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Preview: K League Classic Round 16


After an eventful midweek round of K League Classic action, this weekend is all set to be no different with an array of contextual contests due to take place over the weekend, including Pohang Steelers' trip to Seogwipo to take on Jeju United. Yang Donghyun (pictured above) bagged a brace during the Steelers' 3-0 win over Incheon United in midweek, taking his tally up to 11 for the season. Can the former Ulsan Hyundai man fire Pohang back into the title picture? Can FC Seoul bounce back after a disappointing draw to Daegu FC? Can Suwon Bluewings build on their rampant victory over Gwangju in midweel. All this and more in your comprehensive K League Classic guide.

Image courtesy of KLeague.com



Saturday 24th June

Jeju United (5th) Vs Pohang Steelers (3rd) 18:00

After suffering four straight losses in all competitions, things got even for worse for Jeju United this week when it was announced on Thursday that Brazilian striker Marcelo Toscano is set to depart for J-League side Omiya Ardija. In what will be Marcelo's final game for Jeju, the islanders have the unenviable task of stopping a strong Pohang side who made the trip to Seogwipo on the back of a resounding 3-0 win over Incheon United in midweek. The Steelers came out on top the last time these two teams went toe-to-toe, winning 2-1 thanks to a 92nd minute Kim Gwangseok goal at the Steel Yard. In their last six meetings, Pohang have four wins compared to Jeju's two. A win for the Steelers this Saturday could move them up to second depending on what happens in Ulsan. A win for Jeju would see those clad in orange leapfrog Pohang.

Prediction: Jeju United 0-2 Pohang Steelers

Gwangju FC (11th) Vs Jeonnam Dragons (9th) 19:00

On Wednesday Gwangju's run without a win stretched to six games when the South Jeolla side were comfortably dispatched at home by Suwon Bluewings, and haven't won at home since the end of April. Saturday, however, sees Coach Nam Ki-il's side take on 9th-placed Jeonnam Dragons in a South Jeolla derby. Jeonnam managed to pick up a draw despite having a man less for most of the second half away to Sangju Sangmu on Wednesday and will be looking to get another positive result at Guus Hiddink Stadium come Saturday evening, too. The Dragons, though have just two league wins in their last six and their only away league win of the campaign thus far was against 12th-placed Incheon United. 

Columnists Aodan Halligan and Alex Mayor preview the game here.

Ulsan Hyundai (2nd) Vs Incheon United (12th) 19:00

Second-placed Ulsan Hyundai will be the clear favourites for their upcoming clash with struggling Incheon United on Saturday. United earned themselves a point against Sangju in the previous-but-one round but were soundly beaten 3-0 last time out at home to Pohang on Wednesday. Still, however, Incheon are only three points away from getting themselves off the foot of the table and so still have it all to play for. Uslan, though are extremely strong at home having only lost once in the league in 2017.

Prediction: Ulsan Hyundai 3-0 Incheon United

Sunday 25th June

Suwon Bluewings (6th) Vs Gangwon FC (4th)  18:00

Gangwon FC make the journey to Suwon World Cup Stadium on Sunday with just one point separating the two teams. And with the middle of the table becoming extremely congested, this could be a key battle as Suwon and Gangwon look to propel themselves into the race for Champions League places.

More from our columnist Scott Whitelock who previews the game here.

FC Seoul (7th) Vs Sangju Sangmu (8th) 19:00

After a professional performance in the Super Match, which earned Coach Hwang's men the three points and a place back in the top half, FC Seoul stuttered to a draw at home to Daegu on Wednesday night. Hwang started with Park Chuyoung and promising young forward Yun Seungwon on each flank whilst handing a debut to defender Kim Wonkyun against newly-promoted Daegu and had the likes of Yun Illok watching from the stands. Sunday evening sees Seoul welcome Sangju Sangmu to Sangam World Cup Stadium, a side that held the current K League Champions to a draw when these two sides last met. With that in mind, as well as Wednesday's squad rotation, Hwang Sunhong will want a more determined performance from his side than the one that drew a blank with Daegu.

Columnist Ryan Walters' preview coming soon here.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (1st) Vs Daegu FC (10th)19:00

After returning to their World Cup Stadium in style on Wednesday evening, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors are set to welcome Daegu FC in what is set to be key midfielder Kim Bo-kyung's last match for the club.

Our columnist Matthew Binns previews this one here.

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