K-League Challenge 2017 Final Weekend Preview

 

This weekend sees the final round of the K-League Challenge and there are still two playoff spots up for grabs as Asan, Seongnam and Bucheon all fight for the right to face-off to see who will play Busan and ultimately the lowest placed Classic club to join Gyeongnam at the top table of the K-League Classic. Gyeongnam and Busan have been running away with things at the top of the table for what seems like the full year while everyone else (well maybe not Daejeon) have been making up the numbers in the race for best of the rest. After some surprising results on Saturday past it was left to Seongnam only needing a win to clinch one of the spots, alas they failed to show up yet again which sets up the 3 team battle in the final week. With the table looking like this……

 

The Challenge table heading into the final round.

Below is a preview of the teams involved and predictions for their final positions.

 

Asan Mugunghwa FC

The Police team have, for the most part, performed better this season than their flailing Army counterparts in the Classic. They recently saw a four game winning streak come to an end as they lost at home to Champions Gyeongnam after being 2-1 up with only 30 mins to play. They of course won the league last year under the guise of Ansan Mugunghwa but were prohibited from promotion due to some ‘office politics’ involving Ansan wanting their own team. This year they have flirted between 3rd and 5th pretty much since the season began and would surely consider it a failure if they were to fall out of the playoffs now. Their final game is away to 2nd placed Busan who are in FA Cup semi-final action this midweek against Suwon Bluewings, defeat there might just knock their confidence a little. Busan have won two and drawn three against the Police this year, can they go undefeated?

Prediction : 3rd (should probably have enough to come back from Busan with a point)

 

Seongnam FC

The team in the Challenge that most expected to bounce straight back up have been beyond poor this season, they started with a goal drought which lasted for what must have felt like an eternity to their fans during which time fan favoutite and focal point Hwang Uijo was transferred to Gamba Osaka. They then dumbfounded most by going on a run of fourteen games unbeaten including eight victories which clawed them into playoff contention. In recent weeks though they’ve looked devoid of both imagination and confidence and look like a team in a downward spiral, not too dis-similar to this time last year. They’ll need to find huge performances from somewhere if they are to claim the ultimate prize of playoff glory. Seongnam have arguably the hardest match of the three as they travel to champions Gyeongnam who don’t appear to be letting up. Seongnam have failed to win against Gyeongnam this season but did draw 1-1 in Changwon earlier in the year.

Prediction: 5th (a draw might not be enough)

 

Bucheon 1995

The final team vying for the playoffs is Bucheon FC who will be hoping to go one step further than last year when they lost in the playoff semi-final to Gangwon FC. This year they have been in and around playoff contention for the best part of the season, sitting between 3rd and 4th. They have a relatively strong squad and probably play some of the most attractive free-flowing football in the league although this does tend to leave them exposed at the back at times. In Waguininho they have one of the top goalscorers in the league and, along with Kim Shin, is definitely the one to watch. They travel to E-Land having lost heavily there back in August, E-Land have only their pride to play for but as we seen with Daejeon last weekend that can often be enough to squeeze a performance out.

Prediction : 4th (they have the easiest task of the three teams and should have enough to get the result)

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Episode 131: The Days Of Future Past

 

 

This week the boys host the podcast from the newly renovated 48 Shades Mansion as they discuss all the main news and issues hitting the K-League. This week sees the launch of the inaugural K_Classics section where we review a key event/moment/star from the past that has shaped the league. For the first trip down memory lane the boys get all teary-eyed as they look back to the 2005 FA Cup and that unbelievable run from the sadly departed Ulsan Mipo Dolphins. The National League team made it all the way to the final only to fall to Jeonbuk Hyundai. As well as that fantastic run there was also the rather impressive goal-scoring feats of one Milton Rodriguez who scored six goals en route to the final…..unfortunately he pulled a Salvatore Schillaci and was never to be heard of again!!!

Also on this week’s show the boys review the recent matches in both the Classic and Challenge, discuss the potential return of Hiddink, reveal their losers and winners of the week, look ahead to the weekend’s clashes and more……

Episode 124 – The Temporary Green Grass of Tancheon

 

The K-League transfer window is full flow!!

