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Writers Chat: Jeju United vs Suwon Bluewings Preview

In the first game of the post split fixtures Suwon host Jeju in a must win game for Suwon if there is to be any chance of a last minute title charge. Jeju on the other hand will be brimming with confidence after a last minute charge of their own that saw a late Lopes goal against first place Jeonbuk earn them a spot in the top six. Kleaguefootball.com's Steve Price and Duncan Elder discuss.

Steve's questions for Duncan.

Steve Price: Jeju have been one of the more exciting teams to watch this year with goals galore in their matches. Has this led to a better atmosphere at their games this season?

Duncan Elder: Yea there have been some exciting matches that have got the fans going. Last week's game when we got into the top half, the last minute win against Seongnam and a rare win against Seoul. The highlight in terms of atmosphere was probably the win against Ulsan which saw 20000 fans in the stadium for the first time.

SP: With little to play for, will Jeju be trying out some new formations or giving any youth players a chance?

DE: It's hard to say. I think while we have the slight chance of moving up a position in the league the manager will try to go for a strong team and try to win every game. After all we got here in such a dramatic fashion so it would be a shame to waste the chance to show what we can do against some of the bigger teams. It is also the Jo Sung Hwan's first season in charge as a manager so I imagine he will want to get as many points on board as possible.

SP: Which players have stood out for you this season?

DE: Lopes has been excellent all season, he is a good direct dribbler and can both assist take chances. Song Jin Hyung has shown how much we missed him since returning from injury with some very good displays.  Yoon Bit Garam has as always been excellent, and has also added a few goals to his game.

SP: Will we ever see Kang Soo-Il in the K-League again or have his recent scandals rendered him untouchable?

DE: It's unfortunate. He would have certainly been able to return from the failed doping test as he had a pretty innocent reason for it. The drink driving saw him receive a further ten game ban which in theory means he could be back for the first game of next season. He was obviously enjoying a very good season up to the first ban so I imagine there will be takers somewhere.

SP: Predictions for the match?

DE: Suwon need the win more than Jeju, but I think we will still be up for the fight due to to the way we entered the top half. We are in a good run of form and have just beaten Jeonbuk so should go into the game in a confident mood. I think both teams will score. Suwon have some weakness so there is definitely a chance of a Jeju win!

Duncan's questions for Steve

Duncan Elder: In the last round of fixtures Suwon lost to Seoul, Suwon and Jeonbuk and drew with Pohang. A run like this would obviously be catastrophic this time round. How do you see them faring after the split?

Steve Price: Yes it would, hopefully Suwon will do a bit better against the bigger teams these coming weeks. The fixture list has been kind to them with Jeju the ‘easiest’ of the matches first which gives Suwon the best chance of putting a bit of pressure on the teams around them. Jeonbuk on the final day of the season means that if Suwon can close the gap then that could decide the title, but on the other hand if the title is already won then they might not be as motivated which could improve Suwon’s chances of getting all three points in that fixture. Suwon.

DE: As a Suwon fan are you currently more focused on catching Jeonbuk above you, or staying away from the teams below you?

SP: While there is still a chance, you’ve got to be looking for the title. Jeonbuk only need to slip-up in two of their matches for Suwon to have a chance going into the final day so it isn’t over until its over.

DE: There isn't much of the season left, but do you think Kaio or Ilyian will be able to cement the striker spot for next season? Or will you be hoping for new investment?

SP: Hopefully Iliyan can show the kind of form he had earlier in his career. He’s a good player but sometimes players just can’t adapt to the K-League. I would like to see him impress in the next five games as he hasn’t had many opportunities to prove his worth so far. Suwon fans should be more worried about keeping hold of Kwon Chang-Hoon next year as I’m sure there will be some big bids from overseas for him this winter.

DE: The last two games between Jeju and Suwon have provided thirteen goals between the two teams! Do you think we will see a similarly open game this time round?

SP: I hope so, it’s always nice to see some goals. Both sides will be playing for the win as there’s not much point in either of them going for a draw so we should see some attacking football.

DE: And finally, how do you see Sunday's game playing out?

SP: There should be some goals, but I think Suwon can edge it if their international players aren’t suffering too much from jet-lag.

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