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Preview: Jeju United vs Suwon Bluewings

K League 1 Preview: Jeju United vs Suwon Bluewings

Jeju United and Suwon Bluewings will play their re-scheduled K League 1 match on Saturday afternoon which was postponed in Round 25 thanks to the typhoon that ravaged the island.  Jeju come in still winless since beating Suwon in July, while the Bluewings dropped three points in a loss to Daegu last time out.  KLU's Branko Belan and Scott Whitelock look ahead to the match.

Match: Jeju United vs Suwon Bluewings
Venue: Jeju World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday September 8th, 2018; 16:00 KST

Last Time Out

Pohang Steelers 2-2 Jeju United

Jeju looked better than they have in a long time, but still could not manage a win as they allowed a second half equalizer with just over ten minutes to play after having briefly taken the lead against the Steelers.

The first half hour was relatively quiet, until Lee Chang-min played a long ball into the box that Kim Hyeon-wook was able to get under his control, before turning and firing home to put the islanders into the lead, leaving Pohang 'keeper Kang Hyun-moo rooted to the spot.  There was not much else to speak of in the first half, except for an injury to Woo Chan-yang, who got tangled up with Magno in an aerial duel, and eventually had to be carted off the pitch.

The match would go into another gear as Pohang leveled proceedings only two minutes after the break when Kim Ji-min found the back of the net with a strike from outside the area, that looked to have been deflected by Lee Chang-min.  It did not deter Jeju from going in search of the lead again, and they were in front for a second time on 74 minutes when Lee Chan-dong flew in at the far post unmarked from a corner to head home and restore the islanders' advantage.  It was short lived, however, as Kim Ji-min capitalized on some shoddy defending to net his second, which, in the end would be enough for both teams to share the spoils, as Jeju's search for an all-elusive win continues for at least another week.

Highlights: here

Daegu FC 4-2 Suwon Bluewings

Suwon's up and down form of late in league play continued as they fell by a pair of goals to Daegu, who are fighting for their K 1 lives as the season winds down toward the split.

The match got off to a flying start for the hosts, as they took the lead after only eight minutes, when Cesinha's free kick was headed home by Kim Eun-sun, the Suwon defender putting the ball into the back of his own net.  It did not take long for the Bluewings to draw level, as Lee Jong-sung tallied with a header after a quarter of an hour.

But, Daegu were back in front only four minutes later, when Edgar Silva, who Daegu signed from Thai giants Buriram United earlier in the season to beef up their attack, slotted in from close range after Cesinha had strolled half the length of the pitch, and put the finish on a plate for the Sao Paolo born striker.

Cesinha would himself get on the scoresheet on 35 minutes, when he collected a layoff from Jung Seung-won, turned in toward the box, and stamped a postcard strike into Kim Sun-woo's top right corner with a bit of help from the woodwork.  He would add his second on the hour mark to bag his brace with another effort from outside the area.

Suwon would pull a goal back through Yeom Ki-hun from a free kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time, but it was Daegu who took all three points and gave their chances of staying up for another season a kick in the right direction.

Highlights: here  

Previous Meetings

The teams have met twice this season, splitting the head-to-head between them, with Suwon winning in late March, thanks to a Dejan Damjanovic winner in the fifteenth minute, while Jeju exacted a bit of revenge with a 3-2 victory in July, when Kweon Han-jin headed home the winner two minutes from time.

Team News

One of the biggest knocks against Jeju this season is that they have done enough in order to compete with some of the other top teams in the league in terms of upgrading the talent on their roster.  It is for this reason that the club is very happy to welcome back Kim Ho-nam, Jin Dae-sung, and Lee Kwang-seon, all of whom recently completed their military service, and have returned from Sangju Sangmu.

Of the three, Kim figures to play a prominent role in coming back to the club where, in 2016, he scored eight goals in 31 appearances.  During his time with Sangju, he scored seven times in 32 matches.

Despite the fact that Kim Hyeon-wook and Park Jin-po both accumulated yellow cards against Pohang, all players should be available for selection, as Jeong Tae-wook also returns to the side following his participation with the Korean gold medal winning U-23 side at the Asian Games.

For Suwon, according to Scott Whitelock, as Suwon’s injuries pile up, they will travel to Jeju Island without, at least, five first team players. Waguininho, Park Ki-dong, Park Jong-woo, Shin Hwa-yong and Lee Ki-je all remain in the treatment room and unfortunately won’t feature in this game.

Elvis Saric, after sitting out the Daegu game, is expected to return to the starting line-up, following his one game ban. The two stars of the team, Dejan and Yeom Ki-hun, will again start up front. But with Yoo Ju-an struggling to influence games, as much as he did earlier in the season, there is an argument for Jeon Se-jin to come in and start his first game since early July.

Both Hong-chul and Shin Se-gye completed their military duty and returned to the club this week. But this game will probably be too early for them to feature and they are expected to fully re-join the squad for next week’s game.

The Adversary

Last week’s demolition, at the hands of Daegu FC, was a new low point in Suwon’s season and it’s difficult to see how they can pick themselves up after such a morale sapping defeat. They were never really in the game and the performance was in stark contrast to the one they had put in a matter of days previously, when they beat Jeonbuk 3-0. Suwon seemed to think that they could merely turn up and win the game, but a spirited, and skillful, Daegu team were full value for their huge win. The likes of Park Hyung-jin, Kim Eun-seon, Lim Sang-hyub and Yeom Ki-hun put in their poorest performances of the season, and despite their efforts, Dejan Damjanovic and Lee Jong-sung couldn’t rescue anything from the game. 

Suwon, after being imperious on the road for the last two years, have now failed to win an away game in the league in their last 5 attempts, with their last away win coming against Jeonnam over two months ago. One win in their last six league games has seen them plummet out of the ACL qualification equation and with Pohang gaining ground in recent weeks, they are in a dog fight to even hold on to 4th place in the table. 

Suwon desperately need a win in this game, but with injuries piling up and players out of form, that victory will be hard to come by. A good performance should be enough to lighten the mood around the club but it’s becoming increasingly more obvious that Suwon’s season depends on their performance in the ACL and not the K League.


Both teams have been on inconsistent form lately, Jeju especially, and to say the islanders have been inconsistent is actually a very big understatement.  Suwon are in the midst of progressing to the semi-final stage of the ACL, and so the match against Jeju will be a chance for them to round out their form ahead of their return leg against Jeonbuk at home on the 19th.

Overall, Suwon are the more talented side, but it will be interesting to see if any of the returning players will get any playing time on Saturday.  If they do, it could impact the final result.  At this point, it is Suwon who has more at stake with competitions on two fronts to consider, and so the Bluewings should figure to come out on top in this one.

Prediction: Jeju United 1-2 Suwon Bluewings

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