The AFC Champions League (or ACL) is back! This year two new K League sides have qualified, last seasons FA Cup Winners Daegu FC as well as surprise league runners-up Gyeongnam FC. They are joined by K League Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai and one time Champions League winners Ulsan Hyundai.
This season I’ve kept things simple with the key match date information and a prediction for each game per game week. Fingers crossed if I have time I’ll expand into previews etc as the campaigns progress.
2019 AFC Champions League: K League Club Predictions (Week 1)
Match: Gyeongnam FC vs. Shandong Luneng (China)
Where: Changwon Football Center
When: Tuesday March 5th at 7.30pm
Prediction – Gyeongnam FC 1 – 2 Shandong Luneng
Sadly I feel like although this will be a close game I see Shandong having the slight edge on the night over the champions league newcomers. That being said Gyeongnam were solid on Friday it will be close.
Match: Melbourne Victory (Australia) vs. Daegu FC
Where: Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
When: Tuesday March 5th at 7.30pm (Local Time) / 5.30pm (Korea Time)
Prediction – Melbourne Victory 1 – 1 Daegu FC
This is a tough one to call as it’s a long way for Daegu FC to travel, but I feel like they might spring a slight surprise and pick up a value away point. Similar to their opening K League game.
Match: Jeonbuk Hyundai vs. Beijing FC
Where: Jeonju World Cup Stadium
When: Wednesday March 6th at 7pm
Prediction – Jeonbuk Hyundai 2 – 0 Beijing FC
Kim Min-Jae returns to face his former side, however sadly for him I see the K League Champions Jeonbuk making a positive start to their champions league challenge with a win.
Match: Sydney FC vs. Ulsan Hyundai
Where: Jubilee Oval, Sydney
When: Wednesday March 6th at 8pm (Local Time) / 6pm (Korea Time)
Prediction – Sydney FC 1 – 1 Ulsan Hyundai
Ulsan were impressive in their playoff match, however I feel like the match fitness of Sydney FC will be a factor and therefore a draw is the likely outcome.
Any thoughts, comments or questions. Feel free to comment below or message me via Twitter.