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Preview: K League 1 Round 20

Preview: K League 1 Round 20
Attentions turn back to the bread and butter of the league after some FA Cup drama in midweek. The likes of Sangju Sangmu and Gangwon FC will be looking to react after falling to lower league opposition in Yangpyeong and Gimhae respectively. The army side take on Pohang Steelers, who themselves were left reeling from a home defeat to Jeonnam Dragons, whilst Gangwon are involved in the K League Worldwide Live match of the week, heading to Big Bird to take on third place Suwon Bluewings. All that and much more in your comprehensive guide to K League 1 Round 20.
(image via K League)

Saturday 28th July

#SEOvGYE: FC Seoul (8th) Vs Gyeongnam FC (2nd) 19:00

A repeat of the midweek FA Cup 4th round tie, this time with Seoul's turn to host, see's second-placed Gyeongnam make the long trip north to the capital. The two sides needed penalties to separate each other on Wednesday, continuing with the trend of stalemates. The last seven meetings, including six in the league, have all ended in draws but a similar outcome come Saturday won't do either side much good. Gyeongnam are just a point above Suwon Bluewings in third, whilst FC Seoul are still four points off the top six and will be determined to bounce back from the Gyeongin Derby defeat to Incheon United last week. Serbian striker Bojan Matić may be inline to make his home debut for Seoul, Gyeongnam will be looking to Marcão for inspiration. The 24-year-old Brazilian has 13 for the season but missed the decisive penalty that sent FC Seoul through to the next round of the cup on Wednesday.

Full preview: here

#JNDvINC: Jeonnam Dragons (10th) Vs Incheon United (12th) 19:00

A true relegation six-pointer featuring two teams that will be desperate to pick up the three points come Saturday sees Jeonnam Dragons and Incheon United go at it in Gwangyang. Just three points separate these two sides ahead of Saturday's basement battle and so a win for either team could prove invaluable. Likewise, both head into Saturday's match on the back of FA Cup victories, the hosts displaced their POSCO counterparts Pohang Steelers whilst Incheon comfortably dispatched K3 side FC Pocheon. However, in the league both the Dragons and the Durumi have just one win in five and each of the last three meetings have all ended in draws.

Full preview: here

#SANvPOH: Sangju Sangmu (9th) Vs Pohang Steelers (7th) 19:30

Hoping to put their FA Cup exit behind them, Pohang Steelers make the short trip in land to take on Sangju Sangmu. The Steelers have hit a bit of form in the league in recent weeks, winning their last two on the spin and are unbeaten in three. Sangju, however, are on a dismal run having lost their last five on the bounce, six in all competitions having been the victims of a 'cupset' in midweek after losing to K3 Advanced strugglers side Yangpyeong on penalties. A win for Pohang could see Cho Soonho's side move into the top six whilst a Sangju victory would put daylight between themselves and the bottom three.

Full preview: here

Sunday 29th July

#DAEvJHB: Daegu FC (11th) Vs Jeonbuk Hyundai (1st) 19:00

Life without Lee Jaesung will begin for Jeonbuk Hyundai with the trip to North Gyeongsang to take on relegation-threatened Daegu FC. Jeonbuk's stronghold over the K1 summit stands at 14 points heading into round 20 with a second successive title seemingly a foregone conclusion. The Green Warriors have won five out of the last seven meetings and haven't lost to Daegu since 2012. Furthermore, should Daegu pull of an upset they will have to do so without World Cup hero and Asian Games-bound Cho Hyunwoo. The 26-year-old custodian was sent off for handling the ball outside the area during Daegu's 2-0 defeat away to Ulsan and so will serve a two-match ban. The highly-rated stopper's involvement in the Asian Games means that Daegu will be without his services until September.

Full preview: here

#SSBvGAN: Suwon Bluewings (3rd) Vs Gangwon FC (6th) 19:00

The K League Worldwide Live match for round 20 features two sides with ACL aspirations meet at Big Bird where Suwon Bluewings will host Gangwon FC. Suwon sit in third but just a point behind Gyeongnam who take on FC Seoul this Saturday. Should the Bluewings better Gyeongnam's result, Seo Jungwon's men would move into second place. Both sides had rather contrasting results in midweek; Suwon comfortably dispatched Gimpo Citizen in a 6-1 demolition whereas Gangwon were the victims of a real upset, losing 2-1 to National League side Gimhae FC. Gangwon fielded a strong team with leading scorer Uroš Đerić spearheading their attack and will be looking to their marksman when Song Kyungseop's men make the trip west. Bluewings were the victors in the last two meetings but lost the corresponding fixture almost a year ago by three-goals-to-two.

Official K League Preview: here

#JEJvULS: Jeju United (4th) Vs Ulsan Hyundai (5th) 19:00

Fourth take on fifth on the island on Sunday evening when Jeju United host Ulsan Hyundai. Both teams picked up wins in midweek to advance into the last 16 of the FA Cup, Jeju saw off the challenge of Korea University in a comfortable 4-1 win whist the Horangi eased their way past K2 side Suwon FC. Both teams head into Sunday's clash locked on 28 points with just a single goal separating them. A win for either side wouldn't be enough to see them overtake Suwon Bluewings in third but would go someway in warding off the chasing pack.

Full preview: here




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