Jeonbuk host Gamba Osaka at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Wednesday in what is arguably the most eagerly anticipated of the AFC Champions League quarter-finals.
The 2006 winners from South Korea once again dominated their domestic league last season and Choi Kang-hee’s side qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League after beating Chinese outfit Beijing Guoan 2-1 in the last 16, thanks largely to a 1-0 victory in the Workers' Stadium.
Having reached the final of the competition in 2011 as well, Wednesday's match will be their sixth in the quarter-finals.
In the off-season, the Jeollabuk-do side parted ways with Brazilian duo Edu and Eninho, but in Luiz Henrique – another Brazilian – and Spaniard Urko Vera, the K-league side appears to have made two astute signings.
"I am satisfied that we have qualified for the quarter-finals. The positive thing was that our strikers were in good shape even though we were not in our best form; however, there are still some improvements to be made in our defence and overall balance," said Jeonbuk coach Choi.
"All the teams in the quarter-finals are strong and difficult to get good results against. For sure, Japanese teams have their unique strengths and characteristics and the preparation against Gamba will create problems. The most important thing is that we maximise our potential and stick to our plans.
"We need to prepare for the quarter-finals in mind and attitude to represent the K-League because we are the only one who has survived."
Gamba, the 2008 champions, are regarded by many as one of the favourites to lift the title, after securing the domestic treble recently. Nevertheless, a Japanese side has not been crowned continental champion in the last seven years, so history is slightly against Kenta Hasegawa's outfit.
In their last 16 match, Gamba faced another South Korean side – FC Seoul – whom they beat 6-3 in their two-legged knock-out match.
Hasegawa goes into the match without Yasuyuki Konno, who is serving a suspension and will miss the first leg of tie after he was booked in both matches against Seoul.
Konno's absence aside, Gamba has something of a settled side ahead and will in all likelihood call on midfield maestro Yasuhito Endo and strike pair Taskashi Usami and Patric for inspiration.