With the AFC Champions League resuming this month, let’s take another look at our Group H opponents with four games remaining the group stage of the 2020 campaign.
Sydney FC were matched against reigning Japanese Champions Yokohama F. Marinos, Korean Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC and Chinese giants Shanghai SIPG in a tough draw for this year’s continental competition.
Yokohama F. Marinos: The Marinos received automatic AFC Champions League Qualification when they clinched the J1 League Championship on the final day of the 2019 season.
Former Socceroos’ boss Ange Postecoglou took the side to its first AFC Champions League campaign since 2014, making it their fourth appearance in the competition in the club’s history.
Each time they have failed to qualify past the group stage and in 2014 they finished last in their group by one point; with two wins, one draw and three losses.
Key players: Yokohama secured the signature of Thailand International Theerathon Bunmathan from Thai club Muangthong United in the January transfer window. Bunmathan has played 64 games for the Thailand National team, as well as enjoying a loan stint with fellow Japanese club Vissel Kobe.
Forward Marcos Junior is also a player to watch. The Brazilian signed for the Marinos at the start of the 2019 season where he scored 15 goals in 33 games for the club.
Teruhito Nakagawa is a stand out in the attacking third, with the Japanese forward bagging 15 goals in the 2019 J1 League, equaling his teammates tally to claim the Golden Boot award.
Recent form: Yokohama F. Marinos currently sit 7th in the 2020 J1 League competition.
Previous 5 games: D, L, W, W, L.
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC: Jeonbuk earned automatic qualification to the group stage after claiming the 2019 K League 1 title in commanding fashion, losing only 3 games in a 38 game season to seal the Championship, scoring 72 goals in the process.
Jeonbuk have won the AFC Champions League on two occasions, first in 2006 and the second time in 2016. The Korean side also made the Final in 2011, losing out to Qatari side Al-Sadd. In their most recent campaign, the Korean side were eliminated at the Round of 16 stage by Shanghai SIPG.
Key players: Jeonbuk boast a wealth of Korean talent, headlined by national team members Kim Jin-su, formerly of Hoffenheim, Kim Bo-Kyung who enjoyed spells at Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic amongst other clubs, and Son Jun-ho. Leading the line for the Korean Champions is South African international Lars Veldwijk, who joined Jeonbuk in January after scoring 27 goals in 42 games for Sparta Rotterdam.
Recent form: Jeobuk recently defended their K1 League crown, claiming the 2020 Championship to seal their 8th domestic title.
Previous 5 games: W, L, W, W, W.
Shanghai SIPG: Shanghai SIPG finished 3rd in the 2019 Chinese Super League and entered the AFC Champions League group stage following a play off victory over Thai side Buriram United.
The Chinese giants are no strangers to the AFC Champions League, reaching the knockout stages in each of their last four campaigns, and drew twice with the Sky Blues in the 2019 competition, 2-2 at home and 3-3 at Jubilee Stadium.
Key players: SIPG boast a wealth of talent, headlined by Brazilian duo Oscar and Hulk. The pair boast considerable European experience and are at the crux of Shanghai’s attacks. There’s also a familiar face joining their ranks, with Socceroo Aaron Mooy recently signing for the Chinese side, and the former Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder is no stranger to A-League opposition.
Recent form: Shanghai SIPG recently finished top of Group B in a revamped 2020 Chinese Super League and are set to contest the second leg of their Semi-Final play off in November.
Previous 5 games: W, L, D, W, D.
|1||Yokohama F. Marinos||2||2||0||0||6||1||+5||6|
|3||Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors||2||0||1||1||3||4||−1||1|