The weekend is here again. TGIF! Also, Happy Thanksgiving to our readers in America. The midweek stuff is over with, and unfortunately for Son Heung-Min, his Bayer Leverkusen side was on the receiving end of a 5-0 beating from a streaky Manchester United side. Can Bayer and Son bounce back this weekend? Check out below, and all the other action.
U.S. Listings (all times are EST)
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*Koo Ja-Cheol is continuing to recover. He is involved in training, but unlikely to be involved in the game against Hamburg.
* Yoon Suk-Young and Park Ji-Sung are both long-term injury recoveries
*Bein Sports usually covers La Liga matches, but they have not updated their schedule (online) to show which matches they will broadcast this weekend
*Don’t forget, the K League title deciding match between Ulsan and Pohang is this weekend. I’m unsure if OneWorldSports will be showing it in the US.
South Korea Listings (all times are KST)
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*The Sunderland – Aston Villa match will be shown on a delay, starting at 2AM on SBS ESPN.
Watching This Weekend
3. Ulsan Hyundai vs Pohang Steelers
I did a brief preview of this match already, but it’s worth talking about again. Ulsan and Pohang go into the final game of the K League season with just two points between them (Ulsan – 73, Pohang – 71). Both teams are in fine form coming into the match. Pohang have won their last five league games, while Ulsan have won six of their last seven (their only blip being a 2-1 loss to Busan midweek). Ulsan has been dominant at home. In the second half of the season, the team is 5-0-0 at the Munsu Stadium, and have conceded just twice. Expand that to include the first half, and Ulsan’s home record is a solid 14-3-1, with 35 goals scored and 10 conceded. Pohang’s away form hasn’t been great. In the second half they are 3-1-1 with 10 scored and six conceded. Including the first half, Pohang has an away record of 9-6-2 with 32 scored and 22 conceded. Head to head, Ulsan has the better record. The Horangi are 2-1-0 against the Steelers this season.
For national team watchers, there are a few of Hong Myeong-Bo’s men in Ulsan’s team, and a couple in Pohang as well. Goalkeeper Kim Seung-Gyu, right back Lee Yong, and of course, center forward Kim Shin-Wook for Ulsan, and for Pohang reserve players Shin Kwang-Hoon and Lee Myeong-Joo.
2. Mainz 05 vs Borussia Dortmund
An interesting game from a national team perspective. While Kim Jin-Su has emerged as the favorite to start at left back, for many, Park Joo-Ho is still one worth watching given his experience in Europe. Park seemed like he was drifting out of Hong’s thoughts as he wasn’t called up initially for the last round of friendlies, and appeared to be being used as a left midfielder for Mainz. But last week, against Werder Bremen, Park was back at left back again. Perhaps Park requested to move back to defense in order to keep his Brazil hopes alive? I’m not sure, but if he appears there again this weekend against Dortmund it will be interesting to see how he does.
1. Cardiff City vs Arsenal
For fans this will be a dream of Kim Bo-Kyung versus Park Chu-Young, but his since cameo appearance against Chelsea in the league cup, Park has resumed his normal position in the stands. Further making things more difficult, Theo Wolcott made his return from injury last week against Southampton. So it is highly unlikely we’ll see Park anywhere near the pitch this weekend.
Cardiff remains a difficult team to figure. At times they look very much like a newly promoted side. But at other times they look very good, and wins over Manchester City and Welsh-rivals Swansea, coupled with a solid draw last weekend against Manchester United have certainly shown them to be capable of upping their game when need be. Kim Bo-Kyung figures to start again, having scored the late equalizer against United last weekend. Arsenal on the other hand, bounced back nicely after losing to the same United team a couple weeks earlier. Arsenal saw off a tough Southampton side last weekend, and then followed that up with a good 2-0 win over Marseille in the Champions League midweek.