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Preview: Incheon United vs Daegu FC

Preview: Incheon United vs Daegu FC K League 1
K League 1 has reached it's final stage of the season and the relegation battle is still wide open. Daegu FC travel to bottom side Incheon United knowing that a point should be enough to secure survival. Incheon United on the other hand can't afford to drop any points at this stage.
(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Jeonbuk Hyundai 3-2 Incheon United

Despite leading the game twice, Incheon United left Jeoju World Cup Stadium disappointed as the hosts, Jeonbuk Hyundai, celebrated their sixth title having sealed the K League 1 crown away to Ulsan the week previous. Incheon broke the deadlock early thanks to an excellent Stefan Mugoša finish following good work from Nam Jun-jae. Kim Shin-wook levelled via a strong header before Nam Jun-jae restored Incheon's lead just before half time. Sadly for Incheon, Jeonbuk rallied late in the second half and won via an Adriano free-kick and a winner from Lee Dong-gook. Incheon deserved more, but that's football sometimes.

Highlights: here

Daegu FC 2-1 Jeonnam Dragons

Daegu came from behind to claim a late win over relegation rivals Jeonnam Dragons. Jeonnam took the lead midway into the second half thanks to a Wanderson Carvalho penalty. But Daegu quickly regrouped and scored twice in the space of five minutes in order to claim an important three points. Edgar Silva scored the first, and then Jun Seung-won scored the winner fourteen minutes from time.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Incheon United and Daegu FC have played each other three times so far this season with the series all square. The first at the Sungui Arena Park ended 0-0, then these two sides traded 2-1 victories both at Daegu Stadium. The most recent was only a few weeks ago.

Daegu last beat Incheon away all the way back in 2008 at the Munhak Stadium, Incheon's previous home, and therefore never won at Sungui Arena. On 20th September 2008 a 2-0 victory, with goals from Jang Nam-seok and an own goal from Ahn Hyeon-sik.

Over the years Incheon and Daegu have played each other 37 times with Incheon edging the number of victories by fourteen to eight, but there have been fifteen draws between these sides.

Team News 

Incheon United will have no players suspended for Sundays game. Also a number of players are a booking away from a suspension including; Stefan Mugoša, Elias Aguilar and Lim Eun-soo.

Daegu FC, will be missing Cesinha and Edgar Silva due to suspension after they picked up bookings last weekend, but also have a number of players a booking away from a one match ban.

The Adversary 

Andre breathed a sigh of relief after his side dramatically came from behind to beat Jeonnam 2-1 at home. By earning a very important three points, Daegu head into the split round with a seven-points cushion above relegation playoff spot. Daegu’s starting XI has been quite predictable so far, however, approaching this game, this may not bethe case because of suspensions and injury.

First of all, Andre has to make forced changes to his usual selections as towering centre-forward, Edgar, and playmaker, Cesinha, are suspended after they picked up their third yellow cards. The 191-centimetre striker has bagged himself eight goals and is named among the top 10 goalscorers in the League, while Cesinha tops in assists table after recording his tenth in the last game. Their absence from the line up will certainly weaken the team’s strength, and will be replaced by Jeon Hyun-chul and Hwang Soon-min who maintained their match-fitness in a midweek reserve game against Gyeongnam. Kim Jin-hyuk could be named as the striker.

In terms of injury, diligent wing back Jung Woo-jae seems to be unavailable after he came off with a knee injury in the first half. Kang Yun-ku is expected to replace him. Captain Han Hee-hoon, dropped out of the squad, also due to a knee injury in round 32 but expected to return to the team after completing the full 90 minutes during the midweek reserve fixture with Gyeongnam.

Strategically, Daegu will sit deep in a 3-4-3 formation and wait for a chance to capitalise on the counter with youngsters Kim Dae-won and Jung Seung-won who both possess good pace. They will be backed up by Japanese midfielder Tsubasa who is capable of supplying good passes into the forwards.

by Muyeol Jung

Who To Watch

There have been few highlight moments this season for Incheon United, however a few players have at least kept safety from relegation in sight. Firstly up-front, top scorer Stefan Mugoša has sixteen goals so far this season, including three from his last three starts and another two for his country during international duty recently.

In midfield, national team member Moon Seon-min created the second goal this past weekend against Jeonbuk and he is also the League's top Korean scorer. Although committed and hard-working, Moon can struggle a little with fitness.

Finally, at the back keeper Jung San has improved in recent months and has been a key reason why Incheon have at least been drawing games recently rather than losing,  as was the case earlier in the season. However, the defensive line in front of him has sometimes left him a touch exposed.

For Daegu, with their main goal outlets Cesinha and Edgar Silva both suspended they'll be looking for added support from the back. Korean National Team goalkeeper Cho Hyun-Woo may well leave at the end of the season but he's been a vital asset once again this year in helping Daegu escape the heat of the relegation battle.

Prediction

Both sides come into this game with mixed form; Incheon have only five points from their previous five games, whilst Daegu FC have seven points.  This will be a close game, highlighted by their head-to-head records where more games have ended in draws. Also Daegu have never won at the Sungui Arena, which is good news for Incheon.

Incheon at this point really need to start winning games, last season they were able to rely on draws but that impossible now. Jørn Andersen's men will need to press forward and bring the game to Daegu, as the visitors will be missing a few upfront. The lineup will be similar to most of the season with a 4-2-3-1 formation with flying wing-backs again.

Overall it could be a close game with a few late goals and ending in a draw.

Predicted Score: Incheon United 1 - 1 Daegu FC

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