Ulsan Hyundai v Gangwon | Sunday 19th July 2020, 11:00
Those of you who followed out Saturday article will know we had two plays from the South Korean K League 1 and we thought we’d throw one more at you from the Sunday card to complete the set! This times it involves Ulsan Hyundai, who went into the weekend top of the table. Gangwon are the visitors but they won their last league game 4-1, so spirits should be high.
Ulsan Hyundai are a team that does feature regularly on these articles, mainly because we know that they’ll almost certainly finish in the top two and they’re a good bet to win most weekends. The odds therefore are a little more generous on them compared to say if we frequently backed Jeonbuk Motors, who are the top dogs in the league having won it for the last few seasons.
As mentioned, Ulsan are top and so they’re in good form. Jeonbuk are the only team to have defeated them in league action this season, and besides that they have generally blown most opponents away. Twice they’ve won 4-1, and they also have 4-1, 3-0 and 3-1 victories to their name, too.
It is important they rack up the points against the lower teams as it is generally the matches against the bigger clubs, like Jeonbuk, which will determine the title at the end of the campaign.
Gangwon did win their last match but they were five without a win beforehand, and four of those ended in defeat. That included when Ulsan Hyundai visited last month, and the top side departed with three points in a 3-0 win. In fact, we have to go all the way back to May 2012 for the last time Gangwon won a head-to-head meeting. That means it is 15 without a win, and Ulsan won 12 of those.
I therefore expected to see Ulsan as quite slim odds to win this game, but I have to admit to being a little surprised at seeing the price on them. Sure, they remain odds-on, but I’ve seen a few 5/8 prices available and that is good value all things considered.
This is still a top six match at the end of the day, which is probably why the bookies have it as quite a closer game, but the reality is that in K League 1 it is Ulsan and Jeonbuk, and then the rest.
I’ll take advantage of the good price on offer and bump it up in a bet-builder to have Ulsan Hyundai to win and Over 1 Goal. That pays 20/23 (Bet365) and to get that price at just shy of evens is too good to turn down. Only two of 22 games combined these two teams have played finished with one goal or less, and Ulsan will win this baring something out of the blue.
Brondby v Aalborg | Sunday 19th July 2020, 17:00
Just to mix things up a bit we’re heading to Denmark for our final play of the weekend in the Superliga Championship group as Brondby faces Aalborg. The reality is that this game doesn’t really mean anything quite frankly as realistically the best either side can finish this season is fourth, and only the top three qualify for Europe.
Mathematically, Brondby can still leapfrog Aarhus into second position, but they’re eight points behind with only nine to play for. Aarhus do have a tough trip to Copenhagen this weekend and Brondby face Aarhus on the final day, so perhaps there is a little more riding on this then we may initially think. What is pretty sure is that Aalborg can only finish fourth at best, but they’re in decent form of late.
Aalborg did have the Danish Cup Final to prepare for recently and their league form dived prior to that, which is understandable. They lost that final but have since responded well by winning two and drawing one of their three contests since. Brondby are going pretty well as well, and they’ve only lost once in seven, which ironically came in the away match in Aalborg, in a match where they were a clear second best.
Brondby therefore will need a big improvement on that showing to get their own back, but they certainly have it in their locker. The big reason for the eight point gap to third is because of their away form, which has regularly let them down. That has not been the case at their own stadium as only Copenhagen have claimed more home points. We do have the pandemic to factor in, but Brondby last lost at home in December.
Aalborg has also failed to win on their last six visits to Brondby, including failing to score on three occasions. Aalborg have been quite inconsistent away from home this season, and their record largely matches Brondby’s away form numbers. They are also quite inconsistent at home anyway, so they’re quite simply an inconsistent team and another dangerous type of team to really bet on a match they’re involved in.
The angle I’m taking here though is that this is a more important game for Brondby, and I fancy them to get the job done on the day. I’ve shopped around and managed to find a price of 27/25 (Unibet) on a Brondby home win, and looking at the bigger picture I really think that is the best call here.
One more factor which leads to me this decision is that Aalborg are actually one of the higher ranked teams in the league in relation to shots on goal and shots on target.
Whilst you may view that as a negative in backing Brondby, the fact is that Brondby are a very dangerous counter attacking team when given the chance. If the game is stretched, that will suit them as the home team. Brondby do top the league in percentage of chances taken, which proves they’re clinical.