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Preview: Sangju Sangmu vs Daegu FC

Preview: Sangju Sangmu vs Daegu FC K League 1
With a scenario where only goal difference separates 9th placed Sangju Sangmu and 10th placed Daegu FC, will Daegu be able to keep up their good form of late, or can Sangju get out of a relegation danger? Daegu FC correspondent Muyeol Jung previews this game.
(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Sangju visited Chuncheon to take on Gangwon FC last Sunday. Sangju were struggling to find a way to pass through goalkeeper Lee Beom-young, but a penalty was rewarded to the away team after VAR was consulted. But then, Gangwon levelled with a goal from Park Sun-ju ten minutes later. In the second half, Sangju took two steps forward after curling ball from Yoon Bit-garam and another strike from Shim Dong-woon. Uroš Đerić pulled one back halfway through the second half, but they were unable to draw level. This was Sangju's first win in nearly two months.

Highlights: here

Meanwhile, Daegu travelled to the capital city to face off against FC Seoul. Ahead of this clash, the situation was not favourable to Daegu as defender Hong Jung-woon and diligent winger Jung Woo-jae were not available for selection. However, there was no sign of their absence in the game. Jang Sung-won, another rookie, had an unforgettable debut. The deadlock was broken on 35 minutes by Kim Dae-won after am outstanding bit of team play in the build up involving by Edgar, Cesinha, and Kim Dae-won. Tactically, defensive midfielder Ryu Jae-moon played an important role, stepping up when the team had possession, but positioned himself in between the two centre backs when in defence, forming a back five.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The latest clash between the two sides was on 11th July in Sangju after the World Cup break. Daegu travelled to North Gyeongsang with a bolstered squad which included World Cup hero Cho Hyun-woo. It was expected to be easy for the visitors because of captivating performances by Brazilian trio Edgar, Ze Roberto and Cesinha in previous game, but the Sky Blues had heavily huffed and puffed to create chances right up until the fourth official signalled for added time. After which, Daegu went ahead thanks to Hong Jung-woon's thrilling header from Cesinha’s lovely corner kick. The towering defender soared up inside the box and ushered it into the net. This goal proved to be an important one for Daegu as the win was the starting point for a run of good form.

Since 2017, when both sides returned to K League 1, these two teams have met six times. Daegu have claimed two wins with three draws, while the soldiers have one win earlier in the campaign.

Team News

Last Sunday, Daegu pulled off another 2-0 upset after beating FC Seoul 2-0 away, building on the win over Suwon Bluewings at Blue Arc in the last round. It was undeniably a perfect game for Daegu. The way Daegu carved out Seoul’s defence was very effective on the counter-attack and Cho’s replacement, Choi Young-eun, looked very composed between the sticks, proving that he is capable enough to compete with Cho for the number one stop for the remainder of this season. Testament to the performance, Edgar, Cesinha, Jang Sung-won and Choi Young-eun were all named in the official K League Round 28 BEST XI.

This Tuesday, Daegu's first team squad and members of Andre's backroom staff were seated in the stands watching the Daegu Reserve lose 3-0 to Daejeon Citizen Reserves. Apart from the game, Andre’s lads looked relaxed and and in a jovial mood. It seems as, considering the team's recent run of good form, the team’s morale couldn’t be better. Whatmore, for the trip to Sangju, Jung Woo-jae and Hong Jung-woon will return to the squad after serving suspensions.

However, there are other suspended players for this game. Captain Han Hee-hoon and Park Byung-hyun are not available. Their places are likely to be filled by Kim Jin-hyuk and the returning Hong Jung-woon. Injury-wise, Japanese midfielder Nishi Tsubasa is unlikely to feature here after he was subbed off at early into the first half in Daegu's previous game with what looked like a hamstring injury. There’s no official announcement, but Coach Andre may not want to push him to play with injury in a circumstance where Hwang Soon-min is ready to take over the role.

In addition, World Cup star Cho Hyun-woo has returned to team after his involvement with Asian Games gold medal-winning Korea U23s. Cho rejoined team training on 19th September after a short injury layoff but it is still unclear whether we can see him this Saturday. Daegu manager Andre stated in post-match interview that Cho will not play until he becomes 100% fit. With his understudy, Choi Young-eun, performing well, Cho Hyun-woo is unlikely to start this weekend.

The Adversary

Since the World Cup break, the military side has been steadily sinking. Up until the last game, they have managed to record a single win out of 14 games from all competition. Even though the military side successfully added another win since 28th July, they are still in a danger of being relegated. Sangju sit in ninth place in the K League 1 table, level on points with tenth placed Daegu.

Currently, Sangju have somewhat restricted resources within the squad followed the discharge of 17 players who returned to their parent clubs. At their disposal, Sangju don’t have a poacher upfront and have to use Park Yong-ji who is normally considered winger more than as a striker. He will be supported by Shim Dong-woon, Yoon Bit-garam and Kim Min-woo.

Prediction

It’s a crunch time for Daegu. A win over Sangju here will not only send Daegu farther away from relegation zone, but also make it feasible to getting into top six. Considering current forms, Daegu are likely to win.

Sangju Sangmu 1-2 Daegu FC






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