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Preview: Suwon Bluewings vs Jeju United


Ironically, this week's round of fixtures pits a team who are seriously struggling at home against a team who are seriously struggling to find any form away from their own stadium, as Jeju make the long journey north to Suwon World Cup Stadium. With only one league win to their name in their own stadium this season Suwon's promising spring form is on the brink of collapse and with an extremely talented Jeju team coming to town they could find themselves languishing in the bottom half of the table by the end of Sunday evening. 
(Photo courtesy of www.bluewings.co.kr)

Last Time Out

A farcical, comedy of errors, from both the manager, and the Suwon backline resulted in Suwon being on the end of a disappointing loss away to Ulsan last weekend. And despite having their first choice and backup strikers missing from the squad, and being forced to play Yeom Ki-hun as a makeshift striker, Suwon were probably good value for the draw that they were cruising towards.

Suwon took the lead in the 50th minute courtesy of a fantastic 25 yard finish from defender Kwak Kwang-seon only to be pegged back by a close range header from Lee Jong-ho 3 minutes later. From there on it appeared that Suwon would hold on for the draw until reckless play at the back from substitute goalkeeper Yang Hyung-mo gifted Park Yong-woo an easy opportunity to score the winner, and the Ulsan midfielder duly obliged.

Meanwhile, Jeju's title bid took another blow as they failed to pick up maximum points on the road for the 4th time in a row. A simple tap in from Magno Cruz set Jeju on their way but an increasingly fragile Jeju defence allowed Jeonnam to equalise in the 54th minute, with Han Chan-hee firing in from a failed Jeju clearance.

And with the Jeju defence in dissaray, Jeonnam were able to take an unlikely 2-1 lead after great work from Robert Feczesin presented Lee Ji-nam with an easy chance to score. However, the lead didn't last too long with Cruz getting his 2nd of the game in the 59th minute.

Jeju had a golden chance to win the game late on but substitute Lee Eun-beom could only fire his shot over the crossbar with the goal gaping.

Team News

Suwon's terrible luck with injuries continues for yet another week as goalkeeper Shin Hwa-yong, injured during last week's game, remains on the sidelines for atleast another week. That means backup goalkeeper Yang Hyung-mo will continue to wear the gloves despite his horrendous error last week and his propensity to make game altering misjudgments is a real worry for Suwon, especially when they are facing one of the most attacking teams in the league.

Park Gi-dong is still expected to miss out because of a mystery injury that the club are still yet to release the details of, but star striker, Johnathan, has overcome the injury that ruled him out of last weekend's trip to Ulsan. However, whether he plays or not remains to be seen. The striker took to social media this week to criticise the club for what he characterised as them agreeing a transfer fee for the player, but never discussing personal terms with the Brazilian himself. With the club dealing with the matter internally Johnathan may face a suspension imposed by the club themselves.

The Adversary

One of the pre-season favourites for the title, Jeju, began the season in tremendous form and after only suffering one loss in the first 2 months of the season they rightly sat alongside Jeonbuk at the summit of the table. Their attacking brand of passing football was drawing plaudits from pundits and fans alike and it seemed like they had real intentions to push Jeonbuk all the way this season.

However, since the end of may, after the ugly scenes in Japan when the club lost to Urawa Reds in the ACL, the wheels have fallen off Jeju's season. Only one win in their last 6 league games has seen them dramatically slip down the table to the point where a win for Suwon this weekend will see them leapfrog Jeju in the table.

There is still enough of the season remaining for Jeju to claw themselves back into contention, but with the loss of key striker Marcelo Toscano a huge part of their attack is missing and if they are to challenge Jeonbuk then they may well need to bring in another quality striker in this summer transfer window.

Prediction

With Jeju unable to buy a win away from home and Suwon unable to buy a win at home this game really could swing either way. The only thing that can be certain is that this will be an attacking and open game, and with two of the best offensive teams in the league going toe-to-toe this has the potential to be a neutral friendly goal feast.

Suwon 3-4 Jeju

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