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After an exciting week in the Asian Champions League the K League Classic returns this weekend with the final round of the regular season before the league split. The top 6 sides enter the Championship round and compete for the title (maybe) and the Champions League places. Whilst the bottom 6 sides try to avoid the pain of relegation down to the Challenge. All 6 games are important this weekend, choosing a highlight game is tough. You have the Suwon Derby with big relegation implications. 5 sides still could finish bottom or top half by 4 o’clock. Ulsan vs. Incheon can impact both the Champions League Spots and Relegation Battle. Jeonbuk could secure their 3rd title in 3 years if they win on the road against Sangju and Seoul lose in Gwangju, but this changed Friday evenings as the KFA handed out a 9-point deducted to the league leaders Jeonbuk Hyundai for referee bribery. This means they now have a 5 point lead with 6 games remaining.

However this can still be a “K League Super Sunday”.

K League Classic 2016 League Table Update

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The end of season league split happens after this round of games, with the mid-table looking mega tight. At the top Jeonbuk now have a 14 point lead 5 point lead over FC Seoul, and a win on Sunday coupled with a FC Seoul loss or draw will hand them the title with 5 games still to play. Ulsan Hyundai are 6 points behind Seoul in 3rd and along with Jeju United in 4th are secure in the Championship Round.

Then we have the 5 sides all competing for the final 2 places in the top half. Jeonnam Dragons have a 2 point lead over the rest and a win against Jeju will be enough, a draw should be as well. The next 3 sides are all level on 41points, Seongnam have a much better goal difference so a good win for them should enough. Gwangju and Sangmu Sangmu face the top 2 sides so a win and some luck maybe required. Finally you have Pohang who need to beat Seongnam by a least 4 goals and hope Sangju and Gwangju also lose. Unlikely but possible.

At the bottom of the table, Suwon FC sit bottom of the league, but they are only 2 points behind Incheon United in 11th. Suwon Bluewings are 5 points ahead of them, and still in the relegation battle.

K League Classic 2016 Round 33 Previews & Predictions

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This round of games all take place on Sunday (6). All of the games take place in the early afternoon at 2pm. Here are our brief previews and predictions for the 33rd round of 2016 K League Classic games;

Saturday October 2nd 2016:

Suwon Bluewings vs. Suwon FC (2pm)

The first of the 6 games in a the #SuwonDerby as Suwon Bluewings host Suwon FC. Both sides are deep in the relegation battle and 3 points could be super important. Suwon Bluewings are undefeated in 7 games, however 6 ended in a draw (5 1-1). Suwon FC haven’t won in 3 games and are 2 points adrift at the bottom. Derbies are always hard to close, but this looks a like a draw on paper at least.
*Fun Fact: Suwon Bluewings have beaten Suwon FC in every game between these sides, ever.*
Prediction: 1 – 1

Sangju Sangmu vs. Jeonbuk Hyundai (2pm)

Jeonbuk Hyundai were given a 9 point deducted on Friday evening for referee bribery and therefore this preview has been edited;

This game could conclude with the title staying on Jeonju for a 3rd year. Basically if Jeonbuk win and Seoul don’t they’ll be champions. Jeonbuk obviously suffered a blow on Friday evening however it could have been a lot worse and they head into Sundays game looking to rebuild their lead. Sangju Sangmu haven’t won in 6, losing 4 of those. Jeonbuk are still undefeated in the league this season, and put 4 past Seoul in the Champions League during the week. Jeonbuk will be favorites to win this and the title looks destined for Jeonju (but in maybe a months time).
*Fun Fact: In 31 games Sangju have only beaten Jeonbuk 3 times. The last time was 10 years ago.*
Prediction: 1 – 3

Ulsan Hyundai vs. Incheon United (2pm)

The match focuses on two sides at polar opposites of the table, 3rd placed Ulsan and 11th placed Incheon. Ulsan are currently in the final Champions League spot and have won their last 2 games, and have only lost 1 in 9. Incheon United are undefeated in 4 and came back from 2 goals down to draw last weekend in injury time. This looks pretty even on paper, however Incheon have a habit of conceding silly goals and that might play in Ulsans favor.
*Fun Fact: In 3 games this season, these sides have shared 10 goals.*
Prediction: 2 – 1

Seongnam FC vs. Pohang Steelers (2pm)

Seongnam host Pohang Steelers in a key game in the battle for a top half finish. Selling top goalscorer Tiago Alves has cost Seongnam this latter part of the season, 1 win and 5 defeats in 6 games isn’t good reading for Seongnam fans. Pohang haven’t done much better. 1 win in 5 games and still a slight risk of relegation. Seongnam will favorites but this will be close.
*Fun Fact: Seongnam have only beaten Pohang once in eight games.*
Prediction: 1 – 0

