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Preview: FC Seoul Vs Incheon United

FC Seoul Manager Hwang Sunhong will be desperate for his side to pick up a win during Sunday's Gyeongin Derby against Incheon United.
The first Gyeongin Derby of the season sees FC Seoul host Incheon United at Sangam this Sunday. Whilst Incheon have got off to a decent start to the campaign, picking up four points from three games, and can already add Jeonbuk Hyundai to their list of scalps, FC Seoul, meanwhile are yet to win this term. Seoul manager Hwang Sunhong (pictured above) will be desperate for his side to pick up a much-needed three points ahead of the Super Match at Big Bird next week to ease the pressure heading into such an important fixture.
(image via [copy and paste image credits here])

Overview

From Soccerway.com


Last Time Out

Prior to the international break FC Seoul made the trip south to North Jeolla Province to take on Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. A Kim Minjae header on 53 minutes from a Lee Jaesung corner put Jeonbuk ahead before former FC Seoul striker Adriano doubled the home side's advantage midway through the second period. Kim Seongjun halved the deficit with a superbly struck free kick in the dying embers but it was too little too late for Hwang Sunhong's men. The defeat meant that FC Seoul are still searching for that elusive first victory of the season and have just one point from their first three outings.

Recap: here and here

Sunday's visitors to Sangam Incheon United make the short trip across to the capital on the back of a 0-0 stalemate with Daegu FC at home. Incheon were without Montenegrin striker Stefan Mugoša and clearly missed the 26-year-old's attacking prowess having already bagged two of the Durumi in his first two games following his transfer from Moldovan outfit Sherif during the winter. The draw was enough to see United sit in sixth place on four points, three points ahead of Sunday's opponents FC Seoul.

Previous Meetings

The last two times these two sides met was at the tail end of the regular season last year when Incheon United were fighting for their lives and FC Seoul still harboured hopes of ACL qualification. At Sungui Arena on 17th September, a last gasp Song Siwoo strike on 88 minutes gave the Durumi an unlikely win.

When it was FC Seoul's last turn to host, those clad in red and black stripes ran out easy winners with a 3-0 victory and did so without really getting out of second gear. A Dejan brace and an own goal by Argentinian centre back Gordon Bunoza ensured of an easy April afternoon for Hwang Sunhong's men.

Seoul have a good record against Incheon, particularly at home. The last time FC Seoul suffered defeat to Incheon United on their own pitch was back in March 2013 when a 3-2 victory saw the Neroazzurre claim the three points. Adilson put Seoul ahead just shy of the half hour mark before Lee Seokhyun levelled just seven minutes later. Shortly after the restart Diogo Acosta put Incheon in front only for Park Heeseong to level for Seoul on 68 minutes. Incheon eventually found the winner thanks to a Moon Sangyun strike in the 80th minute.

Said victory was Incheon's only ever win at Sangam in 23 visits, however. From the 44 games played, FC Seoul have notched up 23 wins whilst Incheon have nine with the rest of the 12 matches being draws.

Team News

Hwang Sunhong will be have been grateful of the timing of the international break which has allowed a number of key players to return from injury. forwards Park Chuyoung and Evandro are said to have recovered from an ankle injury and tight hamstring respectively, as well as the influential Go Yohan who has recovered from an angle injury of his own.

Park Chuyoung played and scored in a R League win over Gangwon Reserves in midweek to help with his march sharpness and could go straight back into the starting 11 for the visit of Incheon. Elsewhere, it has been reported that Go Yohan is back in contention having been sidelined with an a minor ankle injury since the defeat to Gangwon. Seoul's new Vice Captain was absent from the Korean National Team squad for their friendlies in Europe but was so through choice in order to be ready for Sunday's Gyeongin Derby.

Both Go Yohan (left) and Park Chuyoung (centre) are available for selection again for FC Seoul.
(Image via K League)

Meanwhile, Incheon United manager Lee Kihyung will still be without Stefan Mugoša after the former 1860 Munich striker sat out the 0-0 draw with Daegu due to suspension. The 26-year-old was adjudged to have used his elbow in an unsporting manner during Incheon's win over Jeonbuk Hyundai in round two and, according to reports, was given a two-game ban as a result. Mugoša has made quite an impact since arriving in the winter, netting two in two for United who seem to have found the goalscorer they have been in need of.

The Adversary

The Gyeongin Derby is the biggest game of the season for Incheon United with a win over Seoul being often a highlight of the season. Heading into this game Incheon have been a little inconsistent, losing in round one then bouncing back to shock Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in round two. Last time out they looked tired and played out a dull draw versus Daegu FC in

Heading into the Gyeongin Derby Incheon will perhaps keep the same at the backline from that of the draw with Daegu but setting up the midfield more defensively and looking to catch FC Seoul on the break. As United will be without Mugoša, goals will have to come from elsewhere, possible from wingers Song Siwoo and Moon Seonmin.

by Incheon United Columnist Tim Barnes

Who To Watch

Costa Rican Midfielder Elías Aguilar has adapted quickly to life in the K League and is the type of creative element Incheon have been missing since Ivo left a few seasons ago. He’ll be key for Incheon in midfield on Sunday afternoon.

by Tim Barnes

(Image via Incheon United)

Prediction

Incheon United are going to be slightly less of a threat without Mugoša in their attack but the likes of Moon Seonmin and Appiah-Kubi have proved to be a handful for even the likes of Jeonbuk Hyundai already this term. Seoul, however, simply need to win this match because heading into the Super Match next week without a win under their belts in 2018 may prove to be costly against a Bluewings side that will be determined to get get one over their fiercest rivals in front of their own fans. Whilst the FC Seoul fans may want to be entertained by their team as their team pick up three points, Hwang Sunhong will most likely be just hoping for a victory of any kind. Seoul should have enough to eek out a win.

FC Seoul 1-0 Incheon United




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