FC Seoul at Suwon Samsung Bluewings
3 p.m. Saturday, Suwon World Cup Stadium
The rivalry between Seoul and Suwon has been dubbed the “Super Match,” and in 2009 was introduced on FIFA’s website as one of the hottest derby matches in the world. The average attendance of their four matches last year was 37,798, which far exceeds the average attendance of K-League Classic games at 7,931.
During the regular season, Suwon closes the second floor of its stadium to boost home-fan support by condensing the space. But for the Super Match, it decided to open the second floor to meet soaring demand for tickets.
Suwon leads the overall head-to-head record with 31 wins, 16 draws, 25 losses and 96 goals, conceding 80. But last year, Seoul had the competitive edge, beating Suwon three times, while losing only once.
The only time that a Super Match game ended in a stalemate was in 2000, meaning that fans will likely see some action.
Suwon hopes forward Yeom Ki-hun will shine again. The 32-year-old has three goals and three assists in six league games. Against Seoul, he had a goal and three assists in nine matches.
Seoul is looking at striker Park Chu-young, appearing at the Super Match for the first time in seven years. From 2005 to 2008, he bagged six goals in 10 matches against Suwon. The former Arsenal player is also the only player so far to get a hat trick in the Super Match, doing so in 2007.
Both teams also compete in the AFC Champions League and the domestic league, so keeping their stamina coming into the match will be key.