Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekend Recap Feb 20th and Midweek Europa Preview Feb 25th

Not too much going on last weekend, between players benched, left off squad or already eliminated from the cup.  And it remains unclear how seriously the clubs will take Europa League competition, so predictions may be a bit tricky.

DayTime (ET)PlayerClubOpponentTV
Thursday1:00 PMHong Jeong HoAugsburg@LiverpoolFox Sports 1/ESPN3
Thursday1:00 PMJi Dong WonAugsburg@LiverpoolFox Sports 1/ESPN3
Thursday1:00 PMKoo Ja CheolAugsburg@LiverpoolFox Sports 1/ESPN3
Thursday3:00 PMPark Joo HoDortmund@PortoFox Soccer 2 Go / ESPN3
Thursday3:00 PMSuk Hyun JunPortoDortmundFox Soccer 2 Go / ESPN3
Thursday3:00 PMSon Heung MinTottenhamFiorentinaFox Sports 2/ESPN3

Lee Chung Yong -- Benched and didn't come on.

Kim Jin Su -- Hoffenheim went back to four defenders, but stayed with Ochs now playing as an attacking fullback.  And given that Toljan can play both fullback positions, no room on the bench for KJS.  It must be a bit frustrating for him to be cast aside for the lack of offensive contributions when Stevens had directed him to stay back, but he'll have to be patient and wait for his chance whenever it occurs.

Park Joo Ho -- Unlike KJS, PJH is buried pretty deep.  With two games this week, and one of those with a 2 goal aggregate lead, perhaps PJH gets called into duty, but most likely at best that would mean a bench role.

Son Heung Min -- Son looked a lot brighter, though again ruining some really good dribbles past one or two defenders by keep trying to dribble past three or four.  Without Eriksen, Son clearly understood his role better as playmaker, and did very well in that role... except for his set piece deliveries which were horrendous.  With Lamela ill, he had lots of minutes and he did well Sunday so we will see how fitness of both Son/Lamela combine.  He'll be on the bench at least, and should see the pitch as well.

Hong Jeong Ho -- Still not fit enough again, but Augsburg had a huge win to propel them back up the table.  The new guy did ok, so I don't think HJH will be rushed back but if he's fit, maybe he rotates in Thursday.

Koo Ja Cheol -- Showed why he's so valuable to Augsburg in a well timed return to form.  Starting off in attacking central midfield, he was able to stretch out the Hannover defense on a long pass, cut in, and scored.  Then at halftime, with Feulner going out with a possible concussion, he simply dropped back into a deeper midfield role and helped defend well while still pitching in offensively as well.  The biggest concern is that moving him to a specific role leaves a hole elsewhere in XI, and that may be true Thursday esp with Bobadilla and Feulner potentially out.  Given that they won, Weinzierl may be more willing to gable on Europa and I could see Koo starting vs Liverpool.  But he's also very important so he could be saved on the bench.

Ji Dong Won -- He came on as a sub at HT and filled in Koo's role.  He did ok with good movement but no great positive impact either.  Could stand to be a bit more assertive around the box.

Suk Hyun Jun -- MOTM and a goal in his first league start.  Not bad and fans were complimenting his industry and physical presence.  I didn't get to watch but he also had another header off the bar as well.  How Porto will manage Thursday remains to be seen and still not sure how Suk fits in the striker hierarchy.  I think he'll get a start but he'll be on the bench if not.

Ki Sung Yueng -- Had the weekend off.