2017 K-League Classic Prediction League – Week 1

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For those of you who are avid listeners to the 48 Shades Podcast you’ll know that regularly the guys use their “expert” and “in-depth” knowledge of the K-League to predict the week ahead’s all-important clashes. So we decided that as a regular feature for the 2017 season we would put our reputations on the line and go ‘head-to-head’ over the year to see who really is the Nostradamus of the podcast and who is an Oda Mae Brown in waiting!

We will focus mainly on the K-League Classic and will add in Seongnam and E-Land matches also. The rules are fairly simple as below

3 pts awarded for a fully correct score

2 pts awarded for guessing the correct result – 2-2 instead of 1-1

-1 pt for a reversal – Seoul lose 1-0 instead of winning

-2 pts for a complete reversal – Pohang lose 2-0 instead of winning 2-0

A league table will be compiled so you can track your favourite tipster and prizes will be awarded at the midway point and end of season……perhaps!! Editor’s note: Mark hasn’t done his forfeit from last season yet!

The guys get ready for week 1
The guys get ready for week 1

Week 1 – Before it all goes horribly wrong!!

First up we have Paul’s predictions for the opening weekend. It looks as if he might need to watch the opening weekend through his fingers as he goes for an away win in The Supermatch.

Pessimistic Paul
Pessimistic Paul

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Mystic Mark

 

 

 

 

 

Next up we have Mark who has 100% faith in the mighty Magpies, will he have to take off his Seongnam-tinted glasses in the weeks ahead although? All will be revealed!

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Episode 104 – Here kitty, kitty.

 

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Episode 104 – “Here, kitty kitty”

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music_double_note_song_melody-512“Right here, right now, right here, right now”music_double_note_song_melody-512

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Red alert as Eastern are down to 10

This week the boys focus their attention on the Asian Champions League after the first round of the group stages. Much was made of Eastern Sports Club’s debut in the ACL and especially the fact that it was being made against the giants of Guangzhou Evergrande. To say it didn’t quite go to plan would be an understatement as they were reduced to 10 men within 3 minutes and 9 within the half hour. Unfortunately though for the 48 Shades guys it wasn’t just Eastern who were left to lick their wounds after Round 1 as only Suwon Bluewings managed to record a point for the K-League.

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Also on the show this week the boys discuss the new strips released as Jeonbuk and Seongnam both launched their 2017 kit to widely different reactions, we preview the next round of the ACL, discuss Seongnam FC’s new Lego concept and more……

ACL 2017 Group Stage Round 1 – Previews

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This week sees the first round of the Group Stages of the 2017 ACL and for many of the teams it’s that much awaited first competitive match of the season and the chance to showcase the new additions to the squad. The first round has a couple of matches which even at this early stage could go a long way to deciding who gets out the group and who gets to “focus on the domestic scene”. With last year’s winners Jeonbuk being thrown out of the tournament all Korean eyes will be on ACL regulars Seoul and Suwon Bluewings to see if they can keep the trophy in Korea.

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FC Seoul v Shanghai SIPG (Tuesday 21st Feb)

FC Seoul start their Asian Champions League campaign with a home match against Andre Villa Boas’ Shanghai SIPG in what is generally regarded as one of the toughest ACL groups in recent years. Where SIPG are bolstered by players such as Hulk, Carvalho and Oscar, Seoul have seen their squad somewhat depleted with Adriano leaving for pastures new over the close season. Adriano had a fantastic group stage last year and will be undoubtedly be greatly missed with his replacement, Maurinho, hardly an eye-catching capture . With the other two members of the group being Urawa and Western Sydney Wanderers its fair to say that every point is a prisoner and neither team can afford a slow start. Shanghai came through the playoff stage with a rather routine 3-0 win over Sukhothai, Seoul haven’t exactly set the world on fire with their pre-season friendlies, it could all come too quick for the K-League Champions.

