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If Saturday is the appetizer Sunday is certainly the main course with the Jeolla Derby, the Super Match as well as Incheon vs. Jeju. Once again it’s difficult to predict how teams will get on during the next few weeks, so it’s an interesting time for all involved.

This season we’re going to the covering each match day separately (last few seasons it’s been each round). Making the posts a little shorter and focused on a day.

For details on The opening day of the Season Saturday – Please Click Here

K League Classic 2017 League Preview & Season Structure

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+ For our full K League Classic 2017 Preview and League Prediction, Please Click Here +

The league structure for the 2017 season is the same as the previous few years, 12 teams play each other 3 times. The top 6 then play 5 more games against each other, as done the bottom 6. The top 2 automatically qualify for the Champions League, with the FA Cup winner whilst 3rd place enters the Champions League playoffs. At the bottom the 12th placed side (bottom) is relegated and the 11th placed side enters the relegation playoff. There is also the Korean FA Cup in which Classic side enter in the 4th round.

Previous rules still apply for Foreign Players, 3 from any nation plus 1 from any AFC member country (Asia).

This season will be similar to previous seasons, one advantage is a lack of the summer break as their is no world cup. However there is the U20 World Cup taking place in Korea late May to early June. A number of Classic sides will play only away games whilst their stadiums are being used for the tournament, Jeonbuk won’t use theirs for any games from March until June.

K League Classic 2017 Previews & Predictions (Sunday March 5th – Round 1)

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Moving onto the football, here are our brief previews and predictions for this Sundays 3 games;

FC Seoul vs. Suwon Bluewings @ 3pm

The season beings with the traditional league vs. cup winners game, which this season is the big derby match or “Super Match”. FC Seoul suffered an embarrassing defeat during the week in the champions league losing 5-2 against Japanese side Urawa Reds. The defeat highlighted issues at the back and a lack of a confident goalkeeper. Suwon Bluewings were more impressive drawing against Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande 2-2. They look so much better vs. last season, and could be in the title picture this season. Last Time; Suwon won over 2 legs in the FA Cup final on penalties.
Prediction: 0 – 1
This is a risky prediction, but based on the midweek performances Suwon looked more Super Match ready.

Incheon United vs. Jeju United @ 3pm

The second game of the day features a interesting game on paper. Incheon United had a poor 2016 season, narrowly avoiding relegation. They have changed things up and their squad looks competitive. However Jeju United looked very impressive during the week in the champions league beating J-League Side Gamba Osaka 4-1. Will they be tried heading into this game? Last Time; Jeju won 1-0 at home. Overall however the sides have an even head-to-head record.
Prediction: 1 – 1
Incheon are generally strong at home, whilst Jeju are unpredictable away. So overall a draw seem the likely outcome.
+Game of Day+ This is our highlight game of the day and therefore we’ll be covering it in extra detail via our Twitter Page.

Jeonbuk Hyundai vs. Jeonnam Dragons @ 3pm

Moving on to the final Classic game of the opening weekend and it’s the Jeolla Derby. Jeonbuk Hyundai had a turbulent 2016 but were able to lift the AFC Champions League Title. However they have a strong squad and will be in the title picture without doubt. Jeonnam were the best of the smaller clubs last season and have been known to pull off some shock results. The game will take place at the Jeonju Civil Stadium (No World Cup Stadium until the summer), which could place onto Jeonnams favor. Last Time; Jeonbuk won 5-0.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Jeonbuk will start the game as favorites, but the opening game of the season and derbies in general can lead to some shock results.

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K League Classic 2017 Results (Sunday March 5th – Round 1)

K League Classic 2017 Results – Sunday:

FC Seoul 1 – 1 Suwon Bluewings
Jeonbuk Hyundai 2 – 1 Jeonnam Dragons
Incheon United 0 – 1 Jeju United

The super match ended in a draw, Kim Shin-Wook scored in the dying moments to win the Jeolla Derby and Incheon lost at home to Jeju United.

More Updates via Twitter

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K League Challenge 2017 (Sunday March 5th – Round 1)

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Of course it’s easy to over look this Sundays K League Challenge action. But it features a number of interesting matchups and the first ever game for Asan Mugunghwa since moving down from Ansan.

Just as a reminder this season the number of teams has dropped down to an even 10 sides. Just like in previous seasons teams will play each other 4 times with the winner gaining automatic promotion to the K League Classic. The next 3 sides enter the Promotion playoffs, and finally once again there is no relegation down to the National League.

+ Full K League Challenge 2017 Season Preview & Prediction, CLICK HERE +

K League Challenge 2017 Previews & Predictions (Saturday March 4th – Round 1)

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Here are our brief previews and predictions for this Sundays 3 games;

FC Anyang vs. Suwon FC @ 3pm

The first game in this Sunday’s K League Challenge features a local Gyeonggi-do Derby. FC Anyang are well supported but have lacked the cutting edge to be involved in the title/playoff picture. Recently relegated Suwon FC however (at least on paper) look like title contenders, this opening game will give a good indication of where they are since their pre-season in Thailand. Last Time; Anyang won 2-1 in November 2015.
Prediction: 0 – 1
Anyang could be dark horses this season, but we Suwon FC having the edge on the opening weekend.

Bucheon 1995 vs. Seoul E-Land @ 3pm

The second of Sundays games features two sides who’ve been involved in the playoff picture in recent seasons. Bucheon 1995 had a wonderful 2016 season, and were unlucky to fall in the playoffs. They have a solid squad but time will tell if last season was a fluke. Seoul E-Land are much changed as the owners cut costs and new management ring the changes. Last Time; the game ended 1-1 last September.
Prediction: 3 – 1
We see Bucheon having the edge here and they have in the past been more attack focused.
+Game of Day+ This is our highlight game of the day and therefore we’ll be covering it in extra detail via our Twitter Page.

Gyeongnam vs. Asan Mugunghwa @ 3pm

The final Challenge game on Sunday features the first appearance of Asan Mugunghwa (previous Ansan / aka Korea Police). They are hosted by Gyeongnam who seem to have settled for a life in the 2nd tier since being relegated a few seasons ago. Asan Mugunghwa as Ansan (confusing yes I know) won the league last season and will certainly be in the mix this year. These sides have never played before as this is Asan’s first game since moving.
Prediction: 0 – 2
Asan are a slight unknown but their squad on paper should have the edge here.

K League Challenge 2017 Results (Sunday March 5th – Round 1)

K League Challenge 2017 Results – Sunday:

FC Anyang 1 – 2 Suwon FC
Bucheon 1995 2 – 1 Seoul E-Land
Gyeongnam 1 – 0 Ansan Mugunghwa

Gyeongnam beat Asan in their first ever game, whilst Bucheon and Suwon both left it late to record wins.

More Updates via Twitter

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Finally

For information on the all of our previous K League and AFC Champions League posts: 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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