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Round 2 Power Rankings

After a long winter break Miro Tramita is back with the first Power Rankings of 2017. Who has the momentum after Round 1 of Classic? Who looks destined for relegation in the early goings of the season? Take a look at his numbers 1-12 and leave your thoughts in the comments below!
(image via facebook.com/fcjejuunited)

1




Following a superb finish to 2016 and Jeonbuk's ban from AFC Champions League, Jeju made it straight into the group stages. Lee Keun-ho surprisingly left for Gangwon, but the Islanders recruited heavily and they arguably have the strongest squad in the league now. They lost their opening game of the season to Jiangsu in the ACL, but it was a very unfortunate defeat and the next two games have shown they should be a very competitive team on all fronts.
— LAST MONTH:
HIGH:  | LOW:
Latest result: Won 1-0 at Incheon United
Next K-League match: Saturday vs Ulsan Hyundai
2






The other team benefiting from Jeonbuk's ban, the East Coast side barely qualified for the ACL group stages, defeating Hong Kong side Kitchee on penalties. Ulsan surprisingly named Kim Do-hoon to follow Yoon Jung-hwan as their manager and many were skeptical this would bring any kind of improvement to their performances. They were very defensively minded under Yoon and Kim's strategy was very much the same with Incheon. However, the club managed to bring in some exciting players while Kim has certainly deployed a more attacking formation than we're used to seeing from Ulsan. Their 6-0 win vs Brisbane in ACL was a fully deserved scoreline and challenging for top 3 spot in the league is now certainly expected from a squad that has quality in every department.
— LAST MONTH:
HIGH:  | LOW:
Latest result: Won 2-1 vs Pohang Steelers
Next K-League match: Saturday at Jeju United
3





The current ACL champions have certainly weakened from the previous season. A number of key players left the squad, perhaps a consequence of being banned from this season's edition, and not many decent players came in to replace them. However, the men in green still have arguably the best midfield duo in Lee Jae-sung and Kim Bo-kyung and the arrival of two quality fullbacks could provide enough service for Kim Shin-wook to drag them towards their only meaningful target: winning the domestic double!
— LAST MONTH:
HIGH:  | LOW:
Next K-League match: Saturday at Suwon Bluewings
4










With Johnathan going on an incredible scoring run towards end of 2016 Suwon managed not only to comfortably avoid relegation, they also defeated arch rivals FC Seoul on penalties to lift the KFA Cup. Winning that two-legged cup final meant they also qualified for ACL group stages directly; an incredible achievement given the way their season was going until late 2016. They lost 3-4 important players, most notably Kwon Chang-hoon, but they brought in players who might be able to make them even more competitive. Retaining the services of Johnathan was also a massive positive while Jurman should add some stability at CB. With Jeonbuk and Seoul looking weaker this season, top 3 is certainly a possibility for Suwon.
— LAST MONTH:
HIGH:  | LOW:
Latest result: Drew 1-1 at FC Seoul
Next K-League match: Saturday vs Jeonbuk Motors
5





The Dragons managed to keep all of their key players from last season, and a few players with Classic experienced came in to provide more options in some positions. Signing Hungarian striker Feczesin could prove to be superb move. He looked really good on the opening day of the season and his presence should allow Jair to operate in his favourite left wing position. Top 6 is a must for this squad!
— LAST MONTH:
HIGH:  | LOW:
Next K-League match: Sunday vs Sangju Sangmu
6


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SgfovjIbX-M/VnftQJVNOII/AAAAAAAAA5s/SHqLHAgdlYc/s400/Gangwon.png
The Challenge Playoff winners went through a massive squad change in the off-season. The majority of players who helped them win promotion left the club, but Gangwon were able to bring in some highly rated players with plenty of experience in Classic. If all these news signing click together, survival shouldn't be a problem, but qualifying for ACL might just be too high of an ambition.
— LAST MONTH:
HIGH:  | LOW:
Latest result: Won 2-1 at Sangju Sangmu
Next K-League match: Saturday vs FC Seoul
7

The army team made history in 2016, but this is a different team really. Manager Cho Jin-ho left for Busan and 17 new players arrived as part of their military duty. There is definitely enough quality in this squad to easily survive, but it will all depend on how quickly they are able to gel together under a new manager.
— LAST MONTH:
HIGH:  | LOW:
Latest result: Lost 2-1 vs Gangwon FC
Next K-League match: Sunday at Jeonnam Dragons
8







The capital club won the title on the final day of the season at Jeonju World Cup Stadium. Truly a dream scenario for the club. However, things are looking very much different at the start of 2017. A few important players left and the club haven't really signed anyone who should be a key player for them right away. A dreadful pre-season was followed by a shocking start to ACL. But the second half of the opening day Super Match shows there's some hope for the Champions. Can they defend the title? A number of players would have to improve significantly for them to have a shot, but the season is only beginning.
— LAST MONTH:
HIGH:  | LOW:
Latest result: Drew 1-1 vs Suwon Bluewings
Next K-League match: Saturday at Gangwon FC
9





Losing Golden Boot winner and K League MVP Jung Jo-gook without bringing anyone decent in certainly leaves Gwangju with only one goal: survive! Apart from Jung, a couple more regular players left and this could be a difficult season for the club. However, manager Nam Ki-il has done miracles before and his youngsters could be better than a couple of other teams. The main question is where will the goals come from?
— LAST MONTH:
HIGH:  | LOW:
Latest result: Won 1-0 vs Daegu FC
Next K-League match: Sunday at Pohang Steelers
10





The Steelers had a season to forget in 2016, narrowly avoiding relegation. Not much has changed in the off-season and the squad looks very much the same. The addition of Swedish CB Nilsson and return of Son Joon-ho could be the difference though. Manager Choi Soon-ho, who took over towards end of 2016, had a plenty of time to get his philosophy across, but only time will tell how competitive they are.
— LAST MONTH:
HIGH:  | LOW:
Latest result: Lost 2-1 at Ulsan Hyundai
Next K-League match: Sunday vs Gwangju FC
11

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-381TS4wkeOg/Vnfs90KZrHI/AAAAAAAAA5U/ctURrhCiHwo/s400/Daegu.png
The Challenge runners up in 2016 won direct promotion as Ansan Mugunghwa couldn't get promoted due to league rules. Most of Daegu's Korean players stayed at the club while a couple of decent looking Brazilian imports arrived to provide some flair up front. It's difficult to gauge how good this team will be, but a lack of players with experience from Classic could prove to be a difference between them and the other promoted club, Gangwon.
— LAST MONTH:
HIGH:  | LOW:
Latest result: Lost 1-0 at Gwangju FC
Next K-League match: Saturday vs Incheon United
12


Destined to be relegated for ¾ of the 2016 season, Incheon went on a truly incredible run once Lee Ki-hyung took over and they secured survival on the final day of the season. However, a number of key players left the club and they look like main relegation candidates again at the start of 2017. I'm very skeptical they have enough quality to stay up this time.
— LAST MONTH:
HIGH:  | LOW:
Latest result: Lost 1-0 vs Jeju United
Next K-League match: Saturday at Daegu FC


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