Prediction : Draw : Seoul 1 – Shanghai SIPG 1

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Kashima Antlers v Ulsan Hyundai (Tuesday 21st Feb)

The second Korean team involved in this year’s ACL are Ulsan Hyundai who found themselves the main beneficiaries of the ACL decision to prohibit Jeonbuk playing in this year’s tournament. Ulsan were promoted to the play-off stage after Jeju automatically moved up to take Jeonbuk’s place. They had a rather tense affair against Kitchee when the match went to penalties, this really was a match that they should be winning without too much huff and puff but I guess you can excuse them as they really didn’t get a whole lot of time to prepare. Ulsan make a welcome return to the ACL having last competed in 2014 when they failed to qualify from the group stages. They start their campaign with a tough trip to Japan to face J-League title holders and Fuji Xerox Cup winners Kashima Antlers. The main talking point of the match will undoubtedly be Kwon Sun Tae making his first appearance against a Korean team since his winter transfer from Jeonbuk. Ulsan themselves have seen a few new faces arrive in the close season with Mislav Orsic and Lee Jong Ho being two huge additions to their squad. As mentioned they did struggle against Kitchee and Kashima will be a tough nut to crack away. Brisbane Roar and Muangthong United make up the rest of Group E so they might just view this one as being “loseable”

Prediction: Home Win : Kashima 2 – Ulsan 0 

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Kawasaki Frontale v Suwon Bluewings (Wednesday 22nd Feb)

Korean cup winners Suwon Bluewings will head to Japan to start their ACL campaign and must be hoping for a better showing in the group stages this year than last year when they lost out on away goals to Melbourne Victory. They have strengthened quite a bit over the close season and seem to be building a team for an assault on the K-League title, signings such as Matt Jurman and Shin Hwa Young should more than compliment the squad which clinched the FA Cup to end the 2016 season. They seem to have managed to keep the prolific Jonathon in their ranks and on his day he is one of the deadliest in the K-League. This match will see Jung Sung Ryong line up against his old team for the first time since his J-League switch.  Kawasaki finished 3rd in the J-League last year and will be no pushovers and considering the other teams making up the group are Chinese giants Guangzhou Evergrande and Hong Kong’s Eastern it will almost certainly come down to the head-to-head between these two. Hopefully Bluewings will have learned from last year’s harsh lessons and be a little more focused in their home matches.

Prediction : Draw : Bluewings 1 – Kawasaki 1 

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Jeju United v Jiangsu FC (Wednesday 22nd Feb)

Our final Korean team in action are Jeju United who embark on relatively unknown territory as they make only their second ever appearance in the ACL, the first of which was back in 2011.They qualified courtesy of finishing third in the K-League and then were moved into Jeonbuk’s place after they were expelled. They had a good season last year and will be hoping to build on a rather surprising third place spot this year. They strengthened their squad by adding Frederic Mendy from Ulsan whilst bringing Aleksander Jovanovic back from China. They also signed the experienced Park Jin Po from Seongnam which should add some steel to their often leaky defence. In Jiangsu FC, they face a tough opening game against such big names as Ramires, Martinez and Teixeira as well as continuing the ex-player theme by coming face to face with Hong Jeong Ho. Add in Adelaide United and Gamba Osaka and they have a really tough group which they will do well to get even close to qualification from to be honest. They are difficult to beat on the island in the domestic scene but bringing that form into the ACL is a different kettle of fish altogether.

Prediction : Away Win : Jeju 1 – Jiangsu 3

Episode 103 – I was made for Lovinho Baby

 

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Episode 103 – “I was made for Lovinho baby”

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music_double_note_song_melody-512“I was made for loving you baby, you were made for loving me”music_double_note_song_melody-512

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Made for Lovinho E-land

This week sees the boys taking on the main talking points in Korea and beyond. One of the main talking points this week is Seoul E-Land signing a replacement for the outgoing legend that was Tarabai in the form of Brazilian Lovinho. Can he become a fan favourite as quickly as Tarabai? Will he also post instagram videos in his underwear? Or will he be the latest in the long list of one-season flounders? Only time will tell.

Also on the show this week the boys discuss the ACL debut of history-making Chan Yuen Ting who last year became the first ever female manager to lead a men’s professional football team to a nation’s league championship title.

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Chan Yeun Ting

Tune in this week as the boys discuss transfers, preview next week’s ACL group matches, give fashion tips on FC Seoul’s new kit,  upcoming quizzes, discuss the new haircut “ban” in the UAE, the debut of Eastern’s female manager in the ACL and more……

music_double_note_song_melody-512“Hit me with your best shot, fire away” music_double_note_song_melody-512

Episode 102 – “I don’t like it Michael”

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Episode 102 – “I don’t like it Michael”

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music_double_note_song_melody-512 “Don’t cry for me Argentina, the truth is I never left you”music_double_note_song_melody-512

 

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Carlos Tevez sent packing from the ACL

This week sees the boys taking on the main talking points in Korea and beyond with Japan and even Scotland getting the much-loved 48 Shades Podcast touch. The main talking point is the ACL as the group stages have been finalized after the final round of the qualifiers took place. The main talking point being ‘Galactico’ Carlos Tevez crashing out of the ACL before the groups as Shanghai fell to a 2-0 home defeat to Brisbane Roar. Money well spent indeed!!!

