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Preview: Suwon vs Gangwon



Gangwon FC make the journey to Suwon World Cup Stadium on Sunday with just one point separating the two teams. And with the middle of the table becoming extremely congested, this could be a key battle as Suwon and Gangwon look to propel themselves into the race for Champions League places.
(Photo courtesy of www.bluewings.kr)

Last Time Out

After a dissapointing defeat in the Super Match last Sunday evening, Suwon bounced back in the perfect way, gaining 3 valuable away points via a 3-0 victory in Gwangju.

After an uneventful first half, Suwon put their hosts to the sword in the 2nd period and some excellent attacking football saw them destroy a fragile Gwangju defence. Two thunderous strikes from Johnathan put Suwon in the driving seat and a close range finish by Kim Min-woo, finishing off a Yeom Ki-hun cross, sealed the win late on for Suwon.

In complete contrast, Gangwon were on the reciving end of their own drubbing, as they floundered in a 4-1 loss against Jeonbuk. The league new boys looked a shadow of the team that recently registered victories against Seoul, Pohang and Jeju, and their meek performance justified the scoreline.

The Adversary

Although Gangwon struggled at the begining of the season, their flurry of big name signings are now starting to make a real impression on the league and their climb up the table has certainly not been a fluke.

Some creditable recent home wins against struggling Incheon and Daegu were completely eclipsed by stunning a 3 match winning streak against Seoul, Pohang and Jeju. But it's not only the results that have been impressive and their attacking style of play has endeared many neutrals to the mountain based club. Having scored 23 goals thus far, they boast one of the most potent attacks in the league and any defence would struggle to stop their attacking talent.

A lot is still to be done to prove that they have the potential to finish in the upper echelons of the table, but with further summer spending having been promised, the summit of the table should be the goal for what appears to be a very talented team.

Who To Watch

Jung Jo-gook is undoubtedly the key player in the team and the MVP of the league last year has really shown his worth to Gangwon in recent weeks. Although he has missed much of the season through injury he is still the team's 2nd highest goalscorer. His goals against Jeju and Seoul helped propel his team towards unlikely victories and his leadership and experience are vital to a team that is still trying to gel a number of new signings together.

His qualities and importance to any team are further highlighted when you look at the plight that Gwangju are currently in, and there is more than a fair case to be made to say that the strikers goals single handedly saved Gwangju from relegation last year.

Prediction

Last week I rather rubbished the idea that Suwon are in a crises when they play at home. However, after last week's disappointing defeat to Seoul the statistics are beginning to pile up against Suwon. With only one league win at home and a paltry 4 goals scored in their home stadium it is starting to look like Suwon may have a problem playing at home. And with Gangwon registering impressive away performances in recent weeks this could be another long afternoon at home for Suwon.

But Gangwon's woeful performance in Jeonju hinted that Suwon could win this game. Time and time again Gangwon were exposed on the wings and were extremely vulnerable to crosses and cut-backs, an area were Suwon score the majority of their goals from.

With Suwon's seemingly terrible home form, this is a difficult game to predict. But despite that home form this is a game that the home side would expect to win and if they perform to the standards they set in Gwangju then they should find themselves taking home all three points on Sunday evening.

Suwon 2-1 Gangwon

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