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Preview: Jeju United vs Jeonnam Dragons

Preview: Jeju United Vs Jeonnam Dragons K League 1 Round 13
Jeju United will welcome Jeonnam Dragons this weekend in what will be their final home match before the World Cup break. Jeju won 2-1 last time out against Incheon United, thanks to a controversial VAR penalty call which allowed Ryu Seung-woo to convert from the spot in second half injury time. Jeonnam, meanwhile, managed to snatch a point at home to league leaders Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the Jeolla Derby. Jeju United columnist Branko Belan previews the match with Jeonnam Dragons writer Aodan Halligan.

Match: Jeju United vs Jeonnam Dragons
Venue: Seogwipo World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday May 12th, 16:00 KST

Last Time Out

Incheon United 1-2 Jeju United

Jeju traveled away to Incheon in the second meeting between the clubs this season, and managed to come away with all three points once again, having won the first match against the blue and black 4-2.

It took awhile for the match to spring into life, with the first good chance for either side falling Jeju's way, as Jin Seong-wook was able to pounce on a rebound in the area and put it home in the 19th minute, but the goal was called back.

Incheon could have gone into the lead in the 35th minute, but Yun Sang-ho's effort on goal was parried away by Lee Chang-keun.

Jeju would snatch the lead two minutes before the break as Jin Seong-wook and Tiago Marques combined well from close range, though. Jin headed the ball over to Marques to shoot but was denied from point blank range by Lee Jin-hyung, leaving Jeju's number nine to mop up the rebound.

Incheon would equalize only minutes into the second half, as Elias Aguilar, who came on after the break, attempted a shot from long range that was blocked by a Jeju defender, but fell neatly into the path of Kim Jin-ya, who made no mistake in front of goal.

Incheon looked the more dangerous side for the balance of the second half, but could not find a way to pierce the Jeju back line. Just before the end of regulation, Ryu Seung-woo was brought down inside the area, but no initial call was made. The play eventually went to VAR, and the referee pointed to the spot. Ryu would convert the chance, and Jeju survived a scare, coming away with three points in a match that they didn't deserve to win.

Highlights: here

Jeonnam Dragons 0-0 Jeonbuk Hyundai

Jeonnam hosted Jeonbuk in the second Jeolla Derby of the season, with the defending champs having already won the first encounter earlier in the campaign.

The teams traded chances in the early goings, but both goalkeepers were up to task. There was potential for the tide to turn in the match when Jeonbuk's Jeong Hyuk was sent off in the 36th minute for a blatant foul on Han Chan-hee, stepping on his foot in a challenge, sending the Jeonnam player to the grass in obvious pain.

Despite the man advantage, Jeonnam could not make it count in the second half. Han Chan-hee fired over the bar in the 55th minute, while Kim Kyung-min could not find a way to convert from in close on 69 minutes. Heo Yong-joon would have the best chance for the home side, but his headed effort from in close following a cross from Wanderson was beaten away by Song Bum-keun.

Highlights: here

Team News

Jeju continue to occupy fourth spot in the table after the win against Incheon, but thanks to other results at the weekend, they have pulled to within a point of both Gyeongnam FC and Suwon Samsung Bluewings.

A result at home would do well for their confidence as they have not shown well in Seogwipo, after the previous two campaigns which saw them almost unbeatable on their own ground. Couple that with a trip away to Sangju Sangmu on May 20th to close out the first portion of the schedule, and it becomes even more paramount for the Orange to get a result if they are to position themselves well for the second portion of the season which kicks off in July. United will return with back-to-back fixtures against the clubs directly in front of them, first away to Suwon on July 7th, and then at home to Gyeongnam four nights later, where they will try to avenge losses to both teams in March.

For Jeonnam, Yoo Sang-chul will once again be deprived of the services of Croatian midfielder Vedran Jugović and left-back Choi Jae-hyun for this Saturday’s game; nevertheless, his side should have more energy on the field after a seven-day break and thus be as dangerous as ever on the road. Yoo will most likely opt for a 3-4-3 formation and instruct his players to press Jeju all over the park. Furthermore, the Dragons will try to keep it tight at the back and to be as lethal as ever on the counterattack. Therefore, we could be in for a much closer battle between the two teams this weekend.

The Adversary

Jeonnam's recent form has seen the Dragons move up to 10th place. (Image via K League)
Unbeaten in four games, the Jeonnam Dragons head to Jeju Island for their penultimate K League 1 game before the summer break. And even though Jeju hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Dragons in recent years, their excellent away form allied to Jeju United’s poor home record this season should give them confidence of returning home from the volcanic island with something to show for their troubles.

Despite struggling to break down ten-man Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors last time out, Dragons’ head coach Yoo Sang-chul should be satisfied with a point against the runaway league leaders and current champions as it was his team’s fifth game in 14 days and it put further distance between them and the bottom two, Daegu FC and Incheon United. And another point in Seogwipo would be seen as progress after Jeonnam’s 3-0 home defeat to Jeju in April.


Prediction

On paper, Jeju would look to be the favorite having won the earlier fixture in April. Jeonnam however enter the match in better form in recent rounds, and will look to create a surprise as they try to dig themselves out of the bottom half of the table.

Jeju have been finding goals of late, and that could be the deciding factor once again in the outcome of this match, while the Dragons are still struggling to find the back of the net on a regular basis, having tallied only thirteen times through the first twelve rounds.

The hosts, however, must hope that their porous ways at the back do not play a part in the result, as their match last week against Gangwon showed, where Magno's hat-trick was wasted in a 5-3 loss.

Jeju should have enough quality to get the result they need, but Jeonnam will not go down without a fight.

Predicted Score: Jeju United 3-1 Jeonnam Dragons 


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