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Preview: K League Classic Round 30

With round 29 offering both goals and late drama, K League Classic's round 30 has a tough act to follow. Can Suwon overcome an in form Jeju to keep their top three bid on track? Will FC Seoul finally pick themselves up against cellar dwellars Gwangju FC? And will Wednesday see the split mathematically confirmed three games ahead of schedule? All this and more in our guide to the midweek action.
(Photo Credit: uhfc.tv)

Wednesday 20th September

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (1st) vs Sangju Sangmu (11th) 19:00

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors swatted aside Pohang Steelers at the weekend and look as if they are kicking into gear for the final set of fixtures in their title run-in. With six points separating them from second place Jeju, yet still with a worryingly similar number of goals scored as the islanders, the visit of relegation candidates Sanju Sangmu may just be the tonic required to boost their tally. However, Sangju surprised everyone in the last round. With a large contingent of their squad having now left, and going into last weekend with one point in seven, the military side were expected to struggle against Gwangju, yet claimed victory at the death in a thrilling 3-2 win. Given the gulf in available talent and league position though, Jeonbuk should still win this one comfortably.

Prediction: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-0 Sangju Sangmu

Jeonnam Dragons (8th) vs Incheon United (10th) 19:00

With Sangju likely to fall to Jeonbuk, Incheon United must ensure they take this potential opportunity to move away from the drop zone. Having gone five games unbeaten, notably beating FC Seoul in the Gyeongin Derby at the weekend, the visitors are certainly showing fight in their bid to survive. Jeonnam Dragons on the other hand enjoyed an exciting 3-3 clash away to Gangwon FC At the weekend and will be hoping they can find the motivation to score as many on Wednesday, especially as prior to their trip to Alpensia Ski Jump, their number of goals scored seemed to be in decline. Jeonnam could be without midfielder Kim Young-wook though who looks set to sign for Al Ahli Dubai FC. If unavailable, it would be a big blow to the team given the number of assists he has created this season. With this and recent form in mind, it is tempting to go with Incheon for this one.

Prediction: Jeonnam Dragons 1-2 Incheon United

Gwangju FC (12th) vs FC Seoul (5th) 19:00

Sitting eight points off eleventh and in poor form, the arrival of FC Seoul should strike fear into the Gwangju support, yet the visitors have been far from their usual selves. Having lost the Gyeongin Derby to rivals Incheon at the weekend, Seoul's dream of Asian Champions League is looking pretty unlikely and perhaps motivation could prove to be at an all time low. If Gwangju are going to face the reigning champions, this is perhaps the best time to do so.

Our Seoul columnist Ryan Walters previews this match in full here.

Pohang Steelers (7th) vs Gangwon FC (6th) 19:30

With these two sides sitting either side of the dividing line, four games away from the league split yet seven points apart, this really is last chance saloon for Pohang Steelers' top half ambitions. Having been thrashed at home on the weekend to the tune of four goals to nil, not to mention the horrific form they find themselves in with one win in their last eleven, it seems the Steelers have already given up, with dropping attendance figures indicating this apathy has spread to the stands. Gangwon will have been annoyed to have scored another three goals at the weekend yet still not claim a victory so it is not difficult to envisage them taking advantage of this poor Pohang team to get some points on the board.

Prediction: Pohang Steelers 0-2 Gangwon FC

Ulsan Hyundai (3rd) vs Daegu FC (9th) 19:30

Ulsan's loss away to Jeju sees them slip nine points behind the league leaders and closer to Suwon immediately below them. They will need to ensure the Jeju result remains just a blip on an impressive run of form (one loss in the last ten ten) and firm up their AFC Champions League spot. Daegu also have reasonable form going into this one, losing once in their last seven, and now sit five points away from the relegation zone. The weekend saw Daegu hold Suwon Bluewings to a goalless draw, and they will have confidence they can repeat the feat here. Ulsan should have enough on paper though to ensure they get themselves back on track.

Prediction: Ulsan Hyundai 1-0 Daegu FC

Suwon Bluewings (4th) vs Jeju United (2nd) 19:30

The potential marquee match of Wednesday evening sees Jeju United travel to Suwon to face the Bluewings. Having seen off title contenders Ulsan at the weekend, a win here for Jeju would near enough ensure they are positioned comfortably to sail into continental competition next year and keep them on the tail of leaders Jeonbuk. Suwon have also been showing some form recently, but stalled at the weekend in a goalless draw against bottom half Daegu. With the return of key striker Johnathan due next month, they will be hoping Santos can step up to fill the void as he had been doing prior to the last round. Whilst still stronger on the island, the cliché of Jeju playing worse away from home has not rang as true this season and I feel they could potentially scrape a narrow victory at the Big Bird.

Prediction: Suwon Bluewings 1-2 Jeju United

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