One of the 3 opening matches, of K1 league, which will take place on March 1st 2019 is a match between last seasons 3rd placed Ulsan Hyundai and 6th placed Suwon Samsung Bluewings, which will be played at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium, the home of Ulsan.
Going into this season, there is a lot of hype around Ulsan Hyundai, who have added some more firepower to their already potent attack, which scored 61 goals last season. With all eyes on the team and their manager Kim Do-hoon, Ulsan Hyundai need to perform up to par against Suwon Bluewings, who have had a disappointing finish of last season and will hope to improve on it this year. Looking back at the finals of Cup match against Daegu, Ulsan were highly disappointing, as they lost 3:0 against a team who were considered an underdog. While the match could have gone the complete opposite way, Ulsan looked like a team who is without any idea what to do with the ball, in addition, some bad luck, which saw Han Seung-kyu missing a chance early into the match did not do them any good either. Nonetheless, that is behind them and they need to focus on Friday’s match, where they can not afford another “mistake”.
Suwon Bluewings, on the other side, are not really considered a team that does well in the opening matches of the season, as they historically struggled to get anything from the opening fixtures of the season. Despite that, Bluewings have a lot to prove this season after a disappointing 6th place finish in 2018. Looking at their preseason, Bluewings performances did not really turn many heads, however, their preseason can be described as a successful one. With the addition of some younger players and replacements of older ones, Suwon Bluewings look ready to tackle the new season.
Suwon Bluewings have prepared themselves to finish higher than last season with two of K2 league best players in 2018 in addition to Adam Taggart who arrived Australian team, Brisbane Roar. Despite all the new additions, I do not believe Suwon will be a strong contender for the top spots in the league, as they don’t seem to have enough quality in the team to upset top teams. Ulsan Hyundai on the other side have been exceptionally strong at home last season. At Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium, Ulsan held a respectable 11-3-3 record with 30 goals scored and only 16 conceded, which was the 2nd best record in the league. With high expectations for Uslan to finish high this season, they are expected to start off the season strong. Suwon Bluewings might have added some new faces, but with historically poor performance in the opening week and the fact that Suwon did not win a match at Munsu since 2014 this fixture does not look promising for them. I would be surprised if this match will not be won by the home side, who unlike Suwon are expected to finish top 3, maybe even reach for the 1st spot. In conclusion, I expect Ulsan Hyundai to not hold back and show the league their worth with a dominant performance, which should end up with more than just 1 goal margin.
Prediction: Ulsan Hyundai +0.00 Asian Handicap
Odds: 1.76 SBOBET