Half of the K1 teams already finished their opening match of the season, so now we will focus on 2 of the remaining 6 that have yet tested their strength in 2019 season. In this preview, we will check the match between Incheon and Jeju United, which will take place on March 2nd at Sungui Arena Park, the home stadium of Incheon.
Incheon United ended last season with a 4 game winning streak run, finishing with a high 3:1 win over Jeonnam Dragons, who ultimately got relegated alongside Sangju Sangmu. As for this season, Icheon United will have to face off against Jeju United who they met 3 times in 2018 season. Out of the 3 games played, Jeju United won twice, while the 3rd and the last match ended without a goal. In fact, Incheon United does not have the best record against Jeju United, who they last defeated in 2016 (2:1), but failed to do the same ever since.
The visiting side, Jeju United come into this season with high hopes and high confidence to achieve something great, which is only fair after a strong off-season, when they added plenty of new names to the squad. Most notably, Jeju United added Elias Aguilar, who has played for Incheon United last season, where he performed exceptionally well. Last season Elias Aguilar finished with 3 goals and 10 assists, which was enough to make him the 2nd best player in assists, only trailing Cesinha from Daegu FC, who had 11. All in all, Jeju United are positive to end this season high, which will help them try to forget the memory of last season, which was a disappointing one for Jeju, who were among top 3 with only 6 rounds left in the season, but then lost it all and ended 5th. With a lot of mental as well as physical preparations the team went through prior to this season (as stated by their coach), they are ready for 2019 season and positive they won’t repeat the mistakes they made last season.
Jeju United historically manages to win against Incheon United, even at Sungui Arena Park, where they won in the last 3 home openers against Incheon. Furthermore, Incheon does not perform well against Jeju United, who they failed to defeat in since 2016. All in all, the tradition seems to be in Jeju’s favour for this one despite the fact the last time these two sides met, the match ended in a scoreless draw. What I expect to see in this match is both teams striving to start the season with all 3 points. With good signings in the off-season on both sides, I would not be surprised if they both manage to finish somewhere in the upper mid part of the league. As I mentioned before, traditionally, Jeju wins at Sungui Arena Park, however, this just might not be the case in this match. Sungui Arena Park is not an easy place to visit for no team, and Jeju are notorious for sometimes struggling to perform in away games. As my final thoughts, this one should be an entertaining and a close game, where I believe either side can come out as a winner. However, taking all into consideration, and despite the historical trends, I believe the home side are a slight favourite here. At the end of the day, it’s the opening game of the season and they are playing at home. Expect a close match where I would not be surprised if Incheon United manages to push through and grab all 3 points.
Prediction: Incheon United +0.00 Asian Handicap
Odds: 2.20 Pinnacle