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Jeju United vs. FC Seoul- Preview and Prediction


(from Wikipedia)
Say what you want about the K-League and its quality, which I often do, but at least it has been interesting this year.  Last week is a good example.  Jeonbuk were shocked at home by Incheon, Seongnam and Seoul both won at home to move up the table, and Pohang and Jeonnam drew in their match against one another.

Now, Incheon sits in the 6th spot while Jeonnam is out of the championship round at 7th.  A couple of weeks ago, who would have thought that possible with the way Jeonnam was playing.  However, after not winning recording a win their last four games, they are now in danger of having little to play for other than the FA Cup.  It just goes to show what a bad run of results at this stage can do.

Seoul are trending in the opposite direction.  They sit in 4th place, tied with Seongnam in points, but behind in goal differential by one.  Fortuitously, they do have a game in hand, so if Seoul win that, they would own the third spot outright.

It would be nice to see Seoul qualify for the ACL by finishing in the top three rather than hope they do it via a cup game.  Hell, it would be great if they finish in the top three and win the FA Cup.  I just can't see that happening though.  Knockout competitions throw up too many surprises.

Last year, most fans expected them to win the FA Cup, but Seoul shit the bed that day against Seongnam.  They were quite lucky to beat Jeju on the road AND for Suwon to knock of Pohang in the Steelyard.  I would like to avoid that drama this year.  I think a top three finish would be something positive to build on next year.

As I have mentioned previously (http://www.kleagueunited.com/2015/08/seouls-awesome-august-so-far.html), this month has been great for Seoul.  Including the end of July, they have won their last four league games (five if you want to count the FA Cup win against Pohang).  However, this has been against opposition that has not been at the top end of the table.

They beat Incheon (6th), Ulsan (10th), Busan (11th), and Daejeon (12th), which is good, but they really should be winning all four of these games.  The fact that they have done it with a bit of style is positive though.  Adding Kim Jin-Kyu, Sim Sang-min, Molina, Takahagi, and Adriano to the starting line-up has added a bit of spark and stability.

Seoul play in Jeju on Saturday and if they win this game, that will be five league games in a row.  That has not happened in two years (http://www.kleagueunited.com/2015/08/todays-topic-winning-streaks.html).  Considering Jeju's drop in form since they last met, I feel as though Seoul will come away the victors.

When they played one another, Seoul was in 5th place and Jeju sat one spot below in 6th.  Since then Jeju has fallen to eighth place, only winning two, drawing two, and losing nine.  Currently mired at 33 points, I cannot see them finishing in the top six this year, so this is the last time these two teams will meet up.

Jeju, who was once so tough at home, have gone to shit quickly.  From March 15th until June 3rd, they did not lose a game at home. Jeju drew on the 15th to Busan, and from then on, won six in a row.

Yet, after losing to Suwon 4-3 on the 17th of June, they have not won at home since.  Their record stands at one draw and four losses.  In those five games, they have scored seven but conceded 15 goals.

So yeah, even though Jeju won on the road against Gwangju 1-0, this is a game that Seoul really should win.  Hopefully they will play like they did against Busan last week and not have a repeat performance of last week's game against Daejeon.  Nonetheless, I will take the result even if they don't play well.

(from Facebook.com FC Seoul's page)
Recap

Unlike the game in Busan, the contest between Seoul and Daejeon was rarely interesting as both teams struggled to score.  Daejeon's front three pressed Seoul's CBs to start the game, but they handled the pressure well.  In fact, other than some shots outside of the box, all three had a comfortable night.

It was evident that Seoul missed Adriano's speed and ability to score goals.  Seoul struggled all night to break down the Daejeon defense and a scoreline of 2-0 was a bit harsh in my opinion.  It indicates a dominance of the opposition that was not there at all.

Seoul's first goal came on the stroke of halftime from an Osmar header and if the mood in the Daejeon locker room was one of injustice, it would be understandable.  Daejeon had played well enough defensively and outside of Park Chu-young's chance in the first ten minutes, Seoul had done little of note in the first half.  Speaking of Park, even though I am on the wrong side of 40, a bit overweight, and considerably out of shape, I still feel comfortable enough to say that he probably should have done better with that chance.  Molina's through ball was glorious and it deserved a better shot than Park's feeble toe scrape.

