K League Preview (10/29-30)

The K League Classic is down to the final few rounds, while the K League Challenge enters their final regular season round. And unlike in previous seasons there is still a whole, whole lot to play for!

K League Classic

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Championship half of the table (via Soccerway)
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Relegation half of the table (via Soccerway)

The Classic’s tastiest match up will be down here on the island as Jeju host Seoul. Seoul has managed to close the gap to Jeonbuk to just goal difference (2nd tiebreaker), and this will be a big test for them to either maintain or overtake the Jeonju side. A win for Jeju though would give them a half-shout at the title themselves. They would still be (at least) 3 points behind (depending on Jeonbuk result), but their superior goals scored (68 vs 62) would give them an edge over both Jeonbuk and Seoul if it came down to it. Speaking of Jeonbuk, the stuttering league leaders will head down to Suncheon to take on Jeolla rivals Jeonnam. On paper a game Jeonbuk should win comfortably, but Choi Kang-hee’s side seems reminiscent of his national team side in the sense that they seem to be ‘falling backwards’ towards a title rather than ‘charging forward’. The final top half match will see Sangju host Ulsan. Ulsan will have slight hopes for an ACL spot, but that seems unlikely given the 6 point gap between them and Jeju (plus Jeju’s massive goal scored superiority – 68 vs 38). As a side note, Ulsan announced manager Yoon Jung-hwan will not stay on past the end of this season.

Down in the bottom half there is a Suwon derby. Suwon Samsung remains perilously close to the relegation playoff spot (and not too far off the auto drop). A loss to their cross-town neighbors, Suwon FC, combined with an Incheon win would see them down to 11th and just 2 points clear of the bottom. Incheon face Pohang in another potentially important match. Pohang, like Suwon Samsung, are far from safe as they sit on 42 points. Depending on results, Pohang could also see themselves drop into the relegation playoff spot (unlikely though) this weekend. The final match of the bottom half is between Seongnam and Gwangju. A win for Gwangju would see them mathematically safe from the auto-drop spot, and likely safe from the playoff spot. Seongnam will be looking to win to keep their noses clear of the dog fight at the bottom.

The schedule for this weekend (via K League)
The schedule for this weekend (via K League)

K League Challenge

Phew, where do we start with this one? This Sunday is the final round of the Challenge regular season. Virtually everything is up for grabs, however the playoff spots have largely been decided.

I suppose we should start at the top. Leaders Ansan travel to Anyang. A win for Ansan should be sufficient to win the title, as they edge Daegu in the goals scored category by 2 goals at the moment. Anyang is simply playing the spoiler role as they are locked into 9th place. Daegu host Daejeon as they seek to overtake Ansan for the title and hold off Gangwon and Busan for the automatic promotion spot. Win and both are possible, but they will need to outscore Ansan by at least 2 goals. Daejeon, like Anyang, are in spoiler mode as they are locked into the 7th position. Gangwon host Gyeongnam in their final match. Gangwon trail Ansan and Daegu by 2 points. A win and they put themselves in contention for both, but will need help. Gyeongnam, again spoilers. Busan travel to face Seoul E-Land in the one match where both teams have something significant to play for. Busan sits 3 points behind Ansan/Daegu and just 1 point behind Gangwon. A win for them puts them (mathematically) in contention for the title, automatic promotion, and/or the first round bye of the playoffs. An E-Land win gives them a shout at the final playoff spot as they currently trail Bucheon by 3 points. Speaking of, Bucheon host lowly Goyang in their final match. A draw guarantees Bucheon’s place in the playoffs while a win could see them move up into the first round bye spot.

Final round of K League Challenge (via K League)
Final round of K League Challenge (via K League)

The situation as of now

Ansan – Title
Daegu – Automatic promotion to K League Classic
Gangwon – First round bye + Home advantage for playoff 2nd round match
Busan – Home advantage for playoff 1st round match
Bucheon – Playoffs

Sorting the scenario (other situations are possible but are impossible to list due to the various goals scored scenarios)

Ansan will win title if they:
Win + Daegu can only overtake if they also win and outscore them by 2 goals
Draw + Needs Daegu to draw with Daejeon.
Lose + Daegu loses, Gangwon draws/loses, Busan draws/loses or wins but doesn’t outscore Ansan by 2 or more goals

Daegu will title if they:
Win + Ansan draws/loses or if they outscore Ansan by 2 or more goals.
Draw + Ansan loses OR Ansan also draws but the Daegu outscores by 2+ goals
Lose + Ansan loses AND Daegu outscores by 2+ goals

Daegu will gain automatic promotion if they:
Win (no other things need to happen)
Draw + Gangwon loses/draws OR Gangwon wins but does not outscore Daegu by 3+ goals
Lose + Gangwon loses/draws AND Busan loses/draws

Gangwon will win the title if they:
Win + Ansan lose AND Daegu lose

Gangwon will gain automatic promotion if they:
Win + Daegu loses/draws

Gangwon will get first round bye if they:
Win (no other things need to happen)
Draw + Busan loses/draws AND Bucheon loses/draws
Lose + Busan loses AND Bucheon loses/draws

Busan will win the title if they:
Win + Ansan loses and Busan outscores by 2+ AND Daegu loses AND Gangwon loses/draws

Busan will gain automatic promotion if they:
Win + Daegu loses AND Gangwon loses/draws

Busan will gain first round bye if they:
Win + Gangwon loses/draws
Draw + Gangwon loses

Busan will gain home advantage for first round of playoffs if they:
Win (no other things need to happen)
Draw + Bucheon loses/draws
Lose + Bucheon lose

Bucheon will win the title if they:
Win + Ansan and Daegu lose (huge amount of goal scored needs to be made up 9+)

Bucheon will gain automatic promotion if they:
Win + Daegu loses (huge amount of goals scored needs be made up 7+)

Bucheon will gain first round bye if they:
Win + Gangwon loses/draws AND Busan loses/draws

Bucheon will gain home advantage for first round of playoffs if they:
Win + Busan loses/draws
Draw + Busan loses

Bucheon will qualify for playoffs if they:
Win (no other things need to happen)
Draw (no other things need to happen)
Lose + Seoul E-Land loses/draws OR E-Land win but Bucheon outscores by 1+

Seoul E-Land will qualify for playoffs if they:
Win + Bucheon lose and E-Land outscore Bucheon by 1+

The table (feel free to double check my scenario outcomes)
The table (feel free to double check my scenario outcomes)

The likely outcome

I suspect that Ansan should have enough (despite their yo-yoing form) to beat Anyang and claim the title before they depart the city. The auto promotion spot will likely go to Daegu, but it’s possible that history repeats itself and on the final day they are overtaken as Daejeon seems a tad trickier than Gangwon’s match against Gyeongnam. Busan and Seoul E-Land seems a coin flip. Both are in good form and are capable of securing the result needed. Bucheon should surely defeat bottom dwellers Goyang. I suspect that the table will stay the same with the only possible change being Busan and Bucheon flipping spots for 4th and 5th.

 

About Jae Chee 312 Articles
A football fan with who got bit by the writing bug.

1 Comment

  1. yo that is kinda unbelievable – literally down to the wire…I’m assuming you’re going to Jeju / Seoul match? BTW: love it – Choi Kang-Hee ‘falling backwards’ into a title! Apt!

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