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.
Wednesday evenings games feature a trip to Japan for Suwon Bluewings, whilst FC Seoul host big spending Chinese side Jiangsu Suning (a very similar combination to Tuesday Evening – Details Here)
AFC Champions League Previews and Predictions (Wesnesday February 22nd 2017)
Here are our brief previews for Wednesday evenings AFC Champions League games featuring K League sides as well as head-to-head (H2H) records and predictions;
Kawasaki Frontale vs. Suwon Bluewings @ 7pm
The earlier game of the evening takes place in Group G and is between J-League side Kawasaki Frontale. Kawasaki finished 3rd in last seasons J-League, qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since 2014. Big name striker Yoshito Ōkubo moved to FC Tokyo recently, but Yu Kobayashi who scored 15 times last season is still there. Suwon Bluewings qualified by winning the Korean FA Cup, which was the only positive from an awful 2016 season. Brazilian Johnathan was the signing of the season as his 10 goals in 14 games saved them for a relegation battle. Suwon haven’t been great in recent Champions League seasons, but this could be their year.
Head-to-Head / H2H:
They have never played each other before in a competitive game.
1 – 0
Kawasaki are generally strong at home and Suwon are an unknown quantity, therefore we’re giving the edge to the J-League side.
Jeju United vs. Jiangsu Suning @8pm
The second game of the evening comes from Seogwipo and the Jeju World Cup Stadium and is in Group H. The game is between Jeju United (3rd placed in the 2016 K League) playing in only their 2nd ever Champions League Campaign and Chinese Side Jiangsu Suning. Jeju United were solid all last season and were rewarded with a Champions League spot, they added in some solid players to their squad with Frédéric Mendy being the standout. Jiangsu Suning (runners-up in the 2016 Chinese Super League) have former FC Seoul coach Choi Yong-soo at the helm with Brazilians Ramires and Alex Teixeira pulling the strings in Midfield. Jeju come into the competition with nothing to lose, whilst Jiangsu have spent big for success.
Head-to-Head / H2H:
They have never played each other before in a competitive game. Keep in mind this is only the 2nd time Jeju have qualified for the Champions League.
1 – 1
Both sides maybe lacking match sharpness and this will either be super cagey or very open. We’re siding with the former and so a draw.
AFC Champions League Results & Highlights
Kawasaki Frontale 1 – 1 Suwon Bluewings
Kawasaki take an early lead, however Suwon came back and equalized thanks to a lucky own-goal.
Jeju United 0 – 1 Jiangsu Suning
Jiangsu scored in the final minute to steal the 3 points.
For information on the all of our previous K League and AFC Champions League posts: CLICK HERE