Korean K-League: A brief introduction before Friday's big kick-off

Jose Morais - head coach of Jeonbuk
Jose Morais hopes to steer Jeonbuk to a fourth consecutive K-League title
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Korean K-League kicks-off on Friday meaning we'll see a higher standard of football than anything witnessed since pre-lockdown. Here are a few pointers for bettors from Max Liu...

"First up on Friday (11am BST) reigning champions Jeonbuk Motors [1.76], who are managed by Jose Mourinho's former-assistant Jose Morais, host the cup holders Suwon Bluewings [4.8]."

Want to bet on top flight football this weekend? Then South Korea's K-League has what you're looking for.

The oldest of Asia's leagues - predating the money bags Chinese Super League and the Japanese J1 where the likes of Gary Lineker and Arsene Wenger once plied their trades - the K-League kicks-off on Friday and has matches across the weekend which are well catered for on the Exchange.

South Korea has been hailed as an example of how to effectively counter the coronavirus. The country was quick to flatten the curve of the pandemic with a strategy of testing people, tracing infection and containing it. Now South Korea is hoping to demonstrate how football matches can be held safely.

There's a full programme of fixtures this weekend with all 12 of the teams involved across six matches and Exchange markets open on match odds, overs/unders, scores and more.

Champions Jeonbunk favourites for Friday's curtain-raiser

First up on Friday (11am BST) reigning champions Jeonbuk Motors [1.76], who are managed by Jose Mourinho's former-assistant Jose Morais, host the cup holders Suwon Bluewings [4.8].

South Korean fans.jpg

The odds reflect the gulf between the two clubs from last season when Suwon finished a disappointing eighth, while Jeonbunk claimed their third league title in a row. The title race came down to a dramatic final day, when Morais' men held off the challenge of Ulsan.

Jeonbunk have strengthened in the off-season, adding South African international Lars Veldwijk to their attack, so it makes sense that their fancied to start with a win.

Second-best Ulsan in action on Saturday

Last year's runners up Ulsan are involved in the first of the three fixtures on Saturday as they entertain Sangju Sangmu at 06:00 BST.

The hosts are set to be Jeonbuk's closest challengers again this season - they finished the season on 79 points, 23 ahead of third-placed Seoul - and they will be determined to get the new campaign underway with a win.

After that, it's Incheon Utd v Daegu FC (08:30) followed by Gwangju v Seongnam (11:00), so that's three top flight matches done and dusted by lunchtime.

On Sunday, there are another couple of fixtures as Pohang Steelers host Busan IPark in the early kick-off (06:00) before Gangwon play the team from the capital, FC Seoul, who are also the strongest challengers to the dominance of the big two. And that completes the first round of fixtures.

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