Jeonbuk v Incheon | Saturday 13th June 2020, 11:00
We begin in the Korean K League 1 with this weekend’s action and on Saturday morning with Jeonbuk Motors versus Incheon United. A relatively quick glance at the league table will highlight to the fact that this presents a top versus bottom clash, for all that we’re only five games into the campaign.
Regardless of that fact, it is fair to say that there is a relative difference as to the qualities that Jeonbuk and Incheon will respectively offer. Jeonbuk are well associated with the top end of this table considering they’ve been champions for three seasons running, and five of the past six.
Incheon have quite incredibly never been relegated from the top flight in their short existence (founded in 2003), and I say that as they’ve finished between 6th and 13th within that time.
Looking at the pre-game odds for this contest it comes as no shock to see Jeonbuk, managed by former Barnsley head coach and long-time coaching companion of Jose Mourinho; José Morais. The hosts are very short odds to get the job done and all being well they should do.
It therefore presents us with a bit of a challenge to find some value, but we at least know what the likely end outcome is, which narrows down our options somewhat.
I must admit, as someone who has followed South Korean football for a couple of seasons, this fixture did raise a few initial alarm bells in my eyes. The reason being is that although Jeonbuk are clearly a stronger and better team than Incheon, this isn’t a fixture we can necessarily say they’ve dominated as you’d expect.
Sure, Incheon have won just one of the last 12 meetings, but half of those ended as draws. Incheon will play a very defensive game and Jeonbuk can sometimes over commit forward and possibly get caught out on the break to make this a tougher match than it needs to be. Incheon are unbeaten in four of their last six visits to this ground, and scored in six of the latest eight here.
That being said, the early signs from this season suggests a pretty stark difference between the two outfits. Jeonbuk look like scoring, and Incheon do not. Jeonbuk average 17 shots per-game (most in the league) compared to Incheon’s eight (lowest in league).
Incheon failed to score in their opening three matches of the season, whilst Jeonbuk scored more in their last game (4-1 win over Seoul) than Incheon has achieved all season. As long as Jeonbuk stay switched on at the back and don’t get caught out, they should be fine.
Therefore, I’m prepared to back Jeonbuk to win ‘to nil’ at 20/21 (BetVictor). I do necessarily think this will be a 4-0 or 5-0 sort of match, Jeonbuk do ware opponents down and they won’t panic if an early goal doesn’t arrive.
Incheon’s game plan will be pretty obvious from the start, and Jeonbuk have clean sheets in their two home encounters this season; both resulting in victories against stronger opposition. Incheon haven’t scored on their travels yet and this was also an issue for them last season.
Kiel v Wehen | Saturday 13th June 2020, 12:00
There are only four games left in the German second-tier and Kiel versus Wehen is a clash which will have a big say in what happens near the bottom of the standings. Kiel aren’t officially safe from relegation, but realistically are, however that host a Wehen outfit who are in desperate need of points sitting second-from-bottom.
Wehen are on a four-game losing streak after initially returning following the prolonged layoff by beating promotion hopefuls Stuttgart 2-1 at home. It has however been downhill since then, even if all four defeats came by a one-goal margin, including away to Hamburg.
Losing last week at home to Dynamo Dresden in a bottom two encounter was a massive disappointment, especially after they led 2-1 at one point in the contest, only to lose 3-2 in the 89th minute.
Kiel aren’t necessarily in the best of form themselves but are in the relative comfort of mid-table, so long as they pick up a couple of points to be sure of safety and a few sides below them don’t suddenly start producing an out of ordinary burst of form. They’ve won once in eight (once in five since the return) and have conceded 2+ goals in all five since the comeback. For all they struggle at the back, they’re at least a threat going forward.
Kiel have scored 1.60 goals per game this season and are the fourth-highest scorers in the division. They average 5.20 shots on target per match, and that is the joint-fourth best in the league. Only three times have they failed to score, which is again the best in 2. Bundesliga, and they’ve achieved only three clean sheets; the least in the league. BTTS is therefore usually a good call when they’re involved.
They aren’t in so much pressure this weekend, as that is all on this struggling Wehen team. They need the points and ideally need to try and win this one. They’ve the worst defensive record in the league conceding an average of 1.73 goals per game, plus their league clashes has averaged 3.00 goals across the campaign. Kiel top the league for Over 2.5 games, which comes as no surprise either.
Anyone who watched Kiel on Monday against Hamburg will know everything they’re about, and this is another match which should deliver some goals and action at both ends of the pitch. A bet-builder on Both Teams To Score and Over 2 Goals is available at 20/21 (Bet365), and with goals in high supply for both teams of late I see no reason for that to stop this weekend.