2012.3.2 Weekend PicksK-League
Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma at Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Jeonju, North Jeolla
Saturday, 3 p.m.
The 2012 K-League season kicks off with defending champion Jeonbuk taking on last year’s FA cup winner Seongnam.
Jeonbuk lost coach Choi Kang-hee to the national team, but the squad is still comprised of core members from last season including reigning MVP, striker Lee Dong-gook.
The team added Chilean international Hugo Droguett to boost power in the midfield and also Kim Jung-woo, who will be facing his former team in this match.
Seongnam has sent Montenegrin striker Dzenan Radoncic to the Suwon Samsung Bluewings but filled the void with strikers Han Sang-wun and Vladmir Jovancic and attacking midfielder Yoon Bitgaram.
Seongnam lost both games against Jeonbuk last season.
Busan I’Park at Suwon Samsung Bluewings
Suwon World Cup Stadium, Suwon, Gyeonggi
Sunday 3 p.m.
Suwon has been named a strong title contender for this season and will start the season against Busan.
The team brought in Aussie defender Eddy Bosnar and former Gangwon defender Kwak Gwang-sun to strengthen its defense, while Montenegrin striker Dzenan Radoncic, Cho Dong-geon and winger Seo Jung-jin will lead the attack.
Busan, meanwhile, lost attackers Han Sang-wun and Yang Dong-hyun, but signed the 2010 AFC Champions League top scorer Jose Mota, who has previously played with Suwon. The team also signed Aussie midfielder Matt Mackay from Scottish Premier League side Rangers.
Busan won both matchups last season with thrilling 4-3 and 2-1 wins.
Busan KT Sonicboom (30-22) at Jeonju KCC Egis (29-23)
Jeonju Gymnasium, Jeonju, North Jeolla
Friday, 7 p.m.
Both teams have clinched spots in the playoffs, but the third seed is still up for grabs. The third seed will meet the sixth seed in the first round of the playoffs.
The Sonicboom can solidify third place with a win tonight, but if it loses, the rank will be determined in the last regular season game on Sunday.
Foreign player Charles Rhodes is out with an ankle injury, forcing the Sonicboom to decide between Reggie Okosa and Chris Alexander to replace him.
The Sonicboom is 4-1 against the Egis this season.
However, the team is currently on a four-game losing streak whereas the Egis have won its last three games.