Gwangju vs. FC Seoul (2pm)

A few weeks ago FC Seoul slight had a treble possibility, but now it’s only a double. Gwangju have slipped back into the bottom half and need a 1st win in 4 to stand a chance of matching the top half. FC Seoul have just 1 win in 6 plus they lost in the champions league 4-1 during the week. However the Jeonbuk points deduction benefited them the most. FC Seoul should be favorites, but the question maybe about their mental state.
*Fun Fact: Gwangju have only beaten FC Seoul once in 11 encounters.*
Prediction: 1 – 2

Jeonnam Dragons vs. Jeju United (2pm)

The final game of the weekend has more of an impact on the Champions League spots. Jeonnam have found form during the summer months, 3 wins and 2 draws in 5 games. Jeju United are on similar form 3 wins and 3 draws in 6 games, and they put 5 past Sangju last weekend. The game is oddly being played in Suncheon (Suncheon Palma Stadium)? Which could favor Jeonnam.
*Fun Fact: These sides have only drawn once in 10 games.*
Prediction: 3 – 2

K League Classic 2016 logo

K League Classic 2016 Round 33 Results & Photos

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Sunday October 2nd:
Suwon Bluewings 4-5 Suwon FC
Ulsan Hyundai 2-3 Incheon United
Gwangju 1-2 FC Seoul
Sangju Sangmu 1-1 Jeonbuk Hyundai
Jeonnam Dragons 0-2 Jeju United
Seongnam FC 1-4 Pohang Steelers

Here is the table following these games, Seongnam drop into the bottom 6 whilst Sangju Sangmu move into the top 6. None of the bottom 6 can feel safe yet, it’s still that close with 5 games to play.

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K League Challenge 2016 Round 38

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The K League Challenge reaches the 38th round landmark of the 2016 season this weekend, with sides only having around 7 games still to play this season. This round includes a number of interesting encounters, however for us the standout game is between 3rd placed Daegu and in form again league leaders Ansan Mugunghwa. A win for Daegu keeps their slim title chances alive whilst a Ansan look to wrap up the title soon than later.
Also Goyang Zaicro have a bye week this weekend, which is maybe for the best despite winning during the week they once again set a new league record for the lowest attendance as only 142 fans turned up. K3 League sides attract bigger numbers.

Saturday Update: On Friday evening it was confirmed that due to Ansan Mugunghwa moving on Asan at the end of the season, they won’t be eligible for promotion. Therefore the next best place team will take their spot. For example if they win the league the 2nd place side would be promoted and the 5th placed side would enter the playoffs. If (however unlikely) Ansan finish 5th at the end of the season then it doesn’t matter.

K League Challenge 2016 League Table Update

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The league table is looking close as we enter the final quarter of the season and Ansan Mugunghwa currently lead the way with a 6 point lead over Bucheon 1995 in 2nd. Gangwon and Daegu are close behind and complete the playoff places. The next 4 sides are only separated by 3 points, but are 7+ points away from the playoff places. At the other end of the table, Goyang and Chungju are both well adrift of the rest now. But fortunately for them there is no relegation this season.

K League Challenge 2016 Round 38 Predictions

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This round of games take place on Saturday (3) and Sunday (2). The games all take place in the afternoon, anywhere between 2pm-4pm. Here are our predictions for the 38th round of 2016 K League Challenge games;

Saturday October 1st 2016:

Gyeongnam vs. Daejeon Citizen (2pm)

Prediction: 0 – 1

Daegu vs. Ansan Mugunghwa (3pm)

Prediction: 1 – 1

Bucheon 1995 vs. Chungju Hummel (4pm)

Prediction: 2 – 0

Sunday October 2nd 2016:

FC Anyang vs. Busan I’Park (3pm)

Prediction: 1 – 2

Seoul E-Land vs. Gangwon (4pm)

Prediction: 2 – 2

K League Challenge 2016 Round 38 Results

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Saturday September 24th:
Gyeongnam 4 – 3 Daejeon Citizen
Daegu 2 – 2 Ansan Mugunghwa
Bucheon 1995 2 – 3 Chungju Hummel

Sunday October 2nd:
FC Anyang 0-1 Busan I’Park (60″)
Seoul E-Land 0-0 Gangwon (20″)

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Finally

For information on the all of our previous K League Round by Round Previews and More: CLICK HERE

As always if you have anything you’d like to add please let us know. We will try and keep things updated as best as possible via Twitter (and little via Facebook).

Tim
Modern Seoul
tim@modernseoul.org

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