This week sees The Phantom make the trip to 48 Shades Towers as he and Mark discuss the main issues making the news in Korean football. Hot on that list of topics is some recent transfer shenanigans that can best be described as a tad complex. We had Alex moving to E-Land from Anyang and in turn Lukian moving from Busan to Anyang to potentially make way for Leo coming from Daegu. We had podcast favourite Rodrigo Parana returning to Bucheon. Pohang swapped Lee Dong Ki for Seongnam’s Oh Do Hyun (of laughing at FC Seoul fame) and E-Land signed Ahn Jae Hoon from fellow Challenge club Suwon. Confused yet? A lot of work lies ahead for the ‘name of the back of the shirt’ industry that’s for sure.

Also on this week’s show the boys review two sets of Classic fixtures, discuss Pohang’s plight, look at some interesting PR from Seongnam, discuss gardening tips, look ahead to the weekend’s matches and more……

Episode 114 – A Question of K-League

Episode 114 – A Question of K-League

The guys host the inaugural A Question of K-League as they pit their wits and knowledge against a couple of the KLeagueUnited boys. All the old favorites are there with picture rounds, what happened next and of course it wouldn’t be Korea without some K-Pop added.

You can listen to the show below and also “watch” it on YouTube here

Episode 113 – I would do anything for love, Bhudda I won’t do that!

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This week the guys discuss the disaster that was the Asian Champions League 2017 as with one match left in the group stages we bid farewell to two Korean entrants in FC Seoul and Ulsan. It’s been a pretty dire affair for the K-League hopefuls as they have slipped from sublime to shocking to downright should be embarrassed. Ulsan have been eliminated after falling to a horrendous 4-0 home hammering by Kashima Antlers, Seoul on the other hand lost away in China to Shanghai to add to the three losses in the opening three matches. It wasn’t fun for Swuon Bluewings either who also lost at home to Japanese opposition and now need to win in Guangzhou. The only bright light is Jeju who will make the knockout stages if they can overcome Gamba Osaka at home in the final round although given how unpredictable they can be that is far from a gimme.

Also on this week’s show the boys discuss the recent news that Seongnam’s budget appeal has failed, talk politics in football and in particular some pesky banner waving, review and preview the K-League weekend’s fixtures and more….

 

 

Episode 111 – Violent Violet?

 

Anyang’s fans get ready for the Seoul cup tie!!!

” I am in misery, there ain’t nobody who can comfort me”

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This week the guys discuss the highly anticipated FA Cup match as FC Seoul welcome Anyang to Seoul World Cup Stadium for what could be a fiery encounter both on and off the pitch. Anyang fans do like to hold a grudge and still haven’t forgiven the KFA for relocating their team to Sangam. Many of the fans forums recently have been swamped by the boys in purple as they seem to view this as their “match of the season”. With Seoul in rather unpredictable form, and the memory of Bucheon claiming Jeonbuk’s cup scalp last year still fresh, this was has all the potential to be a cracker…..or Seoul could very well run out 5-0 winners. Whatever happens I’m sure those of a purple persuasion will have some kind of display in store for their hosts!

Also on this week’s show the guys discuss the continuing poor form of Seongnam (editor’s note : I’m just cutting and pasting that sentence week on week now), review a rather mixed week for the ACL teams, give an update on Uli and where he might be come next summer, they preview the weekend’s matches,discuss team’s of the week and more…..

 

K-League Classic 2017 Prediction League – Week 2

So last week was the inaugural 48 Shades prediction league round and it’s probably safe to say we won’t exactly be treating ourselves to succulent lamb with our winnings, in fact it this keeps up we might be dining out on kimbap for the foreseeable future!!

Paul managed to get 2 scores right with his Ulsan and Jeju predictions but unfortunately completely opposite scores in the Sangju v Gangwon and Bucheon v E-Land matches mean he is sitting on zero points after Week 1. Mark, on the other hand, got a full three points for his correct score prediction in the Jeolla Derby along with mirroring Paul’s correct results in the Ulsan and Jeju matches. A loss for Seongnam in the Seongnam v Busan match means he is sitting on six points after the opening fixtures. So after Week 1 the league table looks a little like this.

This week’s fixtures are below, who’ll come out on top this week and who will be fetching the coffees during the next recording?

Pessimistic Paul

Paul had this week opted to play his cards closer to his chest with new fewer than six draws and a couple of home wins.

 

Mystic Mark

This week sees Mark going for the single away win down in Daegu while after last weekend’s poor result for Seongnam it’s a “cagey draw” down in Daejeon for them.

Editor’s note: As it’s early doors yet if you would like to pit your wits against the 48 Shades guys then leave a comment below and we we can add you to the league!