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Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs Suwon Bluewings

Two teams in desperate need of a victory meet on Sunday evening, when Suwon Bluewings travel south to face the Jeollanam-do based Jeonnam Dragons. Three league games without a win has seen Suwon give up vital ground in the chase for ACL qualification, whilst the home team are looking increasingly destined for the drop to K League 2. But a single victory could just well be the solution to their problems. 

Last Time Out

On Wednesday evening, Suwon crashed to another humiliating defeat against their biggest rivals, FC Seoul. A beautifully worked goal from Dejan Damjanovic put the hosts ahead, after fine individual play from Yoo Ju-an. The legendary Seoul striker classily declined the invitation to celebrate against his former team and could have scored more as Suwon went on to dominate the first half.

However, some catastrophic defending gave Seoul a way back into the game. Suwon began the second half as they left the first, attacking and camped in their opponents own half. But they were exposed from their own attacking corner. An easy clearance from the FC Seoul defence was met by Kwak Kwang-seon, on the edge of the Seoul area, and the defender inexplicably passed the ball 5 yards behind him to Shin Jin-ho. Kwak further compounded his error by sliding in, missing his tackle, and leaving Suwon exposed to the pace of Go Yo-han and Cho Young-wook. Shin's precise passl fell to the former, and Seoul's World Cup star unleashed a vicious strike to bring the away team level.

Seoul broke Suwon hearts in the 2nd minute of injury time, when yet more lackadaisical defending gave Anderson the chance to collect the ball, with his back to goal, spin, and nestle the ball in the corner of the net. As the Seoul fans were sent into ecstasy, the Suwon faithful could only watch on in despair, realising that it is now 13 games since their team beat Seoul in the league.

Match highlights can be found here. 

Meanwhile, Jeonnam sank to a crushing home defeat against out of form Gangwon FC. Jeonnam, to their credit, had created half chances during the game and could have nicked a win on another day. But with the game petering out into a 0-0 draw, a mistake by Jeonnam defender, Heo Jae-won, handed the game to Gangwon. The defender played a pass into the shins of K League 1 top goalscorer, Djeric. The towering forward was left with a free run at goal and he rounded the goalkeeper superbly to give Gangwon their first win in four games.

Match highlights can be found here. 

Previous Meetings

Jeonnam won the first encounter between the two teams, in 2018, when they met on the first game of the season. Wanderson's deflected free kick put the visitors in front but Lee Ki-je drew the hosts level 14 minutes later. Choi Jae-hyun's 91st minute glancing header from a Jeonnam corner gave Jeonnam the win they deserved.

Suwon avenged that defeat just a few weeks ago when they beat Jeonnam 2-0. A headed goal from Waguininho and a rare strike from Kwak Kwang-seon was enough to ensure that Suwon ran out as comfortable winners.

The Adversary

In short, Jeonnam are having a catastrophic season. After that promising start against Suwon, on the opening day, Jeonnam then went on a seven game winless run, leaving them rock bottom of the league. They haven't really moved from the bottom of the table since then and only have three league wins to their name this season.

The team was plunged into further misery in midweek, when the news broke that manager, Yoo Sang-chul had resigned. The club instantly announced former Daejeon Citizen manager, Kim In-wan as his replacement. However, Kim has a less than favourable record in the K League and the question on everyone's minds is how can he turn Jeonnam's fortunes around?


Team News

Suwon could, and possibly should, make sweeping changes after their capitulation against FC Seoul. Yoo Ju-and and Dejan had fine games, and it was noticeable that Suwon's collapse came after Yoo had been substituted out of the game. Midfield dynamo, Elvis Saric, had a fantastic game in the Super Match and also must be considered for this game. Outside of these players though, the team should be aware that they are playing for their place in the squad and another showing like that in the second half could leave them sitting on the sidelines.

Waguininho, Shin Hwa-yong and Kim Eun-seon remain sidelined for the away team. But Lee Jong-sung made his return from injury in the Super Match and he could come in for his first start since late July.

Prediction

Suwon are completely out of form and that confidence sapping defeat on Wednesday may well still be in the back of their minds as they travel south. However, Jeonnam look to be defeated themselves and unless something drastic changes, they appear to be destined to be playing K League 2 football next season. It may well be a tight game, but Suwon should have what it takes to win their first game in four matches.


Jeonnam Dragons 0-1 Suwon Bluewings

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