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FA Cup Semi-Final Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs Daegu FC

FA Cup Semi-Final Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs Daegu FC
FA Cup fever is set to grip Gwangyang this Wednesday evening when Jeonnam Dragons take on Daegu FC in the semi-final of the competition. Can three-times champions Jeonnam progress to another final or will the in-form Daegu FC advance to the cup showpiece event for the first time in their history? Daegu FC Correspondent Muyeol Jung previews this clash.
(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Jeonnam Dragons 0-1 Sangju Sangmu

It was horrible afternoon for Jeonnam when they faced off against Sangju last Sunday. With only one point separating 10th placed Sangju and 11th placed Jeonnam, this clash was certainly a six-pointer. Jeonnam tried to open the scoring but their efforts were not effective enough to create any meaningful chances. Halfway through the second half, Yoon Bit-garam’s lovely volley broke the deadlock in the end and remained as the decisive goal when final whistle was blown.

Highlights: here

Incheon United 0-1 Daegu FC

The Sky Blues travelled up to the North to face off against the bottom side, Incheon. Right from the beginning, the hosts went for the win, while the visitors were cautious, sitting back and trying to capitalise through Kim Dae-won and Jung Seung-won on counter attack. Daegu’s plan was successful after Andre’s boys took the lead through an own goal from Bosnian defender Gordon Bunoza. Afterwards, the Durumi kept on attacking, but they failed to pass through Korean international goalkeeper Jo Hyun-woo.

Highlights: here


Previous Meetings

The last clash between them was on 20th October for what was the last game before the split in K League 1. Daegu came from behind to win 2-1 at home through goals from Edgar and Jung Seung-won. Before that, two previous clashes ended in 1-1 draws.

In the meantime, in the FA Cup, both teams have met two times in quarter finals in 2005 and 2006 with Jeonnam advancing through to the next round on both occasions.

Team News

Ahead of the first game of split against Incheon, there were significant concerns for Daegu’s as Edgar and Cesinha were not available for selection due to suspension. Also, diligent wing-back Jung Woo-jae was also ruled out due to ligament injury sustained in the previous game. However, Daegu managed withstand Incheon’s persistent effort and picked up a big win and with the two core players rested.

FA Cup Semi-Final Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs Daegu FC Andre Gaspar
Daegu Manager Andre has been in charge since 2016 (image via K League)
In press conference held on this Monday, Daegu manager Andre expressed his strong desire to reach the final for the first time in the Club's history. He also added that “I will put out my strongest team, including Cesinha and Edgar”. Approaching this game, Daegu have no suspended players, but some either remain doubtful or out of the squad in terms of injury.

First of all, Ze Roberto, who bagged himself four goals in the Cup, is out. Jung Woo-jae is also unavailable through injury. In the previous game, wing back Kang Yoon-ku and Jang Sung-won came off with what it looked like minor knocks but are likely to start again as there are no more options available to Daegu manager Andre

Meanwhile, Daegu have scored 15 goals and conceded only two goals in the competition. Versatile attacker Cesinha tops on scoreboard within the team with four goals level on Ze Roberto, followed by Park Han-bin with three goals, Kim Dae-won with two goals, and Kim Jin-hyuk and Jeon Hyun-chul with one goal each.

The Adversary

FA Cup Semi-Final Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs Daegu FC Kim In-wan
Under Kim In-wan (C) Jeonnam have 6 wins in 12 matches in all competitions (image via K League)
Jeonnam reach the semi-finals after beating Asan Mugunghwa 4-2 on penalties in the last 16, after a 2-1 win over Chuncheon Citizen and a 1-0 win over Pohang Steelers in rounds four and five respectively. Only the previous game was only played with interim manager Kim In-wan at the helm. Judging by starting list from three Cup games, backup players have been usually prioritised while first team squad are heavily rested.

In a press conference on Monday, manager Kim In-wan said that he was targeting both in response to being asked whether K League 1 survival or winning the cup was being prioritised. He also added that his lads are "keen to beat Daegu” as, from the rest of the semi-finalists, the Sky Blues are the only side they have failed to beat this season, having beaten Suwon and Ulsan already in 2018.

Despite his blatant desire to progress to the final, Coach Kim's selection is likely to go similar to what he has done previously. With a circumstance where Jeonnam need to concentrate more on the league rather than the Cup, a bit of mix of back-up players and bench players are likely to start with first team regulars likely to be rested on the bench.

Coming up this game, Jeonnam have no suspended players, but some remain doubtful. Brazilian attacker Macedo has not been involved with first team for two consecutive games. Australian defender Donachie has dropped out of team previously but could start as per the Dragons' most recent cup game. Central midfielder Han Chan-hee is also likely to start.

Prediction

Taking into consideration that Daegu are able to make 100% effort to the cup game given their 10-point cushion over the relegation playoff place, while Jeonnam are still struggling with survival in the first division, Daegu will be the favourites advance to the final.

Jeonnam Dragons 0-2 Daegu FC

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