Park Chuyoung is back in the K League as the paperwork has finally – yay! – gone through. All that and more – including an update on the Middle East boys, with LMJ and NTH approaching titles, and KTH, LMJ, CYC and HKY all in ACL spot races.
European Listings – table courtesy of koreanfootballers.blogspot.ca
|Friday||10:00 AM||Kim Bo Kyung||Wigan||@Middlesbrough||BeIn|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Son Heung Min||Bayer Leverkusen||Hamburg||None|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Kim Jin Su||Hoffenheim||Gladbach||None|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Koo Ja Cheol||Mainz||@Werder Bremen||None|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Park Joo Ho||Mainz||@Werder Bremen||None|
|Saturday||10:00 AM||Yun Suk Young||QPR||@West Brom||NBC Extra Time|
|Saturday||10:00 AM||Ki Sung Yueng||Swansea||Hull City||NBC Extra Time|
|Sunday||9:30 AM||Hong Jeong Ho||Augsburg||Schalke||GolTV|
|Sunday||9:30 AM||Ji Dong Won||Augsburg||Schalke||GolTV|
|Monday||10:00 AM||Kim Bo Kyung||Wigan||Derby County||None|
|Monday||1:00 PM||Suk Hyun Jun||Vitoria Setubal||@Maritimo||None|
|Monday||3:00 PM||Lee Chung Yong||Crystal Palace||Man City||NBCSN|
Kimbo is twice on Easter weekend – a Championship oddity. Should start at least one, if not both. He isn’t staying with Wigan if they do go down to League One, so… it’s crunch time.
Son, if rested, seeing that he did play a bit too much for my liking over the international break, should start against his old club.
Koo Jacheol will start with Hoffman injured for the rest of the season. Park Jooho should also start. Speaking of which:
Ki and Ji should both start, unless Ki is too fatigued and Ji is dropped for other options.
Yun should also be starting for QPR at West Brom. The R’s window to stay up is closing…
Kim Jinsu – unsure, no update on his concussion. No news on Lee Chungyong either it seems. Hong Jeongho might make the squad with an injury to an Augsburg CB.
Middle East News
6 rounds to go in Saudi Arabia. Kwak Taehwi’s Al-Hilal chasing Al-Ittihad for final Champions League spot. Trail by one point. Al-Hilal play midtable Al-Taawon (Sat 12noon EDT). Al-Ittihad play league-leading Al-Nassr. Could be important swing day if Kwak’s team win and Al-Ittihad lose.
3 rounds left in Qatar. Nam Taehee’s Lekhwiya can claim title this week. Nam scored a PK last week in a 3-1 win, but key striker Sebastian Soria (the naturalized Qatari) got sent off. Still, Lekhwiya should win this week against Al-Shahaniya (Sat 11.15am). Doing so secures them yet another Qatari Stars League title.
Also in Qatar, Lee Keunho’s El-Jaish and Han Kookyoung/Cho Youngcheol’s Qatar SC are locked for last ACL spot. El Jaish play tomorrow morning (Fri 11.15am). Qatar SC later. (Sat 1.30pm)
In the UAE, 6 rounds to go but Lee Myeongju’s Al-Ain have already played. Asamoah Gyan with the only goal of the game, and Lee played the full 90. Al-Ain lead the league with a 7 point cushion.
K League Classic Round 4/Challenge Round 3
Jeonbuk-Pohang (Sat 1am EDT/2pm KST)
Pohang haven’t exactly been convincing to start the season. Jeonbuk are strong at home and will be hard to beat. Prediction: 2-1 Jeonbuk
Suwon-Busan (Sat 1am EDT/2pm KST)
Suwon should be beating teams like Busan, especially in their own backyard. Kim Eunsun (the KNT callup that didn’t play) seems to still be sick so expect him to miss out. Perhaps another 4-1-4-1 from the Bluewings? Prediction: 2-0 Suwon
Seoul-Jeju (Sat 1am EDT/2pm KST) *Must-watch game of the round*
The Second Coming of Chuyoung the day before Easter. Park Chuyoung has finished with the ITC stuff, he’s registered as a Seoul player, he’s fit (been training with Seoul while waiting for the paperwork to go through) and he’s ready to go. Park will most certainly be in the squad against Jeju in front of what should be a big crowd at Seoul WC Stadium. Jeju are on fine form however after the massacre of Daejeon. Prediction: 1-1 draw. Park Chuyoung scores. 😛
Daejeon-Seongnam (Sat 3am EDT/4pm KST)
Why do we ALWAYS get the late game? Blegh. Daejeon try to find a goal in them against stingy Seongnam. Honestly, Seongnam have some talent in attack (Hwang Euijo certainly impressing) for a citizen club and I don’t expect Daejeon to do much defensively these days. Let’s be the optimist and give Daejeon a goal though. Prediction: 2-1 Seongnam
Ulsan-Gwangju (Sun 1am EDT/2pm KST)
Easter Sunday game one – Yoon Junghwan’s newlook Ulsan side had a nightmare last round. Can they find 3 points against a Gwangju side who have stunned everyone and find themselves tied for top of the league? Mini-upset prediction – Gwangju’s annoying press nullifies Ulsan midfield. Prediction: 0-0 draw.
Jeonnam-Incheon (Sun 3am EDT/4pm KST)
Jeonnam have 1 goal this year, but it’s not for a lack of trying. Lee Jongho and Ahn Youngwoo are certainly impressing for the Dragons. Incheon also play with heart and to be winless is a bit harsh on them. However, expect Jeonnam to nick it in a tight game. Prediction: 1-0 Jeonnam
I didn’t have time to do a domestic roundup, but Seoul E-Land drew their inaugural game last weekend in front of a 4,342 fans against Anyang. No atmosphere from the home fans though – instead it was the passionate Anyang fans making all the noise in Jamsil. This weekend should be more accurate evaluation of their fan base with many FC Seoul and other-team fans in attendance to witness the birth of Korea’s newest club.
Also, attendances in the 2nd tier have been on the rise. Last week’s numbers:
Ansan Wa Stadium: 10,094
Daegu Stadium: 20,157
Suwon Chonghap: 4,460
Jamsil Olympic (Seoul E-Land): 4,342
Goyang Chonghap: 3,083
A lot of those are free tickets though and expect the 17% increase from last season to go down.
Gangwon-Bucheon (Sat 1am EDT/2pm KST)
E-Land-Daegu (Sat 1am EDT/2pm KST)
Anyang-Goyang (Sat 3am EDT/4pm KST)
Chungju-Suwon City (Sun 1am EDT/2pm KST)
Gyeongnam-Sangju (Sun 1am EDT/2pm KST)
Ansan Police bye week.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading – happy Easter in advance to all those who observe it – and a good weekend to all. Jalgayo from the TSQ.