Seoul vs Urawa Reds
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 10 May 2017
Kick-off: 12:00 CET
Seoul have been one of the season’s biggest disappointments in the Champions League, having just three points in five matches, and having conceded an incredible 15 goals. Two weeks ago they took the lead early in the game at Shanghai SIPG, but by halftime they were already 3-1 down, and ended up losing the match 4-2. Adding injury to insult, they then went on to lose two of their three K-League matches, including the one last weekend at Pohang Steelers, 3-2, despite the fact that they were 2-0 up in the 54th minute! They are now fifth in the K-League table, in desperate need of finding solutions in their defence.
Urawa Reds thrashed Western Sydney Wanderers 6-1 two weeks ago, but after that, they kind of… went blank in the J-League, losing two games by 1-0, at Omiya Ardija and then at home to Kashima Antlers. Just like that, from leaders they are now sharing second spot with Gamba Osaka and Tokyo, seeing Kashima’s back in the table. As if the defeat to Kashima was not enough, one of their players got accused for a bad comment on one of Kashima’s Brazilian players, something though that the Reds deny. On Sunday, Urawa are traveling to Niigata to face Albirex, and given how things are both in the Champions League group (they have already qualified) and the J-League (they need to get their act together there), it’s no wonder that they seem to have prioritized the game at Niigata.
Seoul vs Urawa Reds: Head-to-head Stats
Seoul have hosted Urawa once before, last year, in the return leg of a Champions League round of 16 tie. They won 1-0 in regular time, the game went to extra time since Urawa had won 1-0 at home, the extra 30 minutes ended with Seoul winning 3-2, the away goals count as ‘simple’ goals in extra time in the AFC Champions League, so the game went to penalties, and there, Seoul won -for good- 7-6, in what was a truly memorable match.
Seoul vs Urawa Reds: Prediction
Despite Seoul’s pathetic record in the group stage, in this specific game I’m backing them not to lose.
Seoul vs Urawa Reds: Tips
‘Seoul or draw’ is at 1.66, not huge, but good enough considering that it covers both results. ‘Over 2.5 goals’ is at just 1.65, which makes sense, given that four of Seoul’s five matches so far in the group had at least five(!) goals. Actually, even ‘over 3.5 goals’ feels very probable, and it pays 2.50, so it’s worth the risk.