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Preview: K League Classic Round 28

Despite last weekend's game in hand, the K League Classic officially returns this Saturday after a three week hiatus. Having now caught up on matches, second placed Jeju United sit four points behind league leaders Jeonbuk and travel to FC Seoul a day before in the hope of increasing the pressure on their fellow title contenders. Meanwhile, third and fourth placed Ulsan and Suwon contend with sides in the bottom half of the table with the hope they can capitalise on the top teams slipping up. Elsewhere Gwangju, now cut six points adrift at the foot of the table, travel to face fellow relegation contenders Incheon United knowing that a loss will be another nail in their Classic coffin. All this and more in your guide to round 28.
(Photo Credit: GwangjuFC.com)

Saturday 9th September

FC Seoul (5th) vs Jeju United (2nd) 19:00

Having now closed the gap at the top to four points, Jeju United travel to Seoul with an opportunity to place pressure on league leaders Jeonbuk for 24 hours if they can find a win. The home side however will unlikely roll over easily, knowing full well that they need to find points if they are going to maintain any hopes of claiming a Champions League spot that is looking increasingly difficult to procure.

Columnists Ryan Walters and Duncan Elder sat down to talk about this match in detail. You can read their preview here.

Ulsan Hyundai (3rd) vs Sangju Sangmu (11th) 19:00

Having been displaced by Jeju United in second spot, Ulsan Hyundai will be hoping they can capitalise on any slip-ups in Sangam whilst also looking to see off a freefall Sangju Sangmu. The visiting military side finally put an end to a run of six league defeats, coming back from two goals down in injury time to level with Daegu FC in their last match. Whilst one point in seven games is hardly any better, they will be hoping their last minute heroics will be something to build on, especially with a large portion of their players completing their service later this month and returning to their parent clubs. If they are going to get the points to survive, they need to grab what they can now. Unfortunately, I doubt that Ulsan will let them.

Prediction: Ulsan Hyundai 2-0 Sangju Sangmu

Sunday 10th September

Suwon Samsung Bluewings (4th) vs Jeonnam Dragons (8th) 15:00

Two defeats on the bounce and the loss of star striker Johnathn to injury has seen Suwon fall from second into fourth with hopes of a title bid starting to look increasingly faint. They must now concentrate on confirming their continental qualification, and hope that success can come in the FA Cup later in the season. Jeonnam may prove to be quite obliging opponents given the rate they concede, but with this fixture being played at the Big Bird where Suwon have fluctuated performance wise, not to mention Jeonnam's high scoring antics as well, makes this far from a comfortable proposition for the home side.

Columnists Scott Whitelock, Alex Meyer and Aodan Halligan preview this match in more detail here.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (1st) vs Gangwon FC (6th) 17:00

With six of their first team players returning from international duty, Jeonbuk may turn out to be less prepared than they would have liked ahead of this fixture. That said, Jeonbuk made relatively easy work of Gangwon when they played this same fixture in the summer and will be hoping the players who have stayed home will be in good enough shape to force a repeat. Gangwon have been in fluctuating form recently, picking up eight points in their last eight outings, with seven of them being away from home. They will certainly be hoping their better performances on the road will serve them well when they arrive at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Sunday evening.

You can read Matthew Binns' full match preview here.

Incheon United (10th) vs Gwangju FC (12th) 18:00

If Gwangju FC are to avoid the drop this season, Kim Hak-bum’s men should really be looking at this trip to Incheon as a must-win or, at the very least, a must-not-lose. With seven points between the visitors and guaranteed safety (and also their opponents Incheon), victory for the home side would really compound Gwangju’s relegation fears. Incheon United however, are in reasonable form for a side who had spent the majority of the season alongside Gwangju in the drop zone. Incheon have picked up seven points from the last possible nine, claiming victories against Pohang and Sangju, in addition to a well earned away point against second-placed Jeju United. With 11th placed Sangju facing a difficult trip to Ulsan the day before, Sunday is a real opportunity for Incheon to move four points clear of the relegation zone and another step towards securing their Classic status for another year.

Prediction: Incheon United 2-0 Gwangju FC

Daegu FC (9th) vs Pohang Steelers (7th) 19:00

Another team looking to move away from the drop zone this weekend is Daegu FC, who will be playing host to a Pohang Steelers in disarray. After a promising start to the season, Pohang's form fell off a cliff in the summer, which has seen them slide down comfortably into the lower half of the table, six points away from making the split. With hopes of achieving something somewhat dashed for another season, it is hard to see where their motivation will come from, which might be a cause for concern against a Daegu side who have been fighting well in recent rounds in a bid to survive.

You can read Daegu Columnist Jung Muyeol's full preview here.

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