10 out of the 12 teams in K1 league already finished with their opening matches of the season, now they wait for the last two; FC Seoul and Pohang Steelers to face off against each other on March 3rd at Seoul World Cup Stadium, the home stadium of Seoul.
FC Seoul are coming into this season in hopes to perform better than they did last year when they finished just above the relegation. After all, was set and done, Seoul had an overall record of 9-13-16 which resulted in only 40 points. What was even more worrying was the number of goals Seoul scored, which ended up being the least in the league. But they seem to fix that issue with recent signings. The last match FC Seoul played took place on December 12th in the Finals of Promotion/Relegation playoffs, where they faced off against Busan in the 2nd leg after Seoul won first one 3:1. The match as a whole did not look promising for Seoul, who conceded the first goal in 33rd minute to which they did not find an answer. While Busan were the dominant side with 61% ball possession, 13 goal attempts and 7 shots on goal, they failed to produce the 2nd goal, which would give them a fighting chance against Seoul. Instead, it was Seoul who scored a goal in 90’+4 from a counterattack, thus securing a 4:2 aggregate win. But that was last season and now they are preparing for the 2019 K1 season, where Seoul will hope to finish higher and save themselves from the troubles of relegation. In their first match of the season, Seoul will face an old enemy Pohang Steelers who bested them on August 22nd 2018 (0:1). Nonetheless, historically Seoul is a better side and they will hope to continue this trend with a win today.
Pohang Steelers narrowly missed the Asian Champions League last season after finishing 4th with an overall record of 15-9-14 and 54 points, 9 short of reaching the 3rd spot. The last match Steelers played took place at their home stadium on December 2nd when they faced off against Ulsan Hyundai, who won 1:3. Pohang lost despite being far more active in the offensive end, however, they failed to use their chances efficiently. Since then, Pohang Steelers played 3 friendly matches against Radnik, Mariupol and Celje in preparation for the new season. Out of those 3 friendly matches, Pohang won against 2; against Celje (1:2) and Mariupol (2:3), but they failed to defeat Radnik (3:1). Coming into this season, Pohang most notable addition is Brazillian striker David Da Silva, who should be a huge addition up front. Last season David Da Silva scored 20 goals in 23 games in Indonesia, and if he can be just as potent this season, Pohang Steelers will have a good shot at a high finish once again.
The last time these two teams met, was on August 22nd at Seoul World Cup Stadium, where Seoul failed to justify being a favourite due to an own goal scored by Yang Han-Bin, which gave Pohang an early lead (13th minute). That was also the only goal we saw in the 90 minutes, which meant Pohang celebrated a 0:1 win. Nonetheless, Seoul are historically a better team of the two. In the last 5 H2H matches Seoul won 3, Pohang won 1 and 1 ended in a draw. The aggregate score shows 3:8 in favour of Seoul. This time out we expect Soul to start off the season strong, just so they don’t repeat last season disappointing performance. With newly added Pešić alongside the returning Alibaev in midfield, Seoul looks much better in the offensive end, where they severely underperformed last season. While I believe Seoul look strong enough to once again defeat Pohang, this match can easily go both ways. Taking all into consideration, I expect this to be a high scoring match with at least a goal on each side.
Prediction: Over 2.00 goals
Odds: 1.86 SBOBET