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Preview: K League Classic Round 19

In the K League Classic this weekend the league's two top scorers, Jeonnam Dragons' Jair (pictured above), and Pohang Steelers' Yang Donghyun, go head-to-head with both players looking to emerge from the game as the league's undisputed top scorer. Elsewhere, there's another relegation six-pointer with a rejuvenated Incheon United welcoming the visit of Daegu FC, and FC Seoul travel to Gwangju FC to take on Northern Ireland international Niall McGinn and his new side. All this and more in your comprehensive K League Classic round 19 guide.

Image courtesy of Jeonnam Dragons/Naver

Saturday 8th July

Incheon United (10th) Vs Daegu FC (11th) 19:00

Incheon United's 1-0 win over fellow relegation battlers Gwangju FC last week lifted the Durumi (The Cranes) out of the relegation zone. One defeat from the last five, including two wins, has finally got the Neroazzurre's season going. Last Saturday's victory will set up Lee Kihyung's up nicely for the visit of Daegu FC, who have since slipped to 11th following five games with out a win and two back-to-back defeats. Incheon will be full of confidence heading into this one and will see the game as the perfect opportunity to secure two straight league wins for the first time in 2017.

Graphic from Soccerway.com

Prediction: Incheon United 1-0 Daegu FC

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (1st) Vs Ulsan Hyundai (2nd) 19:00

Not a derby as such but the top two go head-to-head in the "Hyundai Derby" at Jeonju World Cup Stadium this Saturday evening when Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors welcome the visit of the Ulsan Hyundai. Whether it will be Jeonbuk who are motoring, or whether it will be Ulsan who will be putting in an industrious performance remains to be seen. However, our Jeonbuk columnist Matthew Binns previews this one here and talks transfers here.

Graphic from Soccerway.com

Pohang Steelers (5th) Vs Jeonnam Dragons (8th) 19:00

The league's two top goal scorers and their respective teams face off against each other at the Steel Yard on Saturday when Pohang Steelers, and Yang Donghyun, take on Jeonnam Dragons and Jair. Both players have 12 goals for the season, and likewise both will be looking to find the back of the net come Saturday evening. Pohang, despite just two wins in six, are only a point behind 3rd-placed Gangwon and so, results elsewhere permitting, could propel themselves back into the title picture with a win over the Dragons. For Jeonnam, Jair's goals have helped the Dragons maintain a respectable mid-table league position. A win for the Roh Sangrae's side would see the Gwangyang-based outfit edge further away from the bottom two and move within just three points of the top six, for 24 hours at least.

Columnists Aodan Halligan and Alex Meyer preview the game here.

Sunday 9th July

Suwon Bluewings (6th) Vs Jeju United (4th) 18:00

Two of the 2017's early tips for the title, Suwon Bluewings and Jeju United, will meet at Big Bird on Sunday. Suwon sit in 6th place whilst Jeju United are a mere point ahead in 4th, with the race for the Asian Champions League spots starting to hot up. A win for Suwon would see them leapfrog Jeju, Jeju meanwhile will be looking to get their title bid back on track. United have just one win in their last six, a 3-0 win over Pohang Steelers in round 16, and have lost to Suwon in five times out of the last six meetings, with their last win over the Bluewings dating back to October 2015.

A full preview from our Suwon Bluewings columnist Scott Whitelock is coming soon here.

Gangwon FC (3rd) vs Sangju Sangmu (9th) 19:00

Gangwon FC continued their form of signing Korean galacticos as the newly-promoted side, who are enjoying a sterling season thus far, confirmed the acquisition of Han Kookyoung from Qatari side Al-Gharafa SC this week. Up next for the Gangwon galacticos is the visit of Sangju Sangmu, a side that have slipped to 9th after just one victory from their last five games. Said win was against current K League Champions FC Seoul meaning that Kim Taewan's side won't be daunted by the trip to the Alpensia. The last time these two sides met, in March of this year, Gangwon ran out 2-1 winners. Of the 19 meetings between these two sides, Sangju have won 10, Gangwon have seven victories, and two draws.

Prediction: Gangwon FC 2-0 Sangju Sangmu

Gwangju FC (12th) Vs FC Seoul (7th) 19:00

Gwangju FC slipped to the bottom of the table in the previous-but-one round and remained there after the defeat to Incheon United last time out. Sunday, however, could be when the South Jeolla side see their latest acquisition, Northern Ireland international forward Niall McGinn, make his debut. The former Celtic and Aberdeen man, who played alongside Cha Duri and Gwangju-born Ki Seungyeung whilst at Celtic, could be the player that Gwangju have been lacking to add some much-needed firepower to their attack. FC Seoul make the trip south on the back of a dramatic late win over Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors last week. The win wasn't enough to see the current K League Champions force their way into the top six but, should Jeju United beat Seoul's bitter rivals Suwon Bluewings, Hwang Sunhong's men could jump back into the championship round places.

Our FC Seoul columnist Ryan Walters previews the game here.

1 comment

  1. the worst previews ever, the people preview these games have no fucking clue about football. Certainly thumb deeply down


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