The K League 1 is the men's top professional football division of the South Korean football league system. The league is contested by twelve clubs. Clubs usually play each other three times, before the league splits into the top six and the bottom six. The bottom six and top six then all play each other one final time. The K League season typically begins around March and runs to late November each year. South Korea was one of the first countries outside China to be hit by a Covid-19 outbreak and its K-League was scheduled to start in February, but it was obviously postponed and it will start in May 9th on Friday night! As the season's kick off has been delayed, K League sides will only play each other twice before the division splits in two. Two sides are relegated, meaning only the side who finished bottom of the table will suffer the drop. The top two sides qualify for the AFC Champions League group stages, while the team that finished third qualifies for the Champions League playoffs. For now, the K-League offers the first opportunity for months to watch a major football competition, although it will not entirely be football as we remember it. There will be of course many restrictions and players will have to listen to the orders. Given the strict guidelines put in place to allow for the resumption of play, there will be no handshakes allowed, conversation between players and officials will be restricted, and coaches will have to wear face masks. No fans will be allowed in the stadium, and players have been told excessive spitting or blowing of the nose is prohibited. During the game, players who habitually spit or talk closely will be warned. The game will be livestreamed on Twitter and Youtube by the K-League’s official accounts.
Teams to Watch
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Seongnam FC are the most successful teams in terms of championship victories, having both lifted the title on seven occasions. Despite their recent dominance, Jeonbuk only won the league title on goal difference last season, piping Ulsan Hyundai to top spot. They have also won the Korean FA Cup three times, in 2000, 2003 and 2005. The club has won the AFC Champions League twice, first in 2006, becoming the first club from East Asia to win the tournament since the AFC Champions League was launched in its current format in 2003! This title guaranteed Jeonbuk's participation in the FIFA Club World Cup in December 2006. They won the second title in 2016. Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors are one of the biggest favorites to win the league! One of the most interesting teams in the world are definitely Sangju Sangmu! Sangju Sangmu’s side is made up entirely of players currently serving their compulsory two year national service in the South Korean military. The players play for the team only during the duration of their national service and are then sent back to their previous club. Sangmu are not allowed to sign any foreign players because of their military status. We also have to mention Ulsan Hyundai FC who are also one of the biggest favorites to win this league! Last year, they were second in the league and they were so close to win the league, goal difference was the only thing keeping them from winning the league last year. It will be interesting to see both teams, Ulsan Hyundai FC and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, fighting for the title this year. We believe that they are also one of the favorites, besides Seoul to win the league and it should be a close fight yet again!
FC Seoul are the biggest favorites to win the league according to the bookies! FC Seoul is a South Korean professional football club based in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. They have won six League titles, two FA Cups, two League Cups and one Super Cup. FC Seoul is one of the most successful and popular clubs in the K League 1, with financial backing from the GS Group. In 2012, FC Seoul was evaluated as the most valuable football brand in the K League. They are financially in the best spot because they have many sponsors and brands backing them up.
Gwangju FC and Seongnam FC will play against each other in, for them, the first game in this season. Game will be played on the 9th of May at 12:00 o'clock. It is hard to predict their form as they still did not play this season.
Gwangju FC are slight favorites (2.55) according to 1xBet! They have returned to the K League 1 following a three-year absence. The team’s main goal is to secure the K League 1 survival, anyway we believe that they will give everything they have! Felipe Silva is their best player and he also has the longest and best contract in the team. He is playing on the centre forward position and he is almost the only one player who is foreigner. We believe that this Brazilian will make a difference.
Seongnam on the other hand, finished the last season in the bottom half of the standings. Seongnam finished the season with the division’s 4th best defensive numbers. It is hard to find one individual who is in great form but their whole defense is incredible and they rely on their defensive players! They are also one of the worst attacking teams and based on statistics we believe that we will not see many goals in this matchup!
In the last 3 head to head encounters sum of goals was under 1.5 goals. With all being said, under 2 goals is our value bet and the odds are really solid on 1xBet (2.15)!
Our pick: under 2 goals @ 2.15
Gangwon FC and FC Seoul will play against each other, what will be for them the first game of the season. Game will be played on the 10th of May at 09:30 o'clock. Both sides finished the last season in the top half of the standings, with Seoul even booking their place in the AFC Champions League playoffs round. According to 1xBet, this one should be tough to predict as bookies predict to see an even game!
Gangwon FC are really tough to beat at home. With key attacking pair Kim Ji-hyun and Cho Jae-wan fit and firing again and an interesting midfield recruit in Han Kook-young also drafted in, Gangwon will be launching their K League 1 assault with an exciting side this season. 24-year-old striker Kim Ji-hyun, who ended the 2019 season with the Young Player of the Year Award despite suffering a season-ending injury with three months of the season still left to run, scored twice in one game against FC Seoul last year and is one to watch on Sunday.
FC Seoul are overall a better team but as we have already said before, it is really hard to beat Gangwon FC at home. Seoul will go into this opening league fixture knowing they have won only 1 of their last 10 away games. FC Seoul will have plenty of talent on display in the final third themselves, with new signing Adriano and Serbian Aleksandar Pešića forming a potentially devastating double act up front. They have finished 3rd last season, and having added some much needed energy in midfield with Han Chan-hee and Han Seung-gyu, FC Seoul are big favorites to win the league this season!
All being said, we believe that it is really hard to predict the winner because we are yet to see how teams will perform this season with the new players and everything. However, both teams have great attacking potential and we believe that we will see an interesting game with many goals scored. Over 2.5 goals were scored in four of the last five meetings between these clubs. You will find the best odds for over 2.5 goals, what we believe is the best option, on 1xBet (1.96)!
Our pick: over 2.5 goals @ 1.96
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