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Preview: Incheon United vs. Suwon Bluewings

Incheon United look to rebound from back to back defeats as they face a Suwon Bluewings side who maybe still riding high on their ACL group stage progression.

Last Time Out

September 23rd 2017 
Incheon United 1 - 1 Suwon Bluewings

Incheon picked up a last minute point last time out against Suwon back in September. Yeom Ki-hun gave Suwon the lead from the spot last in the second half. But his goal was cancelled out by Ha Chang-rae scoring his first and only goal for Incheon United. The game wasn't a classic and neither side did enough to justify winning all 3 points.

Previous Meetings

Over the years Incheon and Suwon have played each other 40 times with their record reading as follows:

Incheon 5
Draws 12
Suwon Bluewings 23


Last season two of the three league games ended in draws. Suwon eased to a 3-0 win in the third match, and also won in the FA Cup 1-0. Incheon last beat Suwon back in December 2013 with Lee Hyo-gyun scoring a 95th minute winner.

Who To Watch

Incheon United
Montenegrin striker Stefan Mugoša has had a fantastic start to his first K League season scoring five goals in five games. He was a little absent against Jeju and Sangmu, but still managed to get on the scoresheet in the Jeju game. In midfield Australian Appiah-Kubi has also settled into his debut season nicely, showing lightning quick pace and 100% commitment. He reminds me of Lee Chun-su when he played for Incheon a few seasons ago. Finally defensive midfielder Ko Seul-ki has started to show the type of form that made him a regular starter last season for Thai side Buriram United. He has good awareness and now that he's match fit, he's gelling with fellow new signing Aguilar in the middle of the pitch.

Suwon Bluewings by Scott Whitelock
Coming off the back of his superb performance against Kashima Antlers a lot will be expected of Waugininho in this game for Suwon. Every positive aspect of his game was on show in Japan; his dribbling skill, his pace, his awareness of space in the final 3rd, and his desire to help his team defensively. A performance that could only be improved by a goal, which would have come had it not been for Kwoun Sun-tae's solid block to keep the Brazilian out in the first half. Waguininho has now set the benchmark of what to expect from him, and if he can perform to that level every week then Suwon will have one of the most valuable players in the league in their ranks.

The Adversary

Suwon returned from Japan midweek with three points and a place in the last 16 of the Asian Champions League firmly in their back pocket. An assured and accomplished performance against one of the top teams in Japan was exactly what the team needed, and having registered three wins in a row, it feels like Suwon are beginning to turn a corner after their early season disappointments. 

The win in Kashima was particularly impressive for the amount of attacking intent that Suwon had in central areas, something that had been missing during the month of March. Much of that was due to the performances from Man of the Match, Waguininho, and Yeom Ki-hun. Their link-up play with Dejan and both wing-backs was exceptional and allowed Suwon to mount attack after attack from defensive positions. It was possibly the best game that Waugininho has had in his short Suwon career and his direct dribbling and running was the catalyst for what was a superb Suwon performance. 

Suwon are yet to hit the heights expected of them, and yet they sit in 2nd place in the league, are through to the knockout stages of the ACL for the first time since 2015,  and have a new found confidence from that result in Japan. They can beat almost anyone away from home, and if they can turnaround their fortunes at home, then Jeonbuk may just well have a legitimate challenger for the K League title.

by Scott Whitelock


Prediction

Incheon had a solid start to the season and the win over Jeonbuk Hyundai on the second weekend was impressive. However that's their only win in seven games, and a lack of strength in depth is starting to show following back-to-back defeats. Suwon on the other hand have won their last three in all competitions and seem to have clicked. I see Incheon performing better than their last two games, but issues at the back will allow Suwon to press forward and take home the three points. Incheon should at least get a goal, but it maybe a long Sunday afternoon for the home fans.

Incheon United 1-2 Suwon Bluewings

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