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Preview: Daegu FC vs Incheon United

Preview: Daegu FC vs Incheon United K League 1
Ahead of Saturday's relegation six-pointer between Daegu FC and Incheon United, the mood amongst the two squads is somewhat contrasting. Daegu FC seem to have bounced back after mercilessly slaughtering K3 Advanced side Yangpyeong 8-0 at home, while Incheon United surprisingly became the victim of upset by National League side Mokpo City in the midweek FA Cup 5th Round. With just a one-point gap between them, will Daegu take further steps away from the relegation battle, or will Incheon pick up a win and leapfrog Daegu? Daegu FC Correspondent Muyeol and Incheon United Correspondent Tim Barnes previews this crucial clash.
(image via K League)


Last Time Out

After a 3-1 victory over Gangwon, Daegu manager Andre was conservative once again in his selection for the FA Cup clash against Yangpyeong FC. Key players in midfield Hwang Soonmin and Ryu Jaemoon were only rested on the bench, the other players started as usual. Daegu players were struggling to create chances due to high pressure from the visitors until Kim Jinhyuk put the ball into the net from set piece at midway of the first half. Afterwards, Kim Daewon made it 2-0 before half time.

As soon as the second half get started with Cesinha introduced from the bench a goal feast broke out. Cesinha demolished the visitor’s defensice line and his movement and through passes created a lot of chances to the teammates. So, within ten minutes, four goals were scored and the visitors seemed to lose motivation and looked daunted. After that, Daegu did not pull in the reigns. At 80 minutes, creative midfielder Park Hanbin completed a hat-trick and made it 8-0. Even though it was against a K3 League side, it was the record win for Daegu and was good to let some players get some much-needed minutes.

Highlights: here

Incheon United were knocked out of the FA Cup by National League side Mokpo City, losing 2-1 despite taking the lead. Lim Eunsu put the K1 side in front after two minutes only for the South Jeolla side to turn the game in its head. Yang Sekeun sent in a glancing header midway through the second half, Yang added his second deep into injury time with a sublime free-kick into the bottom left-hand corner of Jung San's goal.

Highlights: here


Previous Meetings

Since Daegu were promoted to K League 1 prior to 2017 season, Daegu have clashed with Incheon five times including this year's game and all of which is a draw. On 17 Mar 2018, Daegu travelled to the north to take on Incheon at Sungui Arena where neither sides found the net in the end. Daegu were extremely unstable in defence and gifted several chances to the hosts but Korea international Cho Hyunwoo constantly denied. In stoppage on the counter-attack, Daegu’s Brazilian Caion luckily encountered Incheon’s goalkeeper, but fired straight at the woodwork.

In 2017 Daegu and Incheon met each other four times in the league and all of which ended in a draw. Both teams approached each other cautiously, perhaps aware of how critical the consequences would be if either were to suffer defeat.

Team News

Daegu dressing room’s atmosphere is looking vibrant at present. Despite Brazilian striker Edgar still being side-lined, Daegu youngster Kim Daewon is on fire and having Cesinha back in the squad is certainly good news. Youngster Jung Seungwon is proving to be a nuisance upfront, even though he has not scored yet. Actually, Daegu have been strategically raising rookies for long time and now it is paying off after the hardship in the first half of the season and could play a crucial role in this game as well. Daegu have no players ruled out through suspension but will be without goalkeeper Cho Hyunwoo who is part of the South Korea squad for the forthcoming Asian Games.

Incheon United will also have no suspensions to be concerned with but wing back Kim Jinya will be absent after joining up with the South Korea Asian Games squad this week. Midfielders Moon Seonmin and Appiah-Kubi are both recovering from minor injuries, and therefore could be in the squad but might not play the full 90. Kubi made his first start since May during the 2-1 home defeat to Mokpo in the FA Cup having come on as a substitute to level against Pohang Steelers last weekend.

The Adversary

Incheon United have let their foot off the gas in the past week losing to Pohang Steelers in the league and then falling to a shock defeat to National League side Mokpo City in the FA Cup. They lost both games deep into injury time, adding to the disappointment. Incheon are still 11th the league, but level on points with bottom side Jeonnam Dragons.

The Durumi's main weakness all season has been a fragile defence that has the worst record in the league, it also cost them a chance at the cup. Norwegian manager Jørn Andersen hasn’t had a wonderful start to K League management, but heading into the game against Daegu FC I don’t see many changes to the starting XI that faced Pohang last Saturday.

Based on recent league games, Montenegian international forward Stefan Mugoša will be the main danger going forward for Incheon United. He has 11 goals so far this season.

by Tim Barnes

Who To Watch

Jung Woojae in action against Jeonnam Dragons (Image via K League)
Daegu midfielder Jung Woojae, has been a very consistent member of the team. His original position is on the left side of midfield but recently he is deployed to the right. He is certainly not a big name to other teams’ fans, but for Andre and the supporters, he is steadily becoming the apple of their eyes. Jung joined Daegu in 2016 in permanent deal after Chungju Hummel were dismantled. Whilst not being an overly skilful sort of player, he has an extraordinary work ethic and good movement, pace, and can dribble.


Prediction

Because of the importance of this game to both, this game will likely end in another draw.

Daegu FC 2-2 Incheon United






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