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Preview: Incheon United vs Jeju United

Preview: Incheon United Vs Jeju United K League 1 Round 12
On Saturday afternoon it will be the fifth league game in just two weeks for both Incheon United and Jeju United. So, the game is going to be as much a test of fitness and squad depth, as it is of form. Who will come out on top in this Children's Day's K League 1 clash?
(Image via K League)

Last Time Out

Pohang Steelers 0-0 Incheon United

Incheon were part of one of three goalless draws during the week as they took home a point away to Pohang Steelers. Pohang had the edge in regards to possession and went closest to scoring late in the second half by hitting the post but Incheon held on and looked to counter for the majority of the  90 minutes and so and will be happy with the point in the end.

Highlights: here

Jeju United 3-5 Gangwon FC

Jeju played out a classic game against Gangwon on Wednesday evening. The scoreline was 3-2 after under half an hour as neither defence looked to have left their dressing rooms. Sadly for Jeju, in the second half Gangwon took control scoring three time without reply to take home the three points.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Incheon and Jeju last clashed only a few weeks ago with Jeju United coming out on top 4-2. Tiago Marques was the difference that afternoon, scoring one and assisting another. Incheon as always looked good moving forward, but weak at the back.

Over the years Incheon and Jeju have played each other 36 times with Jeju edging the number of victories by twelve to ten. Incheon last won at home against Jeju back in the Summer of 2016, whilst Jeju won away both last season and once the season previous.

Who To Watch

Incheon United's Montenegrin striker Stefan Mugoša has been a little off in recent weeks, but his six goals from the opening two months of the season highlight his eye for goal. He also links up well with the attacking wingers in midfield and therefore can also be the creator as well as goal scorer.

In midfield, winger Moon Seon-min has started the season brightly already matching his 2017 goal tally with six in 11 games, which sees him currently joint third in the league'ss top goal scorers. He is quick with excellent positioning and awareness.

Finally at the back keeper Lee Jin-hyung kept a clean sheet on Wednesday evening and at the moment he's the Durumi's best option between the posts.

As for Jeju United, Magno Cruz will be seen as the dangerman following his 30 minute hat-trick during the week. He was strong all last season as well, and Jeju fans will be thankful that his proposed move to the UAE fell through last summer.

The Adversary

Jeju come into the match following a disastrous defensive performance against Gangwon, in which they led on three separate occasions in the first half, only to allow the visitors to draw level five minutes before the break.

Magno Cruz returned to his customary starting role in the lineup and was fantastic on the night, scoring a hat-trick for the home side, but, unfortunately, it went to waste as Jeju's back line had difficulty all night dealing with aerial balls, which led to Gangwon's first two goals.

Uroš Đerić scored a brace for the visitors and the inclusion of Diego with twenty minutes to go in the second half did more than enough to seal victory as he assisted the go-ahead goal by Đerić in the 77th minute, then added his own in stoppage time, fighting off Oh Ban-suk in the area before firing past Lee Chang-keun who was rooted to the spot as the ball went past him.

While the conditions were less than ideal, with gale force winds hampering play for the entire ninety minutes, there is no excuse for Jeju's poor play at the back. Against Incheon, they will have to employ a similar formula which saw them defeat Lee Ki-hyung's men three weeks ago, but this time, they will have to do it on the road.

by Branko Belan

Prediction

Incheon have struggled with the recent pre-World Cup K League 1 schedule mainly due to their lack of squad depth. Jeju United have fared a little better, but Wednesday highlighted that they can't afford to take their eye off the ball. I see both sides scoring, but Jeju making the most of Incheon's defensive issues and scoring a winner late on.

Predicted Score: Incheon United 1-2 Jeju United

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