Five matches this weekend see teams next to each other in the table face one another in a round of fixtures set to potentially shuffle the deck. The top four are all set to face one another while, at the bottom, eleventh takes on twelfth. Here are the matches, teams and players you should be keeping an eye on this weekend.
Alternative Match of the Round
Pohang Steelers Vs. Daejeon Hana Citizen (Sat, May 13th, 2023, 14:00 KST)
Pohang Steelers picked up a point midweek away to Daegu FC, putting a halt to a run of two consecutive losses that had seen their early-season hopes of a title push slip away somewhat. Making things difficult have been injuries to key personnel such as Ha Chang-rae, Kim Jong-woo, Jung Jae-hee and Kim In-sung, while the likes of Wanderson may be deemed fit but still some way from a full recovery.
It is therefore young talents such as Lee Ho-jae, and Goh Young-joon who have had to step up to the fore but they also have been limited with goals in recent rounds.
Pohang take on a Daejeon Hana Citizen side sitting directly above them in the table and have been enjoying life since returning to the top flight. However, they have been inconsistent in form of late. They did manage to overcome Suwon FC midweek though thanks to goals from Masatoshi Ishida and Jeon Byung-kwan, making it their first win in their last three outings.
When these two sides met earlier this season, there was nothing to separate the pair as they played out a goalless draw. Fans will be hoping for something more this weekend.
Team of the Round
Jeju United head into the weekend as one of the in-form sides in the division, having chalked up their fourth consecutive win midweek with a 2-0 victory over Incheon United. Having started the campaign somewhat slower than expected, Nam Ki-il's Islanders now find themselves in 5th with 20 points, just three points off second and also comfortably five points above sixth-placed Suwon FC, coincidentally their opponents this weekend.
This weekend, Jeju go up against a Suwon FC side in patchy form. The pair met in the early rounds of the season, playing out a goalless draw but both will be wanting more this weekend. With Pohang and Daejeon playing each other elsewhere, Jeju could be poised to take advantage and progress even further up the table if they can find three points here.
Player of the Round
Jeonbuk Hyundai's Paik Seung-ho (Vs. Incheon United (A), Sun May 14th, 16:30)
Paik Seung-ho scored his first and second goals of the season midweek as Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors strolled to a 3-0 win over Suwon Samsung Bluewings. Paik's first capped off a fine counter-attacking move started with Moon Seon-min's charge down the right and cross into the box, for Rafael Silva's cushioned header into space to be met by Paik to finish. The midfielder then recorded his second for a tight-angled free-kick.
Since joining in 2001, Paik has been an integral part of this Jeonbuk side and has featured in all but two games this season. With Jeonbuk currently in a window of managerial transition and facing a mounting injury list, the prospect of one of their integral midfield cogs returning to form will prove encouraging.
Elsewhere in K League 1 Round 13
In a weekend with many sides facing the team closest to them in the table, Gwangju FC take on Daegu FC with both sides looking to climb into the top half.
Gangwon FC maintain the trend by playing hosts to Suwon Samsung Bluewings in a battle between the current bottom two.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, the top two are in action against one another as Champions Ulsan Hyundai welcome a high-flying FC Seoul to town.
K League 1 Table
K League 1 Round 13 Fixtures
Saturday May 13th
: Pohang Steelers Vs. Daejeon Hana Citizen (14:00 KST)
: Gwangju FC Vs. Daegu FC (16:30 KST)
: Gangwon Vs. Suwon Samsung Bluewings (19:00 KST)
Sunday May 14th
: Ulsan Hyundai Vs. FC Seoul (14:30 KST)
: Incheon United Vs. Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (16:30 KST)
: Suwon FC Vs. Jeju United (19:00 KST)
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