The K League 1 resumes this weekend with a number of exciting fixtures for bettors to enjoy.
Sangju Sangmu vs. Gwangju FC
Saturday, May 23, at Sangju Civic Stadium
Sangju Sangmu’s playing squad is made up of young South Korean professional soccer players serving their compulsory two-year military duty. The club is not allowed to sign overseas players because of its military status, but it often gains a number of exciting youngsters from across the K League.
This season, Moon Seon-min is the star of the show. Moon finished runner-up in last year’s MVP voting after leading Jeonbuk to the title, and now he is at Sangmu for military service. He was on target in a 2-0 victory over Gangwon last weekend. Sangmu’s opening game of the season saw them lose 4-0 to Ulsan, so it was a welcome return to winning ways for the military club.
Sangmu was formerly based in Gwangju, but it moved to Sangju after the city of Gwangju founded Gwangju FC in 2011. Gwangju FC have yo-yoed between the top two tiers of Korean soccer in recent years. They won K League 2 last year, securing promotion to the top flight. However, they have lost their opening two games of the season, and they are yet to find the back of the net. They may be low on confidence as they prepare to face Sangmu on Saturday.
Sangmu have a smaller squad than their rivals after several youngsters were injured in a car crash, and the club will also be relegated at the end of the season regardless of where it finishes, but players like Moon are only at the club for a limited period of time anyway and they will want to prove their worth. Their aggressive, ambitious brand of soccer could be too much for Gwangju.
Jeonbuk vs. Daegu
Sunday, May 24, at Jeonju World Cup Stadium
K League champions Jeonbuk will aim to maintain their winning start to the season when they host a strong Daegu side on Sunday. Jeonbuk won the title in thrilling fashion last season, leapfrogging Ulsan on the final day of the campaign, and now they are the favorites to be crowned champions yet again in 2020.
Jeonbuk began the season with a hard-fought 1-0 home win against Suwon Bluewings. Lee Dong-gook, the 41-year-old former Middlesbrough striker, came off the bench to head in a late winner. They followed it up with a 2-1 win away at Busan last weekend after new arrival Lars Veldwijk grabbed a last-gasp winner.
Daegu are a tough side to break down. They drew 0-0 away at Incheon in their season opener, and then held Pohang to a 1-1 draw last time out. However, Jeonbuk have displayed great tenacity when battling for late winners this season, and they should be able to overwhelm Daegu in the second half of this game. The odds on a straight Jeonbuk win are attractive, but you can combine it with under 4.5 goals for more value.
Ulsan Hyundai vs. Busan IPark
Sunday, May 24, at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium
Ulsan have come flying out of the blocks this season. They began their campaign by thrashing Sangju Sangmu 4-0, and then battled to a 3-2 victory away at Suwon Bluewings last time out. Star striker Junior Negao has already banged in four goals in two games, and Ulsan look brilliant going forwards. They seem determined to make amends for losing the title on the final day of the 2019 season, and they have the quality to destroy newly promoted Busan IPark on Sunday.
Busan lost 2-0 to Pohang on the opening weekend, and then suffered heartbreak when they conceded a 95th minute goal against Jeonbuk on Saturday. They are now languishing at the bottom of the table with Gwangju, and they are unlikely to get a result at Ulsan on Sunday.