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Preview: Incheon United vs Jeonnam Dragons

Preview: Incheon United vs Jeonnam Dragons K League 1
There were chalk and cheese performances this past weekend from Incheon United and Jeonnam Dragons; Incheon were smashed 7-0 against Gangwon FC whilst Jeonnam Dragons won a goal fest 6-4 against K League giants Suwon Bluewings. But what will happen then these sides clash on Wednesday Evening in a relegation six pointer?
(Image via K League)

Last Time Out

Gangwon FC 7-0 Incheon United

Incheon United were completely dominated on Sunday evening over in Chuncheon. Gangwon FC took a quick three goal lead within twelve minutes and Incheon looked done from that point on. Serbian striker Uroš Đerić was the star of the show scoring four of the seven goals. Brazilian Diego Maurício bagged a brace, whilst Hwang Jin-sung also got in on the fun. Incheon barely worked the Gangwon 'keeper during the ninety minutes, and the defence looking lost and ready to jump on the bus home for basically the whole game. One to forget for Incheon fans.

Highlights: here

Jeonnam Dragons 6-4 Suwon Bluewings

Jeonnam Dragons battled to a well deserved three points this past weekend in a goal fest against Suwon Bluewings. Suwon took the lead, but Jeonnam bounced back quickly thanks to goals from Choi Jae-hyun and Wanderson De Macedo. However, Suwon started to put things together towards the end of the half and finished the opening 45 minutes a goal up at 3-2. Jeonnam then scored three goals in fourteen second half minutes to all but seal the vital three points. Dejan slotted home another for Suwon to make the closing stages interesting, but substitute Lee Sang-heon completed the victory in injury time.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Incheon and Jeonnam have played each other twice already this season with the first ending 2-2 and the second going to Incheon so Jeonnam will be looking to level the series.

Over the years Incheon and Jeonnam have played each other 45 times with the record edged narrowly by Jeonnam; winning 13 compared to Incheon's 12. Incheon last won at home in the League against Jeonnam all the way back in 2012, their only win so far against Jeonnam at the Sungui Arena Park. Jeonnam last beat Incheon away just last season 3-1.

Team News

Incheon United don't have any players suspended for Wednesday evening's game. However, a number of players are a booking away from a suspension including, Mugoša, Kang Ji-yong, Kim Dae-joong, Han Suk-jong, Appiah-Kubi and Go Seul-ki. Wing back Kim Jin-ya is away with the South Korea Asian Games squad next week. Midfielder Moon Seon-min played 70 minutes on Sunday following a recent injury and could be line for a full game on Wednesday.

Kim In-wan will undoubtedly make a few changes to his team for the Incheon game on Wednesday because the Dragons have to play their seventh game in 21 days against Pohang on Sunday. Veteran full back Choi Hyo-jin could be brought into freshen up the defence as Jeonnam had a lot of tired legs in defence and were all over the place back there last Sunday. Meanwhile, midfielders Vedran Jugović and Han Chan-hee also lacked their usual drive against Suwon so at least one of them should be rested against Incheon. Elsewhere, Macedo may miss the midweek game as he picked up a calf injury in the second half on Sunday, but had to stay on the field because the Dragons had used up all their substitutions at that stage. The team’s top scorer, Heo Yong-joon, got some more minutes on the field for the second game in succession, and even helped himself to two goals; thus, he should make the starting lineup for the first time since the 3-1 defeat to Pohang Steelers on July 21st.

Jeonnam team news by Aodan Halligan

The Adversary 

Kim In-wan’s second sojourn into football management started with a bang last Sunday as his Jeonnam Dragons side sank Suwon Bluewings 6-4 and climbed above Incheon United at the bottom of the table. Of course, Kim’s predecessor, Yoo Sang-chul, enjoyed a similar start with Jeonnam on March 1st after recording a 2-1 victory over the same opposition in Suwon, but things went downhill quickly after that and thus will this be another false dawn, or can Kim drag the Dragons up to safety?  Although Wednesday’s encounter with bottom-side Incheon United won’t provide a definitive answer to these questions, it could prove pivotal in the Dragons’ season as it gives them a chance to open up a five-point gap between themselves and their opponents and inflict further misery on a side that was embarrassed by Gangwon last Sunday.

Kim In-wan opted for a 3-4-3 against Suwon and his decision to play Macedo on the left-wing reaped dividends as the Brazilian helped himself to two goals and was a constant threat on the wing. Macedo, who was often left out or played centrally by Yoo Sang-chul, flourished in his new role and should start there again for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Kim will probably use a similar formation and try to put the hosts under pressure early as last Sunday’s trashing must have left a few scars. Regardless, if the Dragons wish to avoid automatic relegation, this is a game they really must win.

by Aodan Halligan

Who To Watch

Incheon United's top goalscorer and Montenegrin international striker Stefan Mugoša has eleven so far this season and despite having a few poor games recently, is always a danger moving forward. He already has four goals against Jeonnam this season, and will be looking to add to that tally on Wednesday.

Another foreign star for Incheon United this season has been Costa Rican midfielder Elias Aguilar. The on-loan Herediano man wasn't meant to be involved much at the weekend, but was brought on to steady an already sinking ship. He is currently the league's joint-second assist maker this season.

As for Jeonnam Dragons; Wanderson De Macedo was excellent against Suwon Bluewings as was 25 year-old Heo Yong-joon. Injuries permitting, the pair will be looking to push on and make an impact at the Sungui Area Park.

Prediction

Jørn Andersen will be feeling a huge amount of pressure coming into this one, with his Incheon side now bottom of the league. Following Sundays 7-0 trashing, he'll surely ring the changes and give a few fringe players a moment in the limelight. Jeonnam Dragons on the other hand will be looking to do the same as on Sunday, but maybe without the defensive errors. Caretaker boss Kim In-wan might be able a land himself a permanent contract if things go well on Wednesday.

Incheon can only hope that they can find some gaps in the Jeonnam defence, as this is unlikely to finish goalless based on the weekends results. However, both sides could well take things easy and play deeper as a defeat in this one could be costly. A draw, with both sides happy to not lose any ground on each other, might be the most likely outcome.


Predicted Score: Incheon United 1-1 Jeonnam Dragons

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