The start of South Korean K League 1 is here and it will serve us with 3 games on the first day; March 1st 2019. In this preview, we will check the match between Gyeongnam and Seongnam, which will take place at Changwon Football Centre Stadium, the home of Gyeongnam.
Gyeongnam, the second place finishers last season are awaiting their first opponent of the season at their home stadium, where they will start the 2019 campaign. This season they will hope to improve on their result last season and finish 1st in the league, but first, they need to focus on their next match. Their first opponents will be no other than the newly promoted Seongnam FC, who will hope to make a statement on Friday and put up a good performance at Changwon Football Centre Stadium. Looking at last season, Changwon Football Centre Stadium was a place no team wanted to visit. In 2018 season Gyeongnam only lost 3 times at their home ground; twice against league winners and once against Jeju United. With that in mind and new additions to the team, Gyeongnam are expected to start off the season where they left off last season, which is with strong performances at home stadium.
Seongnam FC, the newcomers have a lot to prove as they join the K1 league after being promoted from K2, and what better way to prove their worth than being paired with last season runners-up Gyeongnam in the first match of the season. In addition, they will need to face off against them at Changwon Football Centre Stadium, where most of the top teams in K1 last season failed to win. Prior to this season, Seongnam FC have had a though preparation in training camps in Thailand and Japan with numerous exhibition matches taking place throughout January and February in hopes all the new players have built strong chemistry and learned how to play with each other, which will be crucial for Seongnam FC success among “big dogs” in K1.
I am a bit worried about how well will Seongnam FC perform against Gyeongnam FC at their home stadium, especially after the departure of Jung Sung-min, who was their top scorer last season. While Seongnam FC managed to replace him with another striker, Kim Hyun-sung, he is not consistent due to injuries which slowed him down in the past. To put it into perspective, he only scored once last season, so it’s safe to say Seongnam FC are coming into this season weaker in the offensive end as they were last season. While I believe Seongnam FC will approach this match cautiously, with a carefully planned out approach to at least grab a point, Gyeongnam FC are just too strong for Seongnam to stop, despite their great defence. I expect Gyeongnam FC to show the newcomers their full strength and push for all 3 points in the opening match of the season. Due to strong defences on both sides, this match could easily end in a low scoring one, however, even then, I believe Gyeongnam FC are a class above the opponents and will walk away with their first 3 points of the season.
Prediction: Gyeongnam FC +0.00 Asian Handicap
Odds: 1.71 Asian Odds