In the first round of the AFC Champions League Jeonbuk hosts Kashiwa Reysol. It will be the first competitive match for the K league champions Jeonbuk while Kashiwa already played. Kashiwa won over Muan Thong easily with 3:0 and reached the group stages of the ACL.
Kashiwa finished fourth in the league last season with 10 points behind the leaders but were quite consistant all season long. They lost only 3 away matches and were actually the second best side in Japan. They got their counter attacking game worked down and the Brazilian Christiano has been a real threat in front of goal.
Jeonbuk won the ACL the last time they played in 2016 but had to take year break because of match fixing. Now they are back and eager to prove their worth again. Jeonbuk strenghtened with the two attackers -Brazilians Adriano and Tiago Alves to add a bit more bite. Adriano especially is a big signing as he was instrumental for Seoul last year scoring 17 goals. There is always a big threat for Jeonbuk going forward but often the defense is lacking, especially against Japanese opponents.
In fact Jeonbuk has won 7 matches out of 24 against Japanese opponents. There is also history against Kashiwa and they haven`t won any of the 6 matches played. Last time at home in 2015 they took a 0:0 draw but lost all the other 5 matches.
Jeonbuk played some preparation matches at the end of january against the new J1 sides and one J2 side. They got only 2 draws with Sapporo 0:0 and JEF 3:3 while they lost to Nagasaki 0:1. I had a look at those and Jeonbuk looked especially rusty in first half missing a lot of passes.
These preparation matches however didn`t go without a problem as 7 players were called for 3 NT friendlies at the end of january so they haven`t had a proper preparation.
Kashiwa played with JEF and won 4:1. I couldn`t find other results.
This match has Jeonbuk as big favorites but to me this is 50-50. I fancy Kashiwa to take something out of this, maybe a win.
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Pick: 2 AH 0
Bookmaker: ➾ Unibet
Stake: 8 units
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