Preview: Suwon vs Daegu
A promising start to the season from Suwon was abruptly ended last weekend as they weakly bowed down to a superior Jeonbuk team, losing 2-0. However, they head into this game off the back of an encouraging and controlled performance in the ACL on Tuesday night and Suwon will be looking to see off Daegu and really kick start their season. (photo courtesy of www.bluewings.kr)
Suwon returned from Hong Kong with all 3 points, leaving them finely poised to qualify from the ACL group stages. But they did not return with a fully fit squad, with influential midfielder, Kim Min-woo picking up a thigh strain and limping out of the game. The midfielder is expected to be out for upto 3 weeks and will miss a crucial period for the club as they have a run of fixtures against the so called 'weaker teams' in the division.
With Kim Min-woo ruled out, Seo Jung-won may opt to recall Santos who hasn't been utilised much so far this season and is in need of game time. Min-woo has also spent some time this season playing as the left wing-back but his absence will also be covered by the industrious Koh Seung-beom. As I have mentioned previously, Seung-beom is a huge talent and was just waiting for a run of consecutive games to really begin his professional career, and he has been superb in the 3 games he has played in this season. Although he isn't naturally left footed, he has taken to that position rather well, often drifting in field when Yeom Ki-hun decides to drift o the left wing, and also having enough energy to fly up and down the pitch, as any wing-back should be able to.
Seo Jung-won rotated his squad for the game in Hogn Kong, but with the international break coming up, I would expect him to field his preferred starting 11 again. That will mean Yeom Ki-hun, Johnathan, Jang Ho-ik, Matthew Jurman and Koo Ja-ryong will all return, with the aforementioned Kim Min-woo being the only absentee from the Suwon squad.
The morale boosting result in mid-week should have put to bed the shambles that was last Sunday when Suwon embarrassingly collapsed against Jeonbuk. Jeonbuk didn't perform well themselves, but they did everything that you would expect a title challenger to do. They were organised, played with desire, but most importantly, played to their strengths. Hitting the ball up to the big man, Kim Shin-wook, wasn't pretty, but it worked and Jeonbuk won the game off the back of the chaos he caused in the penalty area.
Thankfully, Daegu don't have much of a physical threat, which means they will need to be a little more measured in their approach, and Suwon must capitalise upon that. The Kleague new boys have struggled so far, losing on the opening day of the season, and relinquishing the lead they had over Incheon last weekend to draw that game. Suwon will be the natural favourites to win this game and I expect that they will.
Johnathan may be the key to Suwon picking up their first win of this fledgling season, and the Brazilian may well be inspired to score against his former employers. He showed his value in the game in midweek, scoring after coming off the bench in a 15 minute cameo that secured the 3 points for Suwon. If he can get his first league goals of this calendar year then Suwon may run away with this one.
Predicted Score: Suwon 3-1 Daegu