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2011 AFC Group G Preview

23 February 2011 One Comment

Today we move on to Group G and the East of the AFC Asian Champions League 2011.

Group G is made up of the following teams:

  • AREMA MALANG (IDN)
  • CEREZO OSAKA (JPN)
  • JEONBUK HYUNDAI MOTORS (KOR)
  • SHANDONG LUNENG FC (CHN)

Arema Malang
Arema are 2010 Indonesian domestic champions. In the latest season which is 14 matches old, they are sitting 2nd with 26 points and 7 wins so far. On that form, Arema is in a great position to be competitive this year, the only issue I see is that they have probably been tagged with the hardest group in the championship. Jeonbuk and Shandong are the favourites in this group and then you also have Cerezo another japanese team. Arema certainly have their works cut out for them.

Cerezo Osaka
Cerezo finished 3rd in the latest J League season only one point adrift of 2nd with 17 wins, 10 draws and 3 losses during the season. Cerezo did not compete in the 2010 AFC Champions League so recent form will not be any guide. As mentioned above being grouped with Jeonbuk and Shandong means they will have to be on their game every match in order to clinch 2nd place and qualify for the knockout round.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Jeonbuk finished 3rd in the 2010 K League championship, 8 points behind 2nd and 11 points behind first place. Third place domestically was achieved by winning 15 games, drawing 6 and losing 7 games. In 2010 AFC Champions League, Jeonbuk was eliminated in the Quarter Finals 2 – 0 by Al Shabab. During their group games they comfortably made it into 2nd position. Along with Shandong from China they are the favourites to qualify for the 2011 knockout rounds.

Shandong Luneng
Shandong was the 2010 Chinese Super League champion, comfortably winning the league with 18 wins, 9 draws and 3 losses. Based on this form, they are a favourite to progress along with Jeonbuk. Their 2011 appearance doing go anywhere as well as they would have liked finishing last in their group with 2 wins and 4 losses. My guess for 2nd position in this group will be between Shandong and Cerezo from Japan.

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