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Preview: FC Seoul vs Sangju Sangmu

Preview: FC Seoul vs Sangju Sangmu K League 1
FC Seoul's final home fixture before the split sees Lee Eulyong's men take on Sangju Sangmu in a game that will be seen as an absolute must win for both teams. A defeat for Seoul will well and truly drag the capital club into the relegation dog fight - unthinkable just a month or so ago when Seoul still had realistic ACL aspirations. Wednesday's stalemate with Incheon United has left Seoul four points behind Gangwon in sixth but just five above Jeonnam in eleventh. Sangju, meanwhile, could drop into the relegation playoff place with a defeat whilst a win would see the army side leapfrog FC Seoul in the table.
(image via K League)

Overview

via Soccerway

Form

FC Seoul: LDLLD
Sangju Sangmu: DLWLL


Last Time Out

FC Seoul 1-1 Incheon United

For the second time this season FC Seoul and Incheon United played out a 1-1 draw at Sangam, except on this occasion it was the hosts who came from behind to salvage a point. Moon Seonmin put United in front on the stroke of half time with a well-taken strike into the far corner from the right-hand side, the Korean international winger was a constant thorn in Seoul's side all afternoon. However, 15 minutes into the second half, Go Yohan levelled things up with a real captain's goal, finding the bottom corner with a half volley from just inside the box following a corner from the right when the hosts were in desperate need of a goal. Both teams enjoyed spells of possession there after but neither side were unable to find a winner.

Highlights: here

Sangju Sangmu 1-2 Pohang Steelers


Sangju fell to their second straight defeat and fourth in seven games thanks to a 2-1 reverse at home to Pohang Steelers. Kim Dohyeong, who had recently finished his military service with Sangju Sangmu, came back to haunt his former club by giving the Steelers a sixth-minute lead, Kim Seungdae with the assist. Leo Gamalho doubled Pohang's advantage just shy of the interval with his sixth goal of the season, Lee Seokhyeon on hand to play the ball across to the Brazilian. In time added on Lee Taehee pulled one back for the army team but the goal proved to be mere scant consolation for the relegation-threatened side.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

FC Seoul may have had the advantage when these two sides last met, running out 2-1 winners in Sangju on 12th August, but at home Seoul have failed in their previous three attempts to overcome Sangju Sangmu. Sangju picked up a point against Seoul during their last visit to Sangam in April, drawing 0-0 in what proved to be Hwang Sunhong's final match in charge of FC Seoul.

Song Jinhyung FC Seoul goal Sangju Sangmu K League 1
Song Jinhyung celebrates scoring against Sangju Sangmu R22
Last season Sangju went one better by displacing Seoul on their own back yard, picking up a 2-1 win in June last year despite falling behind in the first half. Lee Seokhyeon put Seoul in front on 36 minutes before Hwang Soonmin levelled on 51. Kim Honam fired home in the 91st minute to turn the game completely on its head and seal an unlikely win for Kim Taehwan's men.

From the last 12 meetings Seoul have managed to pick up six victories against Sangju but only two of those victories have come at Seoul World Cup Stadium - a 4-0 win in March 2016 and a 2-1 victory in July 2014.

In total FC Seoul and Sangju Sangmu have faced each other 17 times (since 2011 when the army team moved from Gwangju to Sangmu). Seoul have 10 wins to their name, four at home and six away, whilst Gwangju have four wins, three at home and one away with the remaining three games ending as draws - all of which came at Sangam.

Team News

FC Seoul will have Anderson Lopes available for selection against following the Brazilian's one-match suspension. The former Sanfecce Hiroshima forward received two yellow cards in the space of 18 minutes during the 2-1 away defeat to Gyeongnam and so was forced to sit out the 1-1 draw at home to Incheon. However, left-back Yun Sukyoung will be ruled out after picking up his third caution of the campaign on Wednesday.

FC Seoul Anderson Lopes K League 1

Sangju wdon't have suspensions of which to concern themselves with but do have three players who are just one booking away from a one-match ban: defenders Kim Youngbin and Baek Dongkyu as well as forward Lee Taehee.

The Adversary

At the beginning of September, as is the norm for the army side, a large amount of players returned to their parent clubs. This year 17 members of the Sangju squad returned to their respective clubs after being discharged from military service. The result is a Sangju Sangmu squad that is somewhat depleted until the next batch of recruits join over the winter. However, still within their ranks are top scorer, Shim Dongwoon, as well as Yoon Bitgaram and Kim Minwoo. The trio are the only players in Kim Taehwan's squad that have amassed over 20 appearances this term.

The military side sit in tenth place, just two points behind FC Seoul and three points above Jeonnam Dragons in eleventh. A defeat at Sangam on Sunday, coupled with a Jeonnam win over Jeju, would result in Sangju dropping into relegation playoff place.

Formation wise, Kim Taehwan has largely stuck to a 4-1-4-1/4-5-1 with Suwon Bluewings' Kim Minwoo operating as a left full back of left winger, Yoon Bitgaram in the centre of midfield, and Shim Dongwoon either as the lone striker or in midfield. Song Siwoo, the on-loan Incheon United forward who has caused problems for FC Seoul before, started Sangju's last game on the right side of midfield.

Sangju Start XI vs Pohang R30

Who To Watch

Kim Minwoo


A versatile left-sided wing back who can operate as an orthodox full-back in back four, a wing-back in a back five or on as a left-sided attacker in a front three, Kim Minwoo is a very important player for Sangju Sangmu. Last season Kim Minwoo moved from Sagan Tosu in J.League 1 to Suwon Bluewings where he went on to make 27 appearances, scoring six goals and racking up six assists whilst predominantly playing at left wing-back. During those 27 appearances for the Bluewings the 28 year-old Korean international made 41 key passes. This term Kim Minwoo has 28 key passes to his name, that's the same amount as Kim Taehwan, who has since returned to Ulsan, and five more than creative midfielder Yoon Bitgaram. If Sangju are to pick up a result at Sangam, and indeed go on to avoid the drop again this term, then Kim Minwoo will be key for in helping the army team do so.

Prediction

It's the business end of the campaign and so the point which Seoul picked up against Incheon wasn't exactly what the team needed. But, the performance, in the second half especially, was encouraging and showed that Seoul do have something about them to try and create chances. The issue was putting away the chances created as Seoul made nearly 400 passes and had 11 attempts six on target and eight of the 11 shots on goal were from inside the box. If Lee Eulyong's men can play with a high tempo like the second half against Incheon, and can make the most of Shin Jinho, Ha Daesung, Go Yohan, and Cho Youngwook's passing and ability to create, Seoul might just get a result.

FC Seoul 1-0 Sangju Sangmu


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