FA Cup Preview: Suwon Bluewings vs Seongnam
(Image courtesy of http://www.kgnews.co.kr)
On Wednesday night Suwon and Seongnam will meet at Big Bird stadium for the 1st of 2 games in the space of 5 days. Due to there being a league match on Sunday, I will make this preview very short and focus the majority of my coverage on Sunday's important league game (that article is to follow later).
This is an extremely difficult game to predict because both sides have used squad rotation so heavily in their 2 previous cup games. With Seongnam having rotated 9 players for their game against Sungkyunkwan University and Suwon rotating 6 players for the game against Busan in the last round, it is very difficult to predict what teams will be facing each other in this FA Cup quarter final.
Both teams haven't performed well in the previous rounds. Seongnam required a last minute winner when they met Yeungnam University in the 4th round, and they laboured their way to a victory in the previous round versus Sungkyunkwan University. Moreover, Suwon didn't write any headlines of their own in the 4th round when they only just overcame Gyeongju HNP by a single goal whilst only getting two shots away in the entire game. Their 1-0 victory against Busan in the last round was also a game lacking any attacking flair.
It's easy then to assume that the game is open for either team to go ahead and take an easy route into the semi-finals of the cup if their manager just fields a full strength side. You would imagine that the onus to do this would be more upon the Suwon manager, Seo Jung-won, as his job is under yet more threat after Suwon's lacklustre display in the Suwon derby this previous Sunday. Furthermore, Suwon's league campaign is all but dead in the water, whereas, Seongnam still have a lot to fight for. Therefore, they should be prioritising the league before the lottery of the FA Cup. The FA Cup remains Suwon's only opportunity to lift silverware this season, and with entry into next year's ACL as an added reward, now is not the time for Seo Jung-won to be rotating. A full strength team should be played in mid-week and the reserves allowed to contest the league encounter on Sunday.
Score Prediction: Suwon Bluewings 2 - 1 Seongnam (aet)