18 February 2020
Seoul welcome Melbourne Victory to the Seoul World Cup Stadium in their AFC Champions League (CL) Group E curtain-raiser.
It will be Seoul’s second competitive fixture in 2020 following a 4-1 thumping of the Malaysian outfit Kedah in the (CL) play-offs. That success has brought the hosts’ disastrous nine-game winless streak to a halt (D5, L4), including friendlies. For Seoul, goals have been in short supply recently. Indeed, they had drawn a blank in three consecutive competitive matches before the abovementioned triumph (D1, L2), with two of those fixtures yielding the identical 0-0 halftime score. In turn, Choi Yong-soo’s men have failed to hit the net in four of their last eight competitive home games, scoring over 1.5 match goals only twice in the other four. Frustratingly slow starters at home, they have shipped the opening goal in five of their past seven games here in all competitions.
On the other hand, the visitors have got off to a flying start to their Group E campaign, securing a 1-0 home win over Chiangrai to bring a two-game winless run to an end (D1, L1). The Australian giants seem to be enjoying close encounters, as six of their last eight competitive games have ended separating the sides by under 1.5 goals (W3, D1, L4). Keeping a clean sheet will be vital for Victory’s efforts to pick up three points here, given that six of their seven wins this season yielded a blank sheet. But, Melbourne’s indifferent away form (W2, D1, L6) can be a huge problem here, especially considering they allowed over 1.5 goals in five of those six defeats.
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