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Preview: FC Seoul Vs Pohang Steelers

Preview: FC Seoul vs Pohang Steelers K League 1 Round 6
FC Seoul welcome third placed Pohang Steelers to Sangam this Wednesday still looking for their first win of the 2018 K League 1 season. After a 0-0 draw away to Suwon Bluewings in the Super Match on Sunday, much to the dismay of the travelling support, Seoul are now enduring their worst start to a domestic campaign for five years. Seoul gaffer Hwang Sunhong will be eager to secure Seoul's first maximum of the campaign come Wednesday  but his former club Pohang have just one defeat in five and make the trip to the capital knowing that they can get a result against a beleaguered FC Seoul. 
(image via K League)

Overview


Graphic via Soccerway.com


Last Time Out

FC Seoul's winless run continued following a 0-0 stalemate with Suwon Bluewings in the first Super Match of 2018. Despite having 60% possession against their most fiercest rivals, Hwang's side amassed just two shots on target all afternoon.

Recap: here

Wednesday's visitors to Sangam, Pohang Steelers, fell to a 2-0 home defeat to Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai on Sunday. The Evergreen Lee Donggook put Jeonbuk ahead, converting from the spot after 67 minutes. Just 10 minutes later former Steeler Son Junho doubled Jeonbuk's advantage to eventually seal the win for Choi Kanghee's men and put an end to Pohang's unbeaten start to 2018.

Previous Meetings

The two most recent meetings between FC Seoul and Pohang Steelers have both been at Sangam. In September last year the two sides played out a 1-1 draw with Osmar and Lulinha on the scoresheet for Seoul and Pohang respectively. Spaniard Osmar had Seoul ahead inside 15 minutes but with just 10 minutes remaining Brazilian midfielder Lulinha rescued a point for the Steelers. Prior to which, in July of last year, after coming off the bench in the 70th minute, a Dejan strike gave Seoul a 1-0 win.

Pohang don't have to hark back too long for their most recent win over Seoul, though having notched up a 3-2 victory in May 2017. Pohang's most recent win at Sangam was two years ago when goals from Yang Donghyun and Sim Dongwoon had the Steelers two goals to the good on 20 and 32 minutes respectively before Dejan narrowed the deficit midway through the second half. Serbian forward Lazar Veselinović put the game beyond doubt with a goal in the fourth minute of time added on to seal a 3-1 victory.

Team News

FC Seoul don't have any suspensions of which to speak of but Shin Jinho is just one yellow away from a suspension as are Pohang's Connor Chapman, Kwon Kwangyu, and Ha Changrae. FC Seoul are still likely to be without midfield duo Song Jinhyeong and Ha Daesung. Jung Hyeoncheol picked up a knock in the Super Match but isn't thought to be a doubt.

For Pohang, manager Choi Soonho won't have Lee Kwanghyeok (knee), Lee Sangsoo (knee), Yoo Jiha (calf), or Sung Hyunjun (ankle) available for selection for the visit to Seoul World Cup Stadium through injury.

The Adversary

Pohang Steelers began the season in excellent form, picking up 10 points from their first five games following three wins, one draw and just one defeat. Tactically, Coach Choi has opted for a 4-3-3 for all five of his sides games thus far this season with Connor Chapman in a midfield role that has allowed the Australian to pick up two assists already this term.

Chapman has slotted into the midfield alongside club legend Kim Seungdae and Jung Wonjin, behind a front three of Song Seungmin, Gamalho and Lee Kwanghyeok initially. For the past two games Lee Keunho, Lee Sangki and Getterson have entered the fold and so with Lee Kwangheok a doubt for Wednesday, one of the three aforementioned could slot in instead. Gamalho and Getterson were both on the bench for the defeat to Jeonbuk but were introduced in the 71st minute.

The back four has remained consistent too with, from left to right, Kang Sangwoo, captain Kim Kwangseok, Ha Changrae, and Kwon Wangyu have all been ever-present in front of goalkeeper Kang Hyunmoo.


Pohang Steelers starting XI vs Jeonbuk Hyundai, Round 5


Who To Watch

Connor Chapman, originally signed by Incheon United as a centre back, played as a holding midfielder for large spells of the 2017 campaign. The Australian joined Pohang during the winter and has been enjoying a more advanced midfield role that has enabled the 23-year-old to get two assists credited to his name already, the most recent being for Kim Seungdae's 68th minute strike in the East Sea Derby at the end of March.

Chapman's throughball from deep set up Kim Seungdae for Pohang's second in the 2-1 over Ulsan 
(Image via K League)


Chapman's ability to read the game, stay calm on the ball and thread balls through for the likes of Kim Seungdae, who has two goals that have come from a Chapman pass, as well as the ability to snuff out danger and protect the back four could make life difficult for Seoul come Wednesday night.

Prediction

Both teams will want a reaction from their respective weekend results. Whilst Seoul's draw away to Suwon Bluewings in the Super Match is not a bad result in itself, the fact that Hwang Sunhong's men had such a large share of the possession yet still couldn't find the back of the net will be a concern. However, Evandro's return to near full fitness will be important if Seoul are to get something from the game and will feel as though he has done enough to earn a second successive start.

Pohang's unbeaten start to the season was stopped in its tracks by Jeonbuk last weekend and so the Steelers will want to bounce back and with Seoul struggling for form, the trip to Sangam won't seem quite as daunting as it perhaps ought to be.

FC Seoul 1-2 Pohang Steelers




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