No top three finish in 14 years… Can Jeonbuk, currently fourth, catch up to Gwangju?

No top three finish in 14 years… Can Jeonbuk, currently fourth, catch up to Gwangju?

How will Jeonbuk Hyundai finish this season?

Jeonbuk enters the final round in fourth place with 49 points, having won 14, drawn 7 and lost 12 in 33 regular-season games. A dramatic win over FC Seoul in their final game narrowly kept them in Final A, but a single victory turned the tide, jumping three spots.토토사이트

Their next goal is to finish in third place. Leaders Ulsan Hyundai (67 points) and second-place Pohang Steelers (58 points) are realistically out of reach with five games remaining. Instead, they’re only four points behind fourth-place Gwangju FC (54 points), which is enough to pull off the upset. Once they win their head-to-head, the gap closes to just one point, so it’s not that arithmetically difficult. For Jeonbuk, finishing in the top three should be their goal for the final round.

Third place is also the position where Jeonbuk can keep at least some pride. Jeonbuk hasn’t finished lower than third in 14 seasons since 2009, when they won their first title in the K League. They have only finished third twice, in 2010 and 2013, but have won the title nine times in total, finishing second in 2012, 2016, and last year.

If they stay where they are now, or fall further, it will be the first time they’ve finished outside the top three in 15 years, since 2008. It’s a difficult position for Jeonbuk to be in. While there is still the FA Cup to play for, the club may not be able to qualify for the 2024-2025 Asian Football Confederation club competition based on its ranking in the K League.

Against the five teams in Final A, Jeonbuk only managed 19 points this season. That’s just 38% of the 49 points they secured in the regular round. Based on their head-to-head record alone, they can’t be confident of catching up to Gwangju. On top of that, Gwangju’s pace is too good, with eight wins, five draws, and one loss in 13 games since July 7. It’s hard to see Jeonbuk pulling off an upset.

Moreover, unlike Gwangju, Jeonbuk has to play the Asian Football Confederation Champions League (ACL). Especially since the team traveled to Hong Kong in late October and Singapore in early November, it could be a physical challenge.

Still, a turnaround is possible. The biggest reason for Jeonbuk’s poor performance was the absence of five players from the Asian Games squad. Baek Seung-ho, Song Min-kyu, Park Jin-seob, Kim Jung-hoon, and Park Jae-yong were missing in every position, including attack, midfield, defense, and goalkeeping. Now they’re back, and with about two weeks of tune-up time, they’ll be able to set the tone.

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