Oh, and what the hell happened between Park and the Daejeon fans?  I was on the North End, so I couldn't really see, but after Osmar's goal, apparently Park kicked the ball into their end.  I will quote Evergreen on rokfootball.com
Yes ladies and gentlemen, it is totally legit to kick the ball into the away fans if your name is Park Ju Young. You even get the police to come and stick up for you!
Again, I couldn't see that well since I was on the other end so if anyone has any information, let me know.  If, and I stress the word if, he did do that then I would say that this was not a very Christian act.  I am sure that his pastor at whatever megachurch he attended on Sunday had a word with him.

The second half was a bit better, but I think that was because they were coming towards the North End rather than going away.  Yun Ju-tae came on for an ineffective Shim Je-hyeok at the start and looked a lot more dangerous than his predecessor.   He had a great chance to add his name to the score sheet in the 70th minute, but Daejeon's keeper Park Ju-won tipped it over the bar.

Seoul put the game away in the 91st minute though as Yun Ju-tae scored this time.  Yet, he was quite lucky to do so.  Yun Ju-tae received the ball and passed it to Molina who gave it back to him.

However, his first touch was not good and the ball went behind him.  Still, he had the presence of mind to spin around 360 degrees and knock it into the net.  From there, the fans went apeshit and it was game, set, and match.

(from wikipedia.org)
Head-to-Head Match-ups

(http://www.soccerpunter.com/soccer-statistics/Korea-Republic/K-League-Cup-2011/head_to_head_statistics/all/1381_FC_Seoul/6564_Jeju_United_FC)

Team                   Win            Draw          Loss           Goals Scored           Goals Against
Seoul                    20                   9              1                    1.87                          0.87
Jeju                          1                  9             20                   0.87                          1.87

04/21/2012          Seoul      1-1    Jeju
07/28/2012          Jeju         3-3    Seoul
10/21/2012          Jeju         1-2    Seoul
11/21/2012          Seoul      1-0    Jeju 
05/26/2013          Jeju         4-4    Seoul 
07/31/2013          Seoul      1-0    Jeju  
03/26/2014          Seoul      2-0    Jeju
07/19/2014          Jeju         1-1    Seoul
08/31/2014          Seoul      0-0    Jeju
11/30/2014          Jeju         1-2    Seoul  
04/04/2015          Seoul      1-0    Jeju
07/01/2015          Jeju         2-4    Seoul

Matches Played this Year

Seoul and Jeju have played two matches this year.  When they met up in April, Seoul had lost their first three games.  Somehow, they won as Everton scored at the end of the game to give Seoul a much needed three points.

The second time they played in July.  I predicted that Seoul would lose two-nil.  It was right after the Suwon game and Seoul had not been playing well up to that point.

Instead, Choi Yong-soo switched back to a 4-3-3, started Sim Sang-min, Molina, Yun Il-lok, and Everton and Seoul swept their way to a 4-2 victory.  It was really the best they had played all season, creating 14 chances and taking the game to the opponent.

(from modernseoul.org)
Players to Watch

Even though Jeju is heading in the wrong direction, the team still has a quite a bit of talent.  First, I would say their MVP this year is probably Yoon Bit-garam.  He has played the most minutes for them and chipped in with five goals goals, which is good enough to be tied for second with three other players.  Seoul will definitely need to keep an eye on him.

Next, their leading scorer is Ricardo Lopes.  He is fast and tricky and if he plays on the left, then he will give Lee Woong-hee fits.  Lee Woong-hee had a good game against Daejeon last week, so let's hope he can bring the same to Jeju on Saturday.

Finally, I think Jeju's keeper Kim Ho-jun is their weak leak.  In my July preview, I said that he was susceptible to balls in the air and that they should put as many crosses into the box as they could and Seoul scored twice from set pieces that game.   Generally, I am not a fan of the long ball nor watching a million crosses going into the box and being headed out, but I feel as though this is a viable tactic to use against Kim Ho-jun.

Line-up

FC Seoul 3-5-2 football formation

Adriano should be back since the reason he didn't play against Daejeon was because of the terms of the transfer.  With a week off, I see no reason why Molina and Takahagi will not start again.  Finally, it would not surprise me to see Choi choose to alter his line up and bring on another attacker such as Yun Il-lok in place of Kim Nam-chun.  Jeju leak goals, so why not go for it.

Prediction

I never get these right, but based on the form of these two teams and Jeju's profligacy in defense (especially at home the last two games), I feel as though Seoul will win this game.  Adriano and Molina are both in good form and if it isn't clicking offensively, then Choi can always bring Yun Ju-tae off the bench.

Final score: Jeju 1- 3 Seoul

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