On March 16th we are traveling to South Korean K1 League, where we will see Sangju Sangmu play a host to Incheon United at Sangju Civic Stadium in the 3rd round of 2019 season.
Sangju Sangmu are the biggest shock of this season, being the team that no one expected to see at the top of the league. Coming into their next fixture, Sangju Sangmu won both of their opening two matches of K1 League. In the first match of the season, they were paired with Gangwon, which they convincingly won (2:0). Following that match, Sangju Sangmu were paired with Pohang, who much like Gangwon struggled against the Sangmu and ultimately had to admit defeat (1:2). Looking closer at the recent match against Pohang, it was the home side who grabbed an early lead after being awarded a penalty kick in the 6th minute. But it did not take long for Sangju Sangmu to equalize. In fact, it took only 9 minutes for Song Si-Woo managed to score his first goal of the season. From that point onward it was the Sangju Sangmu, who took over the match, which not surprisingly resulted in another goal by the same player in the 55th minute. Pohang failed to produce any threatening opportunities in the 2nd half, with only 2 goal attempts and no shots on goal. That resulted in yet another win for the “army team”, who now deservingly sit at the top of the league.
Incheon United finished last season 9th with a 10-12-16 record, which meant they had to fight for survival in the relegation group, however, they look much better this time around. As it stands now, Incheon are the 5th team in the league with a draw and a win behind them. In the opening match of the season, Incheon managed to grab a point against Jeju Utd (1:1) but put up a surprisingly good performance against last season runners-up Gyeongnam FC at home, when they sent the visiting side home empty handed (2:1). Looking at that match, it did not see much action at the start, but shock ensued when Incheon who found their way to the net in 19th-minute to which they added another goal in the 25th minute. With a 2 goal lead, Incheon stepped into the second half, where we saw Gyeongnam FC performing slightly better, but not nearly as good enough to catch up to the home side.
Sangju Sangmu did not report any key players as injured, however, they will still miss Kim Kyeong-jae as well as Kim Young-bin, who both picked up the second booking last week. Incheon United on the other side will not have Nam Jun-jae at their disposal, as he is still recovering from the injury he suffered. Apart from that, Incheon will come into the match with full strength.
This one will be a match between two teams that showed far better performances compared to our expectations. Sangju are currently the league leaders with 2 league wins behind them, while Incheon are just 2 points behind at 5th place. Comparing Incheon performance this season to the one last season, it should not come off as a surprise, they started off better this year. While they managed to put up 2 impressive performances in the last two fixtures, the upcoming match against Sangju Sangmu will be the first away match for them, which could prove to be a problem for a team that was far from impressive on the road last season.
Taking all into consideration I believe we are in for an interesting match which will most likely see plenty of opportunities from both teams. While it is true Incheon were not the best team in away fixtures last season, it does seem like we are looking at a “new” and improved Incheon, who I do believe have enough quality in their team to put up a good fight against Sangju Sangmu and even defeat them to continue their impressive start of the season. If we took anything away from the opening two matches for Sangju and Incheon, it’s that both teams can be a bit underwhelming in the defensive end, which is why I would not be surprised if this one ends with a few goals.
Prediction: Over 2.50 goals
Odds: 2.14 SBOBET