Seongnam v Daegu | Sunday 7th June 2020, 11:00
For the second week in succession we again focus on a Seongnam match in Korean K League 1 action. Last weekend we bagged an 11/10 winner thanks to them leaving Seoul with a fine 1-0 victory, which maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign. They remain just one of two teams in the division yet to taste defeat. They host Daegu, who are one of four clubs yet to win so far, meaning they’ll have a point to prove.
Seongnam have certainly showcased some improvements from last season if their opening four matches is anything to go by. They finished in the Relegation Group then, but are already on course to potentially competing for much more than just survival. It would take a mammoth effort for them to mount a title challenge or anything like that, but they should be more competitive this time around.
Daegu on the other hand have finished 5th, 7th and 8th across the last three regulation seasons since winning promotion into the top-flight. Finishing 5th last season however representing their best-ever finish in their relatively short 18-year existence, so they’ll be keen to kick on.
Starting the following campaign without a win in four therefore is not ideal, but three were draws, whilst the one loss came to reigning champions Jeonbuk Motors.
Both teams therefore have a common similarities of proving hard to beat. It is clearly a case of defence being their best form of attack. Seongnam already have three clean sheets to their name so far, with all four matches finishing under 2.5 goals. All of Daegu’s have finished below that number, too, so it would certainly be a surprise if this were to be a high-scoring affair.
Seongnam are positioned fourth in the league tally for ball recoveries in the opponents half, so expect to see them press high. However, Daegu are stone dead last in that category, so they’re more likely to defend deeper and look to frustrate. With that being the case, Daegu aren’t likely to play from the back too regularly, so Seongnam may indeed have to be patient.
One thing is for sure though, this should be a close encounter, and although both teams produce actually quite a high level of chances, Seongnam have proved more clinical, so that affords them the edge. Seongnam Double Chance and Under 3 Goals represents a good play at 11/10 (Bet365) for what promises to be a real tactical affair.
Shakhtyor Soligorsk v Energetyk-BGU | Sunday 7th June 2020, 18:00
If it wasn’t for BATE Borisov then there would probably be more attention on the exploits of Shakhtyor Soligorsk and their impressive form.
BATE are of course the number one team in this part of the world, even if they didn’t win the league last season. They’re put together a great run of results and also secured the domestic cup recently. Soligorsk are unbeaten in their past seven in league and cup, so deserve plenty of credit.
Then again, so does Energetyk-BGU. They are also one of the form teams in the league and it is in fact only BATE who is above them in the table. This is something of a surprise considering they only avoided relegation by a handful of points last season. They do however appear to be a ‘streaky’ team. They began this campaign with three wins, followed by three losses and are now five unbeaten, including four wins. They also began the season beating BATE 3-1.
This Sunday therefore presents a top of the table encounter and one which promises so much. Soligorsk are the team that is generally more familiar with this area of the table having made the top three for ten seasons running. Energetyk therefore needs to prove themselves in a game like this to really determine if they can continue to surprise many and retain their lofty league standing.
Conceding in the last minute to draw 3-3 at home to Vitebsk last time out would have felt like a defeat, and we mentioned how they’re streaky so could it be that a run of bad form will commence? Perhaps, but they are a side that Shakhtyor will take seriously.
It will take a mammoth effort to leave Stroitel Stadion with anything as Soligorsk have only conceded three league goals all season. Unsurprisingly, that means they’re the best defensive side in the league. They’re enjoying a five-match run without conceding a goal, meaning late April was when an opponent beat their goalkeeper. That run will end at some stage, and Energetyk have actually scored more than Soligorsk.
Both teams are very similar in relation to attacking output. Both are in the top four in terms of chances created and shots on target, but Soligorsk do have significant edges in the number of attempts category, so expect Energetyk to be bombarded quite significantly as the away team here. Soligorsk have lost only three of their past 34 home league matches, and in 15 of those they would net at least three goals.
Whilst Soligorsk have only conceded three, they have been threatened and they will take some risks at the back, especially at home. Being caught on the counter attack is likely to be their biggest challenge here, and Energetyk winning their last three on the road suggests they’re quite used to playing in a certain manner. Being underdogs may suit them well, but Shakhtyor should have the class edge.
Shakhtyor Soligorsk to win and Over 2.5 Goals is available at 11/8 (Betway) and looks like a play which should have some legs. Although eight of their 11 matches has actually finished under this number, don’t let the lack of goals suggest that this is an ultra-defensive team. They’ll attack and don’t necessarily expect Energetyk to park the bus either.