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Seongnam FC Vs Suwon Bluewings: Preview

(Photo courtesy of bluewings.kr)
So here we are again, 3 days away from a fresh season of K League football and there is a palpable buzz around Korea. Well, for fans of Seoul and Jeonbuk that might be the case but is there anything that supporters of the other 10 teams in the K League can be hopeful for? In Suwon's case; yes, but probably only for this weekend, as they are largely expected to pick up 3 points ,by their own supporters, and give their season the best start possible.
Over three halves of ACL football against Gamba Osaka and Shanghai SIPG, Suwon managed to dispel all the negative feelings regarding their inactivity in the transfer market and showed that they can still be a formidable force this season. A young and fresh team played in both games and although they only picked up one point from two games their performance on the pitch showed that there is hope for the future ahead. 

Against Gamba Osaka, Suwon where very unfortunate not to come away with a win. The midfield worked tirelessly that night and they controlled the game from start to finish. It was only inexperienced finishing that prevented Suwon from claiming a victory. Whereas Suwon dominated the game against Osaka, when they travelled to Shanghai it was a different story, well, atleast in the 2nd half. The first half was very pleasing to watch as the team appeared solid in defence, and played with fluency on the counter attack. They created a number of good opportunites and would have taken a deserved lead into half time were it not for poor finishing from Kim Gun-hee, and a moment of madness in defence from Yeon Jei-min. But then the manager inexplicably altered his tactics exchanging one of the holding midfielders for Santos, a player who could not defend if his life depended upon it. And with that change the game was gone from Suwon. I don't believe that the 2nd half in Shanghai was a fair reflection on this Suwon team, I am instead focussing on the 3 halves of solid, promising football that preceded it. 

Suwon's early season style has not been as eye catching as FC Seoul or Jeonbuk, but it has shown promising signs. It is a style of football based around collective responsibility rather than standout stars. And what Suwon lack in striking capabilities they make up for in their control of the game. While it is very young, the midfield has great technical quality and I think teams will find it very hard to control the football playing against this Suwon team. 

It is for this reason that I think Suwon will pick up three points at the weekend. Last season, Seongnam were a team built on their strong defence and were able to grind out results from not allowing other teams to concede. But this year, I find it difficult to imagine that Seongnam will be able to mirror these performances. They have been very quiet in their recruitment and have added little attacking quality to their squad and I don't see any danger in their team. 

Team News

In the case of Suwon, there is no major injury news and Seo Jung-won has a full compliment of first team players to choose from. At the moment, the defence and attack picks itself, as Suwon lack strength in depth in these areas, and so the usual suspects will start. It is in midfield where Jung-won will have the most difficult selection choice. Ko Cha-won played well in his first game of the season but then found himself dropped to the bench a week later when he travelled to China. That night the manager opted to play Chang-hoon on the right of midfield, a tactic that should not be employed regularly, in my opinion. If Suwon are to have any success this season then it is imperative that Chang-hoon plays centrally and asking Ko Cha-won to play from the right is something that facilitates this, and should be used more often.

Possible Suwon Lineup

Score Prediction

Seongnam 0 - 2 Suwon Bluewings

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