches, it cannot beat Jeonbuk. Suwon will play away matches on Saturday with Ulsan Hyundai and Jeonbuk with FC Seoul on Sunday. If Suwon beats Ulsan, Jeonbuk has to put aside its try at the championship trophy for the next time.

Currently, Jeonbuk appears to have high morale. It is riding high on a five-match winning streak, with no loss for 10 consecutive matches (7 wins, 3 ties). Yet Seoul is not an easy match. Jeonbuk has tied four times with two losses in six recent matches with Seoul, while striker Lee Dong-guk is unable to play die to injury, which weighs on Jeonbuk. Jeonbuk manager Choi Kang-hui says, “We have a lot to win when it comes to Seoul. The players are confident and morale is high. We are playing to win.” He thus vowed to give Seoul a run for its money.

Seoul needs to beat Jeonbuk as well. To gain a berth to play in the Asia Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League tournament, which is given up to the top three finishers, the 4th-ranked Seoul (with 50 points) needs to accumulate as many points as possible. Since Seoul can play in the ACL only when Seoul wins in the finals of the FA Cup finals, it needs to concentrate on the K-League Classic as well. Seoul manager Choi Yong-soo expressed firm resolve, saying, “We are going to fight to not allow Jeonbuk to win on our home turf.”

Suwon is determined to beat Ulsan, against which it has not lost the three previous matches (2 wins, 1 tie). Suwon manager Seo Jung-won said, “We can create a dramatic scenario with just 1 percent possibility." Ulsan for its part has barely hung onto the upper group at sixth (47 points) in the regular league. Its manager Cho Min-guk vowed, “We are going all out now.”