The weekend is already over, but there are some crucial midweek matches, most notably a make-or-break (potentially) match for Son Heung-Min and Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League. PSV is also in action down in the Europa League, and Park Ji-Sung could feature after making his long awaited return last weekend. Plus Wenger spoke about Park Chu-Young.
U.S. Listings (all times EST)[table “” not found /]
Korea Listings (all times KST)[table “” not found /]
*SpoTV will broadcast Leverkusen-Real Sociedad on delay at 9AM on Wednesday
*SpoTV2 will broadcast PSV-Chornomorets on delay at 9AM on Friday
*Daum will stream a replay of PSV-Chornomorets on delay at 9AM on Friday
The match between Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad is of vital importance for Bayer. Currently the German-side sit 3rd in their group, one point behind Shakhtar Donetsk. In order to jump them, Bayer will need to win and hope that Manchester United beats or draws with Shakhtar in the other match at Old Trafford. Due to the 5-0 beating Bayer received last matchday, Shakhtar has a +4 goal difference advantage over Bayer, thus making a (draw-loss) scenario largely irrelevant (United would need to repeat the 5-0 victory).
Real Sociedad has shown more life as of late in La Liga, with Carlos Vela and Antoine Griessman in good form. But that hasn’t translated over the Champions League where the Basque side has mustered just one point from five matches. Nonetheless, things don’t look great for Bayer, who have struggled a bit on the road, with a record of 0-1-1 (4-2 loss to United, 0-0 draw with Shakhtar). Similarly Sociedad haven’t been great at home, with an identical record of 0-1-1 (0-0 draw with United, 2-0 loss to Shakhtar). Leverkusen narrowly won the home fixture against Sociedad, 2-1 with a last minute goal from Jens Hegeler. Bayer will be hoping that Son Heung-Min, who has been in good form domestically, will be able to carry that over to Europe.
PSV find themselves in a similar position. PSV are narrowly in the second qualification spot in their group, but have the narrowest of margins over their final opposition, Ukrainian side Chornomorets. Both are level on 7 points, but PSV has a goal difference of 0, compared to Chornomorets -1. Neither can catch leaders Ludogorets (13 points) and neither will be caught be last place Dinamo Zagreb (1 point). So basically, the two are fighting out for that second spot. Based on the table, the match looks fairly even. PSV has a 1-0-1 record at home, while Choronomorets have a 1-1-0 record away. PSV won the away leg of the tie 2-0 through goals from Depay and Jozefzoon. PSV welcomed Park Ji-Sung back from his long injury spell last weekend, as Park came on as a late sub.
Sports Dong-A spoke for a few minutes to Arsenal coach, Arsene Wenger about the future and current status of Korean forward Park Chu-Young. If you can read Korean, the linked article is above, but in short it says (to me) that Park has no future at Arsenal. Wenger says that Park is training well, but that he has “options” at his disposal (read: I have other players I like better and will use them).
K League Classic will keep the split system
This is a little bit old now, but the K League did announce that despite some criticism, they will keep using the split season format for the 2014 season. Next season there will be only 12 teams in the top flight (which the league intends to maintain). The 12 teams are:
Seongnam FC (re-branded after the ownership change from Ilhwa Co.)
Sangju Sangmu (promoted from K League Challenge)
The next season, only the bottom team will be eligible for relegation through the playoff (I believe).
K League Classic draft is today!
Today at 1:30PM KST, the K League Classic draft will be held in Seoul. Who will your club choose?
Injury worries are abating
Many of the national team players were recovering from injuries, but it seems most are starting to get back to fitness. Park Ji-Sung, as mentioned earlier, made his return to the field last weekend. While Koo Ja-Cheol was judged fit enough for a place on the Wolfsburg bench. It was also announced that Yoon Suk-Young had returned to training with Doncaster Rovers. Over in Japan Han Kook-Young had also made a return to competitive action for Shonan Bellmare (who unfortunately were relegated).