Tune in this week as the boys discuss transfers, the ACL and the “group of death”, an update on the Korean team’s friendlies, some more transfer updates as Jeonbuk sign the “new Leo”, they discuss the new J-League television deal and how it dwarfs anything in Korea, new strips  and more…….

music_double_note_song_melody-512“Strip for me babe, strip for you”music_double_note_song_melody-512

Football Cliches – Week 3 – “If that was on target, it would’ve been a goal”

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Week 3 – “If that was on target, it would’ve been a goal”

Some cliches are designed to display the footballing intellect of the pundit in question, some are designed to fill uncomfortable silences and/or kill time and others, well others are designed for the sole purpose of masking a player’s lacking and none more so than the rather stunning fortune telling qualities of “if that was on target, it would’ve been a goal”. Not content with trying to cover up another howler from your rather overpriced but luxuriously European sounding striker with this nugget of cliche goodness, the pundit will apply all his high school physics knowledge to reliably predict where the ball would’ve gone had it not been sclaffed with all the skill of an LG ajossi 5 Sojus for the worse on a hwesik. It might not be quite the JFK ‘Magic Bullet’ theory but it is a tad of a stretch to try and claim any plaudits for the player who has yet again left you scratching your head and tearing out what’s left of once flowing locks.

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Some pundits don’t really need the ball on the pitch to know what happened.

Of course as well as most pundits lacking the necessary clairvoyant talents to predict the potential outcome of a shot there is the added factor of the man between the sticks, that’s right the guy who’s sole job in life is to save his team’s blushes when called upon. This cliche does in fact need the keeper in question to be having an off day or at the very least to be Jung Sung Ryoung.  Merely being “on target” is not the only prerequisite to a goal and in fact most fans have been witness to enough gravity-defying feats of goalkeeping greatness at both ends of the pitch to know this is true. This adds to the rather ridiculousness of the cliche not to mention rendering the goalkeeper futile, maybe this is why so few of them end up gracing the cameras with their presence after they hang up the boots. Goalkeepers, to me, always seem akin to the babysitter’s boyfriend in a horror movie. There in the background and often overshadowed by a pair of strikers and only really called on to save the day or find themselves sprawled on the deck looking rather gutted as the killer spins away with an evil grin.

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“But as long as it’s on target its a goal right?”

So the next time you are trudging home on the wrong end of a derby defeat please console yourself with the fact that even if your number 9 had more swipes than a “bubbly blonde just looking for fun” on Tinder that all those “almost on target” goals counted. And retire home warm in the knowledge that in the world of the pundit your 3-0 reverse was in fact a resounding 5-3 victory. Good luck convincing that one utterly detestable rival fan that we all know or work with that you alone have the bragging rights. 

Episode 98 – “We would’ve gotten away with it…”

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Episode 98 – “We would’ve gotten away with it….”

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music_double_note_song_melody-512 “Who let the dogs out, woof, woof, woof, woof” music_double_note_song_melody-512

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Biscuit the dog!

This week sees the boys discuss the all important stories in the K-League and some rather touching ones too as Seongnam FC not only get a new kit sponsorship deal but also decide to sponsor a rescued greyhound in the shape of “biscuit”…not quite sure that’s what most fans had in mind when Park said there’d be new faces at the club. The boys also discuss FC Seoul’s title defence amidst Adriano’s ever-impending move to China and the announcement that Kwak Tae Hwi will take over the Captain’s armband from Osmar for the upcoming season with Park Chu Young becoming the “assistant to the captain”

Tune in this week as the boys discuss transfers, the “taking on of fluids”, the 2017 opening day fixtures, FC Seoul and the “Super Charity Shield Match” the World Cup expansion and what it means to Korea  and more…….

music_double_note_song_melody-512 “Loves got the world in motion and I know what we can do” music_double_note_song_melody-512