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Who's Going To Win It? - K-League Challenge Title Contenders

With just five rounds to go (only four in some cases) in the K-League Challenge it's still all to play for in the race for the title and the promotion play-off spots. Mathematically five teams could still walk away with the championship while everyone down to Anyang could still make the play-offs. More realistically, the title is still (just about) a four horse race and Bucheon will not have given up hope of sneaking into the play-offs. Goyang in sixth are not quite out of it yet either.

Title Contenders:

Four teams are still in with a shout of taking the title and it's going to go right down to the wire. As a reminder only the league winners earn automatic promotion to the K-League Classic

1. Daegu FC

Daegu seem to have timed their charge just right this season and they are definitely in pole position for the title with five games still to play. A 5-1 home smashing of Sangju at the end of September showed everyone what they are all about but losing at home to Goyang last weekend was a sign that there are still twists and turns to come in this contest. They have a few tricky ties to cope with in the run-in as well.

Remaining Games: Suwon (a) SEFC (h) Gangwon (a) Chungju (a) Bucheon (h)

2. Sangju Sangmu

After leading the pack more or less from day one of the season Sangju started their customary end of season slump a little early this season and the gap was rapidly closing even before they lost half their squad back to their parent clubs. They still have good players though and with a relatively easier run-in and four out of five matches at home they aren't out of the race yet.

Remaining Games: Goyang (h) Gyeongnam (h) Chungju (h) Suwon (a) Ansan (h)

3. Suwon City

Suwon to my mind have been incredibly inconsistent this season but they've managed to find some form in the second half of the season to keep pace with the leaders. For evidence of the turnaround just take a look at the results against E-Land - they were humbled at home 5-1 in the early round but bagged a 4-1 win at Jamsil last weekend. They have a tricky run-in but four games out of five at home will be a help to them.

Remaining Games: Daegu (h) Anyang (h) Sangju (h) Bucheon (a) Gyeongnam (h)

4. Seoul E-Land FC

It's been a topsy-turvy season for E-Land after setting the league alight for a spell in the Spring the second half of the season has been one to forget. They've played one game more than the rest of the pack and are five points off the lead. It would be a big ask to take the title at this stage. Three out of four games remaining are away from home but their home form is so poor that might not be a bad thing.  They'd probably have to do something special and win all four to take the title.

Remaining Games: Bucheon (a) Daegu (a) Gyeongnam (h) Gangwon (a)

My Prediction: At this point Daegu have the title to lose and I can easily see them taking 10 points from their remaining games. If that was the case I don't think any of the chasing pack would be able to catch them. Suwon could put the cat amongst the pigeons by beating them this weekend but even then I would fancy Daegu to just keep their nose in front till the end. For Sangju it's a case of steadying the ship for one last play-off push and sadly for E-Land they'll have bigger concerns just trying to stay in the top 4. Daegu champions then.

Play-off Contenders:

5. Bucheon 1995

For Bucheon this season is already a good one. Most people expected them to be at the bottom of the table and not anywhere near the play-off spots. A great run in the third round of fixtures turned their season around and even though they have stuttered slightly lately they are still not completely out of it. They have a tough run-in but if they could beat E-Land this weekend it would definitely be game on.

Remaining Games: E-Land (a) Anyang (h) Ansan (a) Suwon (h) Daegu (a)

6. Goyang Hi FC

In all honesty I think Goyang probably just have too much to do to snag a play-off spot this season. Eight points behind with four games to play I think it would be too big an ask to overhaul both E-land and Bucheon. Nevertheless it's been a commendable season for them. Given their early season form though they might be left wondering what might have been.

Remaining Games: Sangju (a) Gangwon (h) Gyeongnam (a) Chungju (h)

My Prediction: E-Land missing out on a play-off place would be almost unthinkable but their lead is only six points from Bucheon and they have played a game more. A Bucheon win at Jamsil this weekend would make things very interesting. Bucheon may just have too difficult a run-in to take all of the points they would need to catch E-Land though. E-Land to snag the final play-off spot despite themselves then.

1 comment

  1. Well things went as predicted at the weekend with wins for Daegu and SEFC. Big win for Sangju against Goyang on Monday keeps them in touch though. Daegu v E-Land is the match of the round this weekend.


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