This week the boys gear up for some end of season Shenanigans as the K-League enters it’s final stages and everyone has to start dusting off their volleyball scarfs and flags. Last weekend seen the final round of the Challenge as Asan, Seongnam and Bucheon all battled for the final two playoff spots. Mark is finally able to look out form the behind the couch as Seongnam, thanks to Seoul E-Land, made it by the skin of their teeth despite falling 1-0 to Champions Gyeongnam. There was some pre-match beer, banter and pizza awaiting his arrival in Jamsil as E-Land coach Dan Harris gave him some pointers on how to cope with the 90 minutes ahead. *Spoiler Alert – it involves the biting of nails and consumption of beer (okay Dan didn’t actually suggest the second part). Asan would also join Seongnam in the playoffs as they came from behind to draw 1-1 at Busan which left Bucheon feeling sorry for themselves as they fell short on the day. The fact that the bottom tier had all the seats ripped out before the match meant that not only did the fans watch their team ‘cement’ a lowly 5th position but they also had to endure sitting on cold concrete.
Also on this week’s show the boys discuss the Classic fixtures and the upcoming Player of the Year awards, they congratulate (kind of) Jeonbuk on another title and ultimately star on their badge, they reveal their losers and winners of the week and get all misty-eyed as they remember the Seongnam “glory days” for this episode’s K-Classic!
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……
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)
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)
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)
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?
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!