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Preview: Jeju United vs Jeonnam Dragons

K League 2 Preview: Jeju United vs Jeonnam Dragons

Another match, another chapter in the winless streak for Jeju United as they fell 3-2 in midweek to Ulsan Hyundai at Munsu Stadium.  Jeonnam didn't fare much better, as they also went down to defeat in the Jeolla Derby by a 1-0 scoreline to Jeonbuk Hyundai.  Finishing in the bottom half is a very realistic possibility for the islanders, while the Dragons will do their utmost to climb further from the bottom of the table.  KLU's Branko Belan and Aodan Halligan preview the weekend fixture.

Match: Jeju United vs Jeonnam Dragons
Venue: Jeju World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday September 29th, 2018; 16:00 KST

Last Time Out

Ulsan Hyundai 3-2 Jeju United

The match got off to a quick start as both sides traded chances in the early going, and it would be Ulsan who nosed in front after only six minutes, when Junior Negrao beat the Jeju defence and put his low strike past Lee Chang-keun.  Jeju would draw level on 26 minutes from the penalty spot after Kang Min-su handled the ball in the area and Magno converted the spot kick.

Ulsan would go back in front on the half hour through Mix Diskerud, who took a pass high in the box from Kim In-sung, who had streaked in from the right, and beat Lee with another low shot.  Kim Seung-jun would add a third for the hosts six minutes later, courtesy of more good work down the right flank, having only a tap in for his trouble.

Jeju would pull a goal back after the break through Tiago, but could not manage to find an equalizer, and were reduced to ten men on 72 minutes after Cho Yong-hyung earned his second yellow card of the match for his second sending off on the season.  With only three matches remaining before the split, a finish in the bottom half is very much in the cards for United.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The first time these two sides met this season back in April, Jeju came away 3-0 winners, thanks to goals from Tiago, Lee Chang-min and Kim Hyeon-wook, but were aided by the fact that the Dragons had been reduced to ten men after only 55 minutes.  

Jeju also managed a 1-0 victory the second time around in May, but it was the islanders who were down a man after only ten minutes, and had to rescue the win through Magno Cruz, who found the back of the net with fifteen minutes remaining.

Team News

The loss of Oh Ban-seok is already being felt at the back, as the defender left the club for Emirati side Al Wasl, having been with Jeju from the beginning of his career in 2011.  Cho Yong-hyung will once again not be available for selection due to his sending off, and Kweon Han-jin was also booked, so his place in the team for the weekend could also be in doubt.  

All other players should be available for selection, but it will be curious to see what sort of lineup Cho Sung-hwan decides to go with, as with seemingly little to play for now, the continuing rotation from one match to the next will most likely field another questionable lineup.

The Adversary

"Dragons’ head coach Kim In-wan made nine changes to his team for the midweek game in Jeonju and left a host of stars out of his squad so most of his first-choice players should be fresh for this weekend’s game against Jeju.  And, since only one of those alterations was enforced on Kim (Macedo missed out due to suspension), perhaps Kim felt the Dragons have a better chance of beating Jeju on Saturday.  However, Jeju Island has proved an unhappy hunting ground for Jeonnam in recent years (the Dragons haven’t won there since 2011) so it remains to be seen if it was a wise decision.

Once again Jeonnam will most likely line up in a 4-3-3 formation and will hope to stop the hosts from grabbing an early lead by keeping hold of the ball.  Wanderson, Lee Sang-hyeon and Macedo will seek to cause the home side a lot of trouble with their pace and the Dragons will give a good account of themselves if they can keep it tight at the back.  With just six points separating these teams in the table, neither side can really afford to lose and thus I think we could be in for a score draw."


Jeonnam have been on much better form in the second half of the season, but still find themselves in the relegation zone, only three points ahead of bottom dwelling Incheon, who sit on 29 points.  A win would put them within three points of Jeju, and they will most certainly be looking to bounce back after a loss in midweek.

Jeju on the other hand just haven't been able to do much of anything right in the second half of the season, and, despite having beaten the Dragons on both occasions this season, their current form suggests that it will take a mountain of a task to put an end to their winless string which has lasted the entire second half up to this point.

It is Jeonnam who have more to play for in this one, and the greater sense of urgency for them should be enough for them to get the result they need.

Predicted Score: Jeju United 1-2 Jeonnam Dragons

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