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Preview: K League Classic Round 14

After a near-three week interval, the K League Classic is back in action this weekend and is back with a bang. Round 14 has thrown up no fewer than three derby games including the big one on Sunday, the Super Match between Suwon Bluewings and FC Seoul. After penning a new three-year contract, can Suwon Bluewings' Brazilian ace Johnathan (pictured above) repay the club's faith in him by netting a derby-day winner? Who will come out on top on the Jeolla Derby in Gwangyang? Can Gwangju overcome Daegu to leapfrog themselves out of the relegation playoff? All that and more in your comprehensive K League Classic weekend guide...

Image from Bluewings.co.kr

Saturday 17th June

Pohang Steelers (3rd) Vs Ulsan Hyundai (4th) 18:00

Pohang Steelers suffered defeat last time out, to newly-promoted Gangwon FC, and so will want to get their title challenge back on track when they face Ulsan Hyundai this Saturday. Steelers had won three on the bounce before the aforementioned defeat to Gangwon, which including victories over FC Seoul and Jeju United. Ulsan, however, could leapfrog Pohang if they displace their east coast rivals, and given their eight game unbeaten run which includes four away wins and a draw, an Ulsan win is entirely possible.

Prediction: Pohang Steelers 0-2 Ulsan Hyundai

Daegu FC (10th) Vs Gwangju FC (11th) 19:00

Even with a little over a third of the season played, Daegu FC Vs Gwangju FC could perhaps be seen as a relegation six-pointer - particularly as just a solitary point separates these two sides. A defeat for Daegu would see the newly-promoted side dragged into the relegation playoff dogfight, whilst the same for Gwangju could give hope to 12th-placed Incheon United who don't play until Sunday. Gwangju's lack of goals, particularly away from home, could come back to haunt them, and with that in mind Daegu will perhaps be seen as the favourites.

Prediction: Daegu FC 2-0 Gwangju FC

Jeonnam Dragons (8th) Vs Jeonbuk Hyundai (1st) 19:00

It's Jeolla Derby day in Gwanyang with current Asian Champions League Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai making the relatively short trip from Jeonju to the south coast to take on 9th-placed Jeonnam Dragons. Despite sitting as low as 9th place, the Dragons' home form as been impressive, as has been their goal-scoring prowess, particularly from Brazilian winger Jair. But in Jeonbuk, Jeonnam face their toughest test yet. Our Jeonnam Dragons columnists Aodan Halligan and Alex Meyer will preview this one here.

Sunday 18th June

Suwon Bluewings (6th) Vs FC Seoul (7th) 18:00

Arguably the standout match of round 14 is Suwon Bluewings vs FC Seoul with Bluewings' turn to host the latest Super Match. The previous Super Match, the 2017 curtain-raiser for these two K League giants, ended in a draw and with a place in the top six to play for Sunday's clash clash is certainly an intriguing one. Columnists Scott Whitelock and Ryan Walters will preview Sunday's eagerly anticipated clash with a K League United Writers' Chat here.

Gangwon FC (5th) Vs Jeju United (2nd) 19:00

After a slow start to the campaign, Gangwon's run of four straight league wins has propelled the Pyeongchang-based side into fifth place. Making the trip to the Alpensia this week is Jeju United, a side that, following eliminations from both the Asian Champions League and the FA Cup, will want to lay down a marker as they focus solely on their title challenge. Domestically, Jeju have lost on the road just once this season and will want revenge against their fellow orange-clad rivals for the 2-1 defeat they suffered to Gangwon in Seogwipo back in April.

Prediction: Gangwon FC 2-2 Jeju United

Incheon United (12th) Vs Sangju Sangmu (9th) 19:00

Following the conclusion of the U20 World Cup, where Incheon United's Sungui Arena was a host venue, the Neroazurre get back to home comforts for Sunday's clash with Sangju Sangmu. Sangju are without a league victory in their last five and so have seen themselves slip out of the top 6 and as low as 9th place. Incheon remain rooted to the foot of the table and, given the relegation six pointer between Daegu and Gwangju on Saturday, a defeat could be seriously damaging to any chances of survival. If Incheon are to get themselves out of trouble, Sunday is the chance to do so.

Prediction: Incheon United 1-0 Sangju Sangmu

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