Jeonbuk & Pohang start the ACL against opponents who are one level below, but you must not let down your guard.
스포츠토토Jeonbuk Hyundai and Pohang Steelers will play the first round of the 2023-2024 Asian Football Confederation Champions League (ACL) group stage on the 20th. Jeonbuk will face Kitchee SC of Hong Kong at their home stadium, Jeonju World Cup Stadium, while Pohang will travel to Vietnam to face Hanoi.
Both Kichi and Hanoi have lower power compared to Jeonbuk and Pohang. Considering the objective strength, it is difficult to predict a loss for both teams. Jeonbuk and Pohang should view this as a must-win game, but they cannot view their opponents as easily. Recently, the power gap between clubs has decreased on the Asian stage. Southeast Asian soccer has also become much stronger compared to the past. It is difficult to say that they are weak enough to guarantee victory.
The atmosphere in Jeonbuk has cooled rapidly recently. They are having a hard time fighting for the rankings as they have fallen into a slump with no wins, 3 draws and 2 losses in the last 5 games of K League 1. In the home game on the 16th, they were completely defeated by Gangwon FC, who were last in the league, and fell to 6th place. Now we are in a situation where we cannot guarantee entry into Final A. For this reason, anxiety is increasing both inside and outside the team despite being in a group with weak teams such as Kitchee, Bangkok United (Thailand), and Lion City (Singapore).
The key is attack power. Jeonbuk has only scored 3 points in the last 5 games. The biggest cause of the slump is the sharp drop in scoring power. The reason is that there is a large power leak. Key resources such as Baek Seung-ho, Song Min-gyu, Park Jae-yong, Park Jin-seop, and Kim Jeong-hoon have been selected to the Asian Games national team and are sitting out. If they cannot fill their void, it will be difficult for Jeonbuk to turn the situation around for the time being. If, by any chance, we do not get a result in the Kitchie match, it could also have a negative impact on the weekend K-League 1 schedule.
Still, Pohang is on a clear upward trend, recording 5 wins and 4 draws without a loss in the last 9 league games. As they continue to perform well in terms of game content and results, they are expected to win even though it is an away game.