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FC Seoul vs. Incheon: Preview and Prediction


Tonight's game is another big one for FC Seoul.  It is the Gyeongin Derby tonight at World Cup Stadium in Seoul.  Incheon visits and both teams are tied in the table at 16 points a piece.  However, due to a superior goal differential of zero for Incheon versus -2 for Seoul, Incheon sit at 8th place in the table while Seoul are languishing in 10th.  In other words, a win or loss for either team would be huge, which makes this fixture critical even though it is so early in the year.



This paragraph seems to be my opening every week for my match preview.  I typed this paragraph for games against Gwangju, Seongnam, Busan, Jeonnam, and Ulsan.  Maybe I should make a macro or something, since I pretty much say the same thing over and over.  I do not foresee this changing any time soon either since the table from two to ten continues to be so tight.


Seoul and Incheon- 2015

Looking at the two teams statistically for 2015, not much separates either.  Neither scores a lot of goals.  Incheon averages 0.92 goals per match and Seoul averages exactly one.  Incheon concede .92 goals a game while Seoul stand at 1.17.  However, that defensive statistic is probably skewed as a result of allowing five goals against Suwon in April.

In the last five league games, Incheon have won three, lost one, and drawn one.  Seoul have won two and drawn three.  On form, therefore, I would give Incheon a slight advantage.

Looking at their away form, Incheon have won two, lost three,and drawn one.  The wins were against the two teams at the bottom, Busan and Daejon.  They have scored five, but have conceded six.  I think this is an accurate reflection of why Incheon is a mid-table team.  They do not really seem to excel much at anything and overall, are quite mediocre.  The same is true, unfortunately, of Seoul this year as well.

Head to Head Match-ups

Team                Played          Win          Draw         Loss        Goals Scored         Goals Allowed
Seoul                   35                16              12              7                 1.89                        1.26
Incheon               35                  7              12            16                 1.26                        1.89

(http://www.soccerpunter.com/soccer-statistics/Korea-Republic/K-League-Cup-2011/head_to_head_statistics/all/1381_FC_Seoul/1380_Incheon_United_FC)

Based on the match-ups in the past, Seoul has gotten the best of this derby much more frequently than Incheon.  So, let's look at the league results since 2012.

05/28/2013  Seoul       3-1     Incheon
07/15/2012  Incheon   3-2     Seoul
030/9/2013   Seoul      2-3     Incheon
08/10/2013  Incheon   2-3     Seoul
10/06/2013  Incheon   0-0     Seoul
11/17/2013  Seoul       2-2     Incheon
05/03/2014  Incheon   1-0     Seoul
08/16/2014  Seoul       5-1     Incheon
09/13/2014  Seoul       3-1     Incheon
04/12/2014  Incheon   1-1     Seoul

The last ten matches have been pretty even as well.  Seoul have won four but lost three.  In terms of goal differential Seoul have scored 21 and conceded 14, but take away the 5-1 game and it is much closer at 16-13, which I think is a more accurate representation of the two team's match-ups lately.

Again, just as with the league form, looking at the last ten league games does not seem to indicate a significant advantage for either team.  However, Seoul do seem to do quite well against Incheon at home.  In 2013, Seoul struggled against Incheon but in 2014, Incheon were Seoul's whipping boys and they put forth their two best performances at home against them.



Last Match

The last match to finish between these two teams was on April 12th.  It ended in a draw at one-all, but I felt as though Seoul were quite lucky to come away with a point.  They scored on a Park Chu-young penalty, his first goal of the year, and did not really offer much in the way of attacking until the final ten minutes.



Player to Watch

Kevin, in their last match, was quite difficult for Seoul's center backs to handle on that day.  He constantly abused them as they struggled with his strength.  Also, he helped create Incheon's goal by getting his head onto a free kick for Kim In-sung to volley into the net at the far post.

So, even though Kim In-sung is Incheon's leading scorer, I still think that Kevin will be the player to watch (if he plays, which I think he will).  Statistically, no one really catches the eye for Incheon.  I cannot think of anyone who has been so outstanding that I wish for him to be a part of FC Seoul.



FC Seoul's Squad

Seoul played in Osaka on May 27th and then returned home and played against Ulsan on the 31st.  Incheon visit on the 3rd and then Seoul travel to Jeonbuk to Saturday for a game.  Originally, they would travel to Daejon and play on the 13th of June, but some idiot decided to move that game to a Wednesday.

On a side note, I do not know why the K-League insists on playing so many week day games.  They have a hard enough time generating a decent crowd over the weekend and often times the stadiums during the week look barren, so therefore one would think that the K-League would do their best to move as many games to the weekend.  I feel as though moving the Seoul-Daejon game from a Saturday to a Wednesday defies logic, but I digress.

To play four fixtures over two weeks is a lot of minutes, so Choi Yong-soo will have to rotate.  Molina and Everton did not play last weekend, so I expect they will be back in the squad for this game.  Yun Il-lok was subbed off at half-time against Ulsan and he scored against Jeonbuk twice last year, so I expect that Choi will save Yun Il-lok for Jeonbuk game by not playing him.  Kim Nam-chun and Kim Hyun-sung will probably come back into the side, but other than that, I can't really speculate who Choi will play.



Prediction

Outside of the first three weeks in May where they won three in a row, they have not been that spectacular.  Seoul really should win this game.   Based on last year's results, I think Seoul win 3-0.



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