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Preview: Suwon FC vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Attacking midfielder Lee Jae-sung scored the equaliser for Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the midweek Jeolla Derby.
(Photo Credit: Hyundai-MotorsFC.com
After once again turning around a goal deficit against Jeonnam Dragons to run out 2-1 winners, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors are away from home this week playing yet another struggling team in Suwon FC.



More to Come From Lee Jong-ho

With the club's leading scorer Lee Dong-gook set to still be sidelined by a hamstring injury, it is likely Lee Jong-ho will once again take up the striker's mantle as he continually strives to push himself above Kim Shin-wook in the pecking order. The Ex-Jeonnam man scored what turned out to be the winner against his former club on Wednesday, heading home from close range to ensure the champions took a five point lead in the title race.

It was more than his goal that stood out though. His work rate on the pitch was impressive, and his runs created plenty of opportunities that were perhaps deserving of better service. Having scored the dramatic winner against Bluewings, and then two more in the FA Cup, he is in finally showing signs of finding his feet in this squad and demonstrating why the champions opted for him last January.

Let's just hope that the potential arrival of a certain Brazilian striker does not ruin this.

Han Kyo-won is not a Right-Back

Since Choi Chul-soon accumulated his sixth yellow card of the season against Suwon Bluewings and was subsequently banned as well as picking up an injury in the same game, the manager has been running Han Kyo-won out in the wing-back role.

When you consider Han's searing pace in addition to the overlapping wing back tactics that Jeonbuk tend to play in order to spread the width, there is logic to his selection here. While he has performed admirably in this role, it was also failure to track his man within the opening minute midweek that led directly to Jeonnam taking the lead. A player more accustomed to defending would have perhaps seen the danger coming.

With Choi Chul-soon still looking like there will be some time before he comes back from injury, and also with China apparently checking out his availability, I was going to include a plea for Kim Chang-soo to return to the squad. I had recently claimed the played had been out of the match day team due to banishment by the manager after accumulating two red cards in succession across the ACL and K-League. He certainly did train after his suspension was up but was not selected.

It turns out however I was wrong to assume this, even if the only reports for a long while being the manager's despair at having his right back suspended for all competitions. Despite the Korean version of the official Jeonbuk website reporting only three injuries this season to "big name" players (Kim Bo-kyung, Kim Shin-wook and Lee Dong-gook respectively), it seems the right back is also injured with most Korean news outlets first reporting it in June. It turns out though the injury to his left calf has been ongoing longer than that and, despite a brief return to training as mentioned, he has since returned to the sick bed for a few more weeks. I hope he can recover soon.

While I must apologise to Choi Kang-hee for coming to the wrong conclusion regarding Kim Chang-soo, it does not excuse the fact that there are perhaps more suitable candidates to fill in the right back role, including Park Won-jae (who has returned to the left back position as Choi Jae-soo is also injured), Choi Dong-geun (who has played both FA Cup games and scored against Anyang), and Lee Joo-yong who should all be considered.

Suwon FC are Sinking Without a Trace

While their opening weeks suggested that Suwon FC might have enough to survive their first season in the Classic, especially given the extent to which Jeonnam and Incheon have both struggled this year, they find themselves at the bottom of the table. While these latter two though have put in better performances throughout June though which has seen them lifted from the foot of the table, Suwon FC have not scored a goal since the 22nd May (a run of seven games) when they surprisingly defeated Pohang, a match which represents three of the four points earned since April and 25% of their points tally for the year.  There is no denying it, Suwon FC are in free fall.

Yet, they are looking to secure a number of signings in a bid to arrest their sharp decline. Defender Kim Min-je from Seoul E-Land has already confirmed on a free transfer and could be set to feature at the weekend. While our Seoul E-Land columnist Stephen Waddell is not a fan, Suwon are clearly desperate to shore things up at the back and will be hoping the E-Land regular can be the man to assist.

However, it was reported yesterday that their top scorer, Belgian Marvin Ogunjimi will head to Thailand club Ratchaburi FC on a six month loan. He may have only scored three goals this season, but seeing as that amounts to 30% of the team's league goals, as well as him featuring in 10 of this years games, it could potentially be detrimental to the club's survival efforts.

Predictions

I have opted to predict by form of recent and it has served me well. Eight of my last nine outcomes have been correct, with six accurate scores. However, I feel this game should breakaway from the recent trends. Suwon cannot score and, despite a goalless encounter midweek with Jeju, they are usually very obliging opposition. Even with Jeonbuk's leaky defence, I think they should be more than capable of holding off the threat here.

Jeonbuk have only won the one game this season by more than a single goal. That match was also against Suwon FC, where three goals in seven minutes allowed Motors to take a decent lead, before Lim Jong-eun lost his man on an indirect free-kick and gave the visitors some consolation, a familiar situation for most who have played Jeonbuk this year.

With no apparent game next week though (there is a friendly with Belgium's AFC Tubize that was advertised at the Jeonnam game, but not on the club's sites), and having already made some rotation midweek, I expect Jeonbuk to be at reasonable strength for this clash, with only injuries preventing them from reaching their full potential. The aforementioned Lee Jong-ho also looks hungry and could be set to add a few goals to his tally.

Perhaps Kim Shin-wook may even score if afforded a cameo, but I will not get too carried away.

Predicted Score: Suwon FC 0-3 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

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