As a warm up for the upcoming 2017 K League season we have the first round of games in the AFC Champions League group stages. 4 teams for the Korean K League Classic are involved FC Seoul, Ulsan Hyundai, Jeju United and Suwon Bluewings. K League sides have been a key feature of the competition over the past few seasons with Jeonbuk Hyundai the champions from last season.
Tuesday evenings games feature a trip to Japan for Ulsan Hyundai, whilst FC Seoul host big spending Chinese side Shanghai SIPG. (For Wednesday’s Games – CLICK HERE)
AFC Champions League Previews and Predictions (Tuesday February 21st 2017)
Here are our brief previews for Tuesday evenings AFC Champions League games featuring K League sides as well as head-to-head (H2H) records and predictions;
Kashima Antlers vs. Ulsan Hyundai @ 7pm
The earlier game of the evening takes place in Group E and is between J-League side Kashima Antlers and Ulsan Hyundai. Kashima are the current J-League and Emperor’s Cup champions, they also reached the final of the World Cup Club losing to European Giants Real Madrid. Ulsan finished 4th in the K League and reached the group stages via the playoffs needing penalties to beat Hong Kong side Kitchee. Kashima will be obvious favorites to win this one on paper at least.
Head-to-Head / H2H:
They have never played each other before in a competitive game.
2 – 1
Ulsan looked slow and lacking match sharpness in their playoff game, Kashima will have the advantage on paper.
FC Seoul vs. Shanghai SIPG @ 7.30pm
The second game of the evening comes from the Seoul World Cup Stadium and is in Group F (unofficially known as the group of death). The game is between K League Champions FC Seoul and big spending Shanghai SIPG. FC Seoul reached the Semi-Finals of the Champions League last season and will be looking to improve on that this year. Shanghai SIPG reached the Quarter Finals last season, and eased into the group stages beating Thai side Sukhothai FC. Both sides are predicted to do well in the competition and so this game will be evenly contested.
Head-to-Head / H2H:
They have never played each other before in a competitive game. Keep in mind only a few years ago Shanghai played in the lower leagues of Chinese Pro Football.
1 – 1
Both sides will start defensive and in a difficult group won’t want to drop points.
AFC Champions League Results & Highlights
Kashima Antlers 2 – 0 Ulsan Hyundai
The J League scored twice in the second half to claim the 3 points. Ulsan had a lot of work to do to improve in order to be competitive in this group.
FC Seoul 0 – 1 Shanghai SIPG
Brazilian International Hulk scored the only goal of an open game in Seoul. Seoul missed a penalty which was their best chance of the match.
For information on the all of our previous K League and AFC Champions League posts: CLICK HERE