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Jeju vs Jeonbuk K League Preview


Jeju vs Jeonbuk games recently have not been quiet. From the last game that saw Jeonbuk storm to a win in typhoon like conditions, to the game this time last year that Jeonbuk won to clinch the title, there is always something to write about. 


This game is no different with Jeju needing a win to stand a chance at entering the top six before the split, and Jeonbuk knowing a win will take them one step closer to becoming K League champions.

Both teams will come into the game full of confidence. Jeonbuk have thrown aside the disappointment of their ACL quarter final loss by getting convincing wins in their last two games, while Jeju beat Busan in the last game to keep their hopes of a top six finish alive. 


The key to both teams recent results have been strikers who are at the top of their game. Lee Dong Gook's five goals in six games will have come as a surprise to no-one, but the form of Karanga up front for Jeju just might have! After a slow start to his career that was hindered by injuries ,Karanga has hit form at just the right time and can now match Lee's record with five goals of his own in the last six.


Both sides will go into this game with teams at close to full strength. Jeonbuk should welcome back Lee Jae Sung and Kim Kee Hee, who were both given a well needed rest in the last game against Gwangju, while Jeju could see time given to Kim Hyun and Jovanovic who are both returning from injuries of their own.


Choi Gang Hee's biggest problem will be the classic problem managers "love to have" as he will need to chose four attacking players out of Lee Dong Gook, Leonardo, Luiz, Lee Keun Ho, Han Gyo Won and even possibly Spanish Striker Urko Vero who was given a start in the last game. 


Jeju meanwhile will need to decide how to balance their need for a win, with their need to not be too open against the league's top side. It's not something they have always got right, but with an attack that boasts 48 goals this season a win should not be beyond the realms of possibility.


Unfortunately due to time constraints Jeonbuk's contributor Lex was unable to answer my questions, but he was kind enough to send in five of his own that I have answered below.



How are Jeju's injuries still effecting them this late in the season? 

Not too badly at the moment! Karanga is back and banging the goals in. Song Jin Hyung is also back to his early season form and has added a few assists. Alex made his return a couple of games ago too, he only played 20 minutes or so but will hopefully be able to get a good run in during the final few games.

If Jeju doesn't make the top 6, it would be disappointing, but enough to call it a failure of a year? 

I certainly wouldn't call it a failure. It was always going to be a tough season with the change in manager and also the change in style that goes with it. There have also been some truly exciting games this season and at times our attacking football has been a pleasure to watch. Hopefully we can snatch sixth place this weekend, which will be a good achievement. 

Jeonbuk won the title last year by getting enough points in a 3-0 win at Jeju; does that have anything to do with the way the team will play Sunday? 

Yea well there are certainly similarities between the games, what with Jeonbuk being fairly clear at the top and Jeju needing a win (we still had top three hopes in that game). Hopefully then we will have learnt our lessons about what to do. However there are also differences as we went a man down at 1-0 in that game. If we can keep 11 men on the pitch this time it will be more even and maybe we can go on to win it. 

It's cold in Seoul; how have playing conditions changed on the island and is it a home field advantage? 

It's certainly not cold on Jeju. In fact in the day it will likely be fairly warm. Perfect football conditions really. It's definitely expected to be much better than the typhoon like conditions the last game between the two sides was played in!

Just speculation; if you make the top 6, where will you end up? If you go down, where will you finish?

If we make the top six there is already a bit of gap so finishing any higher would probably be beyond us. Especially as all the other teams are fighting for the ACL and will need to be 100 percent in every game. If we finish in the bottom half I think we should be able to stay in seventh. Ulsan are in good form at the moment but I fancy our chances against most of the other teams in the bottom half.

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