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Preview: Daegu FC vs Jeonnam Dragons

Preview: Daegu FC vs Jeonnam Dragons K League 1
After the international break, Daegu FC will host Jeonnam Dragons at Daegu Stadium for the last game before the split. Andre’s boys had a good go of making it into top six for the first time in the club’s history but failed in their attempts after their 2-1 loss to Incheon. Meanwhile, Kim In-wan’s side have performed extremely well and pulled off a huge win over FC Seoul 1-0 at home last time out. This Saturday, anything less than three points means either side could be in real trouble heading into the Relegation Round. Daegu FC Correspondent Muyeol Jung and Jeonnam Dragons Correspondent Aodan Halligan preview this clash.
(image via K League)


Last Time Out

Daegu FC 1-2 Incheon United

Daegu hosted Incheon at home in the aftermath of the typhoon which hit Gyeongsang Province. At the time, Daegu were hoping to get into top six and might have strengthened their chances with a win but it was the visitors who opened the scoring first. Costa Rican playmaker Aguilar found Moon Seon-min breaking the line behind and Moon lobbed the ball over Jo Hyun-woo. After going 1-0 down, Daegu quickly responded with Jung Seung-won’s goal inside the box. The second half started in a similar fashion to the first; Incheon's Mugoša managed to find a way to pass through Jo after a couple of efforts were previously denied. Afterwards, Daegu tried to find an equaliser but were not able to find the net.

Highlights: here

Jeonnam Dragons 1-0 FC Seoul

Jeonnam picked up a huge by beating FC Seoul 1-0 at home thanks to Heo Yong-joon’s volleyed effort. It wasn't all plain sailing for Heo, though as the 25 year-old midfielder got sent himself sent off, picking up a second booking following a scuffle with FC Seoul captain Go Yo-han. The win narrowed the gap between the Dragons and safety to just two points. FC Seoul, meanwhile, are now just three points above the relegation playoff place.

Highlights: here


Previous Meetings

This season these two sides have clashed on two occasions with both matches ending as 1-1 draws. The first meeting was in Daegu on March 31st when the first win in this season looked to be within Daegu’s grasp until Choi Jae-hyun equalised from the corner kick for the Dragons. A similar scenario played out in Gwangyang too back in May just prior to the World Cup break. Daegu’s substitute midfielder Park Han-bin put the ball the back of net when they were trailing 1-0 heading into stoppage time to salvage a point. However, Saturday's match will feel a bit different as the two games were played with former Jeonnam manager Yoo Sang-chul at the helm, and Daegu hadn’t brought in striker Edgar yet.

Overall they have played each other 38 times with Daegu winning 11, Jeonnam winning 15 and 12 games ending in draws.


Team News

During the international break, Daegu's first team once again travelled down to Namhae for intensive training. Around 22 first team players were included except Jo Hyun-woo who was away on international duty.

Approaching this game, the Sky Blues have no suspended players nor injured players in the first team squad. Japanese midfielder Tsubasa has returned to the team from his injury which he picked after just his fourth appearance of the season. Having him back either on the pitch or on the bench will be a certainly plus for Daegu who are suffering from lack of creativity and quality passes.

Korea international goalkeeper Jo Hyun-woo is now back to the team after international duty. During the break, he appeared on the second friendly game on Tuesday against Panama when Korea had to settle for a 2-2 draw despite going 2-0 up. Including the Panama game, interestingly, Jo Hyun-woo has conceded two goals in five of his last six matches for club and country: against Sangju, Gyeongnam, Pohang, Incheon, and Panama.

However, eight goals conceded from Daegu's last four games in the league is not to be entirely Jo’s fault. Daegu’s defenders were seen losing concentration or giving the ball to the opposition too easily and so how well the defence will perform will be another point to note.


The Adversary

After two successive league losses, Jeonnam Dragons returned to winning ways last time out with a crucial 1-0 victory over FC Seoul that has given them a much-needed boost in their fight for K League 1 survival. The win also brought the Dragons to within six points of this weekend’s opponents Daegu FC and handed head coach Kim In-wan his fifth league victory this season. And despite having only managed the Dragons for two months, Kim has already matched predecessor Yoo Sang-chul’s league points total (16) and presided over more league victories (5-4). In fact, Kim’s five wins came from just eight matches (giving him a win percentage 62.5%), whereas Yoo oversaw only four victories in his 24 games in charge (16.25%).

Jeonnam still have bottom-placed Incheon United breathing down their necks, though, and thus need another good result this weekend. However, Daegu also badly need points to stave off the threat of relegation and will be confident of claiming all three as they are at home and haven’t been beaten by the Dragons in the last four meetings. Furthermore, Daegu have been one of the form teams in Korea’s top tier over the past few months and even enjoyed a five-game winning streak between August and September. So, the Dragons will have to bring their A game to South Korea’s fourth biggest city and hope that nobody joins Ha Tae-goon on their injury list before Saturday. Of course, the international fixtures provided much needed respite for Jeonnam - who were forced to play their last five games in just 13 days. Therefore, the visitors should be fully recharged and will no doubt take confidence from Incheon United’s victory in Daegu on October 6th.

By Jeonnam Correspondent Aodan Halligan


Who To Watch



Nishi Tsubasa joined Daegu during the summer transfer window. Since then, many K League fans including Daegu have not had many opportunities to see him play as the Japanese was sidelined for such a long time. Once he made his first appearance as substitute, he instantly replaced Hwang Soon-min from the next game. Unfortunately, during his fourth game, he was subbed off due to injury. Judging by his inclusion in the training camp, he seems to be ready to play again. It might be too early to say, but he is a pass master in the central area, supplying balls into the strikers or each side rather than passing back to defenders. His pass success percentage is 86% with majority of them being forward passes.


Prediction

Due to the importance of this game, both sides are likely to approach the game with extra carefulness and may even settle for a point.

Daegu FC 1-1 Jeonnam Dragons



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