A lightning quick Korean Players Abroad listing for the first games of the New Year for our England-based players.
Player, Team, Opponent, Date (EST), Time (EST), Date (KST), Time (KST)
Ki Sungyueng, Swansea, @Palace, 01/03, 3pm, 01/04, 5am
Lee Chungyong, Palace, v Swansea, 01/03, 3pm, 01/04, 5am
Son Heungmin, Spurs, v Chelski, 01/04, 3pm, 01/05, 5am
Will we have a Korean derby? It’s really hard to tell. Bayern Munich assistant manager Paul Clement has been appointed the new boss of the Swans, but he won’t be in charge of team selection for this one (having just been appointed an hour ago). Caretaker boss Alan Curtis gave Ki 90 minutes last time around in a mixed performance. Will he play this one? Who knows. But he’ll be in the mix. Will be interesting to see what his defensive contribution is in this one, especially since that’s both one of his worst attributes right now and since the last two managers asked him to do more lifting defensively.
On the other hand, it will be former “England manager” Big Sam’s third game in charge of Palace. Lee got a sub appearance last time around – will he get a chance to show Allardyce what he’s made of today?
Both sides are either firmly in (Swansea) or teetering close to (Palace) the relegation zone, and with new leadership it could be a scrappy game. Hopefully a KPA (or both!) comes out of it for the better.
US Broadcast: NBC EXTRA TIME
Meanwhile, will Son Heungmin get a start tomorrow against Conte’s league-leading Chelsea? Last time around against the league leaders, Son started but came off after just 58 minutes. More recently, he had an okay full 90 at Watford on Sunday. But Chelski present a different challenge, especially with their adventurous wingbacks and tantalizingly dangerous inside forwards. Does Poch go more aggressive and play Son anyways to run inside channels and press effectively? Or is a Sissoko preferred in a touch more defensive role? Only time will tell.
US Broadcast: NBCSN