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ACL Match Preview: Shanghai Shenhua vs Suwon Bluewings


Suwon Bluewings and Shanghai Shenhua meet for the 2nd time in less than seven days on Tuesday night. Suwon will be looking to get back to winning ways and cement their standing in the group while Shanghai will be looking to pickup their first win in the competition after recording 3 consecutive draws in their first 3 games. 
(image via http://fourfourtwo.co.kr)

Last Time Out

Suwon got over their stuttering early season form with a 2-0 win away to Daegu at the weekend in what was a game to miss for the neutral. Neither team were really at the races and the chances that were created were only half chances at best.

With this game in mind, Seo Jung-won made wholesale changes to the starting 11 and one of those new faces, Waguininho, created the first meaningful moment of the match in the 35th minute when he made the most of the slightest of contacts and tumbled in the box. The referee pointed to the spot and awarded an unfair and unjust penalty which the Brazilian stepped up and dispatched himself.

Things got worse for Daegu in the 2nd half when a defensive mix-up from a long throw allowed debutant Park Hyung-jin time and space in the penalty area, and his shot cannoned off the post and to the feet of Lim Sang-hyub who scored his first league goal for the club. Daegu huffed and puffed but never really troubled Suwon for the remainder of the match and the men in blue made their way north with their first win in 4 games.

On Saturday night Shanghai Shenhua crashed to a disappointing loss in the Shanghai derby against their rivals SIPG. Goals from Hulk and Lu Wenjun were enough to secure all 3 points for the red half of Shanghai leaving Shanghai Shenhua without a win this season.

Previous Meetings

In their first encounter, less than 7 days ago, Shanghai were exceptionally lucky to escape from Korea with a point, but their defensive performance, coupled with some dirty tactics, allowed them to carve out a 1-1 draw in Suwon.

Suwon, despite having 69% possession, 16 shots and making 324 more passes than their opponents couldn't quite do enough to convert their dominance into clear cut chances and unfortunately, the clear chances they did make were wasted by Dejan Damjanovic and Yeom Ki-hun.

Team News

Suwon headed to China with an almost complete squad, with Matthew Jurman and Shin Hwa-yong being the only players in the treatment room. And Seo Jung-won's heavy rotation at the weekend means he has a squad firing at 100% to select from.

Wing-backs Cristovam and Lee Ki-jae, midfielders Choi Sung-keun and Yeom Ki-hun, and striker Dejan Damjanovic should all return to the starting lineup. Whilst central midfielder Kim Jong-woo has shown enough quality in his last two starts to prolong his run in the team.

Who To Watch

Suwon showed last week that they have much more quality than their Chinese counterparts but if they are to return back from Shanghai with the win they need they will require all their attacking players to step-up and take control of this game. Dejan cannot do all the work by himself but this is the game where he needs to take the chances that come his way and be more clinical in front of goal. If he can do that then Suwon will have a great chance of winning the game.

Prediction

Shanghai were very poor last week and had they faced a team with a bit more attacking bite about them they would have been taken to the cleaners. Their gameplan and cynical gamesmanship were deplorable, but you would think they could surely not continue to play such a defensive and time wasting game at home when the onus is on them to win. If Suwon turn up with a desire to attack Shanghai then they will win. However, if they sit back and try to play possession football, as they did last week, then the quality of Shaghai's foreign players could come back to bite them.

Shanghai Shenhua 0-2 Suwon Bluewings

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