Midweek Listing in Europe & Korea 10/18-10/19 Son & Spurs take on Leverkusen + more

Photo: Tottenham Hotspur FC

A few matches to look at midweek, first go to Tim Lee’s preview of the Asian Champions League 2nd leg semi between FC Seoul and Jeonbuk.   Done? That’s tomorrow coffee & kickoff at 6:30 AM for US East Coasters / late soju cola & jeon-neok 7:30 PM in Korea.

Over in Germany, Spurs & Son Heung-Min brings his hot shooting form to Bayer Leverkusen and a awkward reunion of sorts with his former teammates.  Kickoff in a few hours: Tuesday 2:45 PM US EST / Wednesday 3:45 AM Korea. US TV: FS1

Photo: Tottenham Hotspur FC
Photo: Tottenham Hotspur FC

In yesterday’s press conference, this:

 

Nice words from both sides.

This clash might lazily be billed as Chicharito vs Son – but this has all the earmarks of a scintillating mouthwatering Champions League matchup that will pit two sides who are employing similar on field strategies.

The Guardian published a story today about Son’s time at Leverkusen that both endeared him to the local community, and re: the nature of his rapid transfer to London in 2015 – may make his return to the Bay Arena far less than enthusiastic from his former supporters. Son also salutes the Germans at Hamburg who helped take Son in and build his confidence and playing abilities. At 18, he became the youngest player to score for Hamburg – this on his first game in uniform for the top squad. Interestingly, writer Dave Hytner points out that the Spurs organization seem very nervous behind the scenes about Son possibly returning to Korea to serve out his military duties, having failed along with the rest of the 2016 Rio Olympic squad to secure a medal and exemption last August.

As they should since Son has been nuclear hot, winning September’s Premier League player of the month (1st Asian to win the award) by scoring 5 goals and 2 assists in that short span, helping to catapult Spurs to their best start to a season since 1961. Hytner also alludes to the possibility that Spurs are trying to find a way to postpone Son’s military service should the effort to win exemption in 2018 with the Asian games fall short.   [Stay tuned to the Tavern as we’re going to repost very soon some interesting facts and the flowchart scenarios concerning Son’s situation with looming military service – including some surprising revelations that the British press don’t know about yet].

One more thing to note: Son’s Champions League record isn’t too shabby: 5 goals scored with Leverkusen, 1 goal scored a few weeks ago for Spurs when they faced CSKA Moscow -which turned out to be the eventual gamewinner. 6 CL goals bests Park Ji-Sung’s Champions League goal record and with that, Son is now the top scoring Korean in the Champions League (is he the overall top scoring Asian in the Champions League? Tavern Stat man – I haven’t called on you for some time now due to past incompetence. Get to work!)  Oh yeah, 3 goals in Europa League for Spurs. 9 goals in Europe total.  You’d have to think, as long as Spurs are in form and Son remains healthy, that tally will move higher.

Moving on…

Park Joo-Ho is in Lisbon with his teammates at BVB for their CL clash with Sporting.  He is ineligible to play but is training with them to prepare for Borussia Dortmund’s next league match on Saturday at Ingolstadt. LB Schmeltzer is out for a few weeks which means further opportunities for Park Joo-Ho who subbed in as a left wingback and did fairly well despite a little bit of understandable rust.

 

On Wednesday:

Barcelona is hosting Man City, and in parallel, Lee Seung-Woo and Juvenil A will face Manchester City’s youth team and you can see it streamed live at 11AM US EST / 12 midnight Korea Time:

 

 

It’s here we’ll transition to Korea, one Asian Champions League semifinal and K-League Challenge to wake up to:

The 2nd leg of the FC Seoul/ Jeonbuk ACL semi at 6:30AM EST/7:30 PM Korea. Maybe Jeonbuk will wrap things up with a 4-1 aggregate lead, but stranger things have happened.

and the K-League Challenge, a few fixtures to note (thanks Soccerway.com):

Gyeongnam 06 : 00 Ansan Mugunghwa
Chungju 06 : 00 Seoul E-Land
Busan I’Park 06 : 00 Gangwon
Daegu 06 : 30 Bucheon 1995
Anyang 07 : 00 Goyang Zaicro

Here’s how the table looks right now:

# Team MP W D L F A D P Last 5 matches H2H
1 37 19 7 11 52 48 +4 64 LLDWW
2 37 17 12 8 50 35 +15 63 LWWDW
3 37 18 9 10 44 30 +14 63 WWLDL
4 37 18 8 11 44 30 +14 62 LWLWW
5 Previous rank: 6 37 17 7 13 48 35 +13 58 WWWLW
6 Previous rank: 7 37 14 13 10 42 35 +7 55 WWWLD
7 Previous rank: 8 38 15 9 14 54 49 +5 54 WWLLL
8 Previous rank: 5 37 18 5 14 58 53 +5 49 WLWWW
9 38 10 13 15 35 48 -13 43 LLLLL
10 38 7 7 24 40 59 -19 28 WLLWL
11 37 2 10 25 18 63 -45 16 LLLWL

CORRECTIONS

Keep in mind: while 4th place is the promotion playoff cutoff – Ansan can not be promoted this season, so 5th place is in play. Daejeon, Seoul E-Land and Busan will all jostle for that until the end of the season -which by the way is rapidly closing. This midweek fixture is round 42 (of 44).  But who will then win auto-promotion to the K-League Classic? Daegu, Bucheon or Gangwon?  Long shot even is Busan, having won 4 of the last 5 games and 5 points below Daegu & Bucheon.

Another Wednesday match to look out for, the U19 AFC Championship last group match game in Bahrain:
U19 Korea v U19 Saudi Arabia   12:30pm US EST/ (Thurs) 1:30AM Korea time
Korea is now at 2 wins no losses and will move onto the quarterfinals with a draw or win.  Should they finish on top of group A, they will likely face Vietnam or UAE in the Quarterfinals on Sunday October 23.  Look to Jinseok’s recap of Korea’s 2-1 win over Bahrain to get a sense of how things are shaking for this squad, including Cho Youngwook who is playing up 2 years. The 17 year old is described by Jinseok as a “hybrid between Hwang Heechan and Kim Seungdae in his prime…”

On Thursday, Europa League action and possibly Hwang Hee-Chan appearance for Red Bull Salzburg:

Red Bull
1:00 PM

OGC Nice

 

 

 

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