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Preview: Suwon Bluewings vs Daegu FC

Preview: Suwon Bluewings Vs Daegu FC K League 1 Round 13

Two teams on season defining win-less runs go head to head on Sunday afternoon as Daegu FC travel to face Suwon Bluewings in the K League 1. But whilst Suwon still sit in a healthy position in the league, Daegu are beginning to be cut away from the rest of the pack at the bottom of the table. Both teams need the points here to break those runs and progress up the table. 
(image via K League)


Last Time Out

Suwon drew their third blank in their last four matches on Wednesday night as they went down to Ulsan in the round of 16 in the Asian Champions League. Two strong defensive performances resulted in both teams cancelling each other out for most of the game, but Ulsan were able to convert their one chance in the game. After being substituted onto the pitch only 40 seconds previously, Ulsan's Kim In-sung raced in behind Lee Ki-je, in the Suwon defence, and expertly dinked the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper. Suwon couldn't find a way back into the game and Ulsan now take a solid 1-0 lead into the return leg next Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, Daegu crashed to yet another defeat last Saturday when they went down two goals to nil at home to a resurgent Gyeongnam. Daegu held their own for much of the game, but after being introduced at half-time, Brazilian Marcao, scored two goals to hand Gyeongnam the win.

Previous Meetings

Daegu had some respectable results against Suwon last season, holding them to two draws and just the one solitary Suwon win. However, these two teams met earlier this season, in late March, and Suwon reasserted their dominance on the fixture. A penalty from Waguiinho and Lim Sang-hyub's first ever league goal for the club were enough for Suwon to grind out a win against a toothless Daegu team.

Throughout the history of the K League Suwon have dominated this fixture and have amassed twenty one wins in total. A total which towers in comparison against Daegu's two wins. You even have to go all the way back to the 2009 season to find Daegu's last win against Suwon. And the grim reading for Daegu supporters continues as Daegu have never won an away game against Suwon Bluewings.

Team News

With the crucial second leg of that ACL game against Ulsan coming up next Wednesday you can expect that Seo Jung-won will make wholesale changes to his starting eleven. And on Thursday morning Suwon awoke to the disastrous news that star player and leader, Yeom Ki-hun, has fractured a rib and will be unavailable for up to two months. The injury puts to rest any hope that the veteran midfielder had of going to the World Cup and leaves Suwon lacking forward options over the coming weeks.

The likes of Matthew Jurman, Cho Won-hee, Park Hyung-jin and Kim Gun-hee will most likely be rotated back into the team. Whilst winger, Waguininho, will sit this game out as he serves the final game of his three match ban. But Seo Jung-won will have a selection dilemma to make as to who will feature in place of Yeom Ki-hun. It is likely that Lim Sang-hyub will come in to play on the left-hand side of attack. But many people are now suggesting that this would be the perfect opportunity to let talented youngsters, Jeon Se-jin and Yoo Ju-an, have some game time.

Daegu head north with almost a fully fit squad to choose from. Brazilian striker, Jean, is still unavailable, and wont be fit until after the World Cup. Other than that, with Kim Jin-hyuck returning from his suspension, Daegu have a full compliment of players.

The Adversary

Daegu's fine 2017 campaign left a lot of people expecting big things from the only foreign managed team in the K League. But nothing has gone to plan for Daegu this season and they currently find themselves propping up the rest of the teams in K League 1. The most worrying thing for Daegu is that, at this early point in the season, they are already five points adrift of Jeonnam in 10th place.

With only one win to their name all season (a home win against Gangwon in mid-April) Daegu are struggling to operate after the loss of their star Brazilians in the winter transfer window. The losses of Evandro to FC Seoul and Junior to Ulsan Hyundai have left the team struggling to score and their return of seven goals in twelve games is the lowest total in the league, by some way.

Currently on a run of five consecutive defeats, Daegu need to turn around their season, and quickly. If they can't do that soon then their brief stay in the top flight may well be coming to an end.

Who To Watch

Suwon are not in the greatest of periods right now, but with Daegu playing so poorly it would be natural to assume that Suwon will have at least a handful of opportunities to score a goal in this game. Therefore, the difference between a Suwon win and Daegu returning home with a result could well be Cho Hyun-woo, the Daegu goalkeeper. The South Korean international is Daegu's one prized asset and his emergence last year, and this year, has been a fairy tale story. His shot stopping ability, doubled with his excellent ball handling makes him one of the best goalkeeper's in the K League.

Prediction

Just two weeks ago, Suwon were sitting in second place in the league and looked set to challenge for the K League 1 title, whilst having a comfortable two legged affair to navigate in the ACL. However, a poor two weeks has seen them drop to third in the table, a full ten points behind first place, and they now have a mountain to climb to make it to the next round of the ACL. Excuses can be made and those four games did come against some of the best teams in the K League (Jeonbuk, Seoul and Ulsan). But the way that the squad has been managed in those games and the negative tactics taken into them left the players with no chance of achieving what could have been possible. The players themselves have given every ounce of effort in those games and should shoulder no blame at all. But mismanagement off the pitch has cost Suwon dearly.

It is lucky for them that they now come up against the worst team in the league and a team that has conceded goals left, right and centre this season. Suwon may have failed to have scored from open play in their last four games but this Daegu defence will surely offer them opportunities to rectify that. Suwon need to play with a confidence that has belied them recently, and they should aim to attack this fragile Daegu team from the first minute of the game.

This is the perfect opportunity for Suwon to lift themselves up off the floor and I fully expect them to do just that. And a victory this weekend could be the confidence boost they need going into Wednesday's vital fixture against Ulsan.

Suwon Bluewings 2-0 Daegu FC

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