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Preview: Jeju United vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors


As we approach the end of the regular season with five games to go, both sides head into this fixture in fairly poor form, however one team significantly worse than the other. Jeju United’s recent form is one they will want to forget as they have only managed one win in their previous 13 league matches. However, in the midst of these poor performances, they managed to scrape past last season’s league champions - Ulsan Hyundai - in the FA Cup Quarter-Final on penalties. As for the away side, Jeonbuk are winless in their last three games - a loss away to Ulsan sandwiched between home draws against Suwon Bluewings and Daejeon.


Pre-Match Summary

With five matches remaining of the regular season, both teams will be looking to end the season on a high. The season for these teams so far has been a rollercoaster, however, as Jeonbuk ascend, the tangerines seem to be on the decline. 

Jeju United’s 2023

Jeju's 2023 has been its own mini-rollercoaster. A very poor start which saw the Islanders lingering near the foot of the table, failing to win any of their first five games, picking up just two points. However, after that abysmal opening, Jeju went on an incredible run, losing just once in their next 11 fixtures, including a 0-5 thumping of Suwon FC away from home. Since then, results have certainly been spiralling. With ACL football looking hopeful as we entered June, it now looks like pinnacle of Asian club football is out of reach for the Islanders.

Jeju United's Last 5 Form: LLWDL

Jeonbuk’s 2023

Similarly to their upcoming opponent, Jeonbuk struggled to get out of the blocks at the start of the season, lingering around the bottom three teams for multiple game weeks. With fan disappointment and protests, a managerial change was brought about, seeing the club’s football more direct and more lethal. As a result of this Jeonbuk now see themselves in a very respectable 3rd place considering the start of the campaign. Had they started the year in a way not too dissimilar to their style now, there may have been a closer title race.

Jeonbuk's Last 5 Form: DLDWL

Head-to-Head Form

In the last five meetings between these teams, the results have been considerably in favour of Jeonbuk. 

2023/07/01: Jeonbuk 2-0 Jeju United
2023/04/23: Jeju United 0-2 Jeonbuk
2022/10/16: Jeju United 1-2 Jeonbuk
2022/07/30: Jeonbuk 1-0 Jeju United 
2022/05/28: Jeonbuk 0-2 Jeju United

In the recent matchups between these two, which Jeju United have hosted, the results are much more evenly split, but Jeonbuk just edge it by one extra victory.

2023/04/23: Jeju United 0-2 Jeonbuk
2022/10/16: Jeju United 1-2 Jeonbuk
2022/03/12: Jeju United 2-0 Jeonbuk
2021/10/24: Jeju United 2-2 Jeonbuk
2021/03/06: Jeju United 1-1 Jeonbuk 

As seen by the recent pairings of these teams, and the current league forms, an away win for Jeonbuk seems like the most likely outcome.

All-Time Head-to-Head:
Jeju and Jeonbuk have faced each other a total of 57 times in all competitions, with the first meeting coming in the league back in 2006. Jeonbuk clearly dominate this fixture and a win for the away side seems the most likely outcome.

Jeju United Wins - 8
Draws - 14
Jeonbuk Wins - 28

What to Look Out For in Jeju United

Nam Ki-il's sides like to control the possession, and with Nam's recent switch to a more progressive, pressing style of play, Jeju will be starting to pick up the champions-like form they had as the month of May came to an end. Nam's favoured formation is usually a 3-4-3 but in recent weeks he has been experimenting with a more attacking 4-2-4, which hasn't really been effective as Jeju have been overrun in the middle third. The Korean manager likes his forward wingers to cut inside and punish defenders across the face of goal. We are seeing this a lot lately, with Reis and even Seo Jin-su opting to drift near the touchline, running at the defence and then cutting in to either play a pass or pick up a goal like he did against Gangwon earlier this season.

What to Look Out For in Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Jeonbuk's preferred formation is a 4-4-2, and with a very impressive defensive record - the best in the league, conceding only 25 goals in 28 games - the opposition will certainly struggle. Their last victory came at the expense of Incheon United at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium in terrible rainy conditions. As a result of these conditions, Jeonbuk adapted to the game and played more long balls and completed more crosses than before, but it was certainly a style that bested their players. Putting the opposition defenders constantly under pressure allowed many mistakes to occur, so the Jeju defenders need to be aware all 90 minutes otherwise it will be a very long day at the office.


Who to Watch for Jeju United



Jeju's Reis and Yuri are joint for the place as the club's highest league goal contributions, with 8 goals and 4 assists each. This tally sees these players 5 goals away from Tiago Orobo of Daejeon and former Jeju striker, Joo Min-kyu. After a very poor start to the season from Yuri, he can be happy with his K League debut season and I am sure in future campaigns he will be in the Golden Boot race.

Who to Watch for Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Song Min-kyu has the most goal contributions for Jeonbuk with 6 goals and 2 assists for the winger. Moon Seon-min - who plays in the same position as Song - also has 6 goals in the league but has one less assist. The 2022 World Cup hero Cho Gue-sung - who attracted strong interest from European clubs - sits third in Jeonbuk's top scorer list, grabbing just 5 this campaign.

Where to Watch

Fans based in Korea can watch live on the appropriate TV Channel or service. Those fans residing overseas can watch the match for free via K League TV!

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