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Preview: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors vs Daegu FC

K League 1 Preview: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors vs Daegu FC

After arresting their slide against FC Seoul at the weekend, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will look to consolidate that victory with a further three points on Wednesday evening. However, they face a Daegu FC side not only enjoying some much improved performances recently, but have also caused headaches for the champions in the not too distant past. With a relegation six pointer being played out elsewhere, can Daegu force an upset against the league leaders in Jeonju?
(Photo via K League)



Last Time Out

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors quelled any murmurs of poor form with a solid, if not a spectacular 2-0 victory away to bitter rivals FC Seoul. After their abysmal performance against Pohang a few days prior, Choi Kang-hee needed to arrest the slide and would have been pleased with this showing. Jeonbuk managed to both limit their opponents' chances on target, whilst also carving open a number of opportunities themselves without exposing their defence.

Centre-back Choi Bo-kyung opened the scoring from a corner, tapping in a headed down ball at the far post. VAR was called into play, but correctly ruled that the goal should stand. Son Jun-ho doubled the visitors lead not far from time, with a splendidly struck shot from outside of the box that clipped the inside of the post on the way in.

Highlights can be found here

Daegu FC, after finding a run of form to lift them away from the relegation zone, finally tasted defeat once more, yet still managed to put in a performance perhaps not fully deserving of a loss. Some poor finishing in the first half from the hosts was enough to alert the Horangi to the threat being posed, with the visitors opting to change things in the second half. As Ulsan grew in strength, Daegu could consider themselves lucky when former Daegu man Junior failed to convert from the spot. With tiredness setting in for the hosts though, Ulsan's Park Yong-joo broke Daegu's resolve with a close range header, before Junior did finally get his goal to give the visitors a somewhat undeserved victory.

Highlights can be found here

Team News

Choi Chul-soon will be available for selection after sitting out the weekend’s match due to suspension, but given his side kept a clean sheet in his absence, manager Choi Kang-hee may consider keeping Park Won-jae at left back instead. Goalkeeper Hwang Byeong-keun may also keep his starting spot despite recent poor showings, thanks to his clean sheet and featuring in the league’s best eleven for the round at the weekend. The manager may see this match against lower table opposition as an opportunity to build on that positive display and subsequently his confidence as Jeonbuk’s AFC Champions League quarter final tie looms.

In terms of absentees, goalkeeper Song Beom-keun, centre-back Kim Min-jae and defensive midfielder Jang Yun-ho are all still at the Asian Games thanks to Korea’s progression from their group, whilst Kim Min-jae is the only injury concern as he continues his long road to recovery. Right winger Han Kyo-won will also be absent after collecting his third yellow card of the season against FC Seoul and will likely be replaced by Tiago.

Having recently found form before the weekend’s result, Daegu’s manager Andre has barely changed his line up for the last few matches. Our Daegu columnist Jung Muyeol had this to say:

"Daegu have no players suspended, but a few players in doubt. There could be some possibility of rotation in the midweek game due to fatigue, but I suspect that Andre’s selection will be similar to before."

"The Brazilian Edgar surprisingly returned to the squad earlier than expected, but Cesinha has been ruled out for two games and is expected be out here. There is no official confirmation on his injury but it is thought to be his knee. Former Jeonbuk player Cho Suk-jae is also unlikely to feature here in the circumstances where other young players like Kim Dae-won and Jung Seung-won are doing well in attacking. Upfront, Zé Roberto is expected to stand alongside the youngsters. In midfield, Kang Yun-koo, Hwang Soon-min, Ryu Jae-moon, and Jung Woo-jae will line up from the left to the right. Captain Han Hee-hoon, Hong Jung-woon and Park Byung-hyun will likely form the back three and protect goal with Choi Young-eun between the sticks. Choi is the replacement of Jo Hyunwoo representing the nation in the Asian Games 2018 and is doing pretty well unlike big concerns on him."

The Adversary


"A 2-0 defeat on last Saturday against Ulsan halted Daegu’s three wins in a row. Andre’s men effectively dominated the first half, creating many chances but failing to find the back of net. In the second half, Andre brought Edgar and Park Han-bin in to shore up the attacking, but fell to Ulsan 2-0 in the end. Towards the end of the ninety minutes, Daegu players were looking exhausted due to highly accumulated fatigue. The scoreline didn’t fairly reflect the game, but it was a great performance by the hosts."

"Meanwhile, there is only four points difference in points between Daegu and Jeonnam thanks to a stunning 6-4 win over Suwon. Considering the fact that Jeonnam face Incheon elsewhere, a four points gap is not looking as safe as it once was for Daegu."

By Jung Muyeol

Prediction


With the AFC Champions League quarter final first leg one week away, this is probably Jeonbuk manager Choi Kang-hee’s last chance to field a strong starting eleven, with the idea being to rest key players at the weekend against Sangju Sangmu. Victory is therefore not only required to maintain their lead over Gyeongnam during a round of rotation, but also to build momentum ahead of what will be their biggest match so far this campaign.

Daegu have faired well performance wise against Jeonbuk in recent meetings, yet have not picked up the points to show for it. Given their inability to convert in their previous outing, and Jeonbuk’s need to win this match so they can afford to rest players at the weekend, it’s difficult not to envisage the same happening again here.

The away side might be able to eek out a goal against a ‘keeper trying to find form, but their defence will likely struggle to hold out Jeonbuk’s attack.

Predicted Score: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2-1 Daegu FC

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