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Preview: FC Seoul vs Incheon United

Preview: FC Seoul vs Incheon United K League 1 Gyeongin Derby
FC Seoul and Incheon United head into the  fourth and final Gyeongin Derby of the season this Saturday with it all on the line. For Choi Yongsoo's FC Seoul side, a point would be enough to guarantee mathematical safety. However, Incheon make the short trip to the capital knowing that nothing else than a win will do for the Durumi to ensure their destiny is in their own hands on the final day of the season. 

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

FC Seoul 3-2 Jeonnam Dragons

Seoul picked up their first win in 13 by leaving it late to seal a massive three points at home to Jeonnam Dragons. Yun Jutae and Go Yohan started up front and within nine minutes, Choi Yongsoo's decision paid dividends with Go setting up Yun for the striker's first goal in over two years. Jeonnam levelled seven minutes later, however, via Choi Jaehyun who fired in a loose ball from a corner - Lee Jinam with the flick-on at the near post.

However, on 36 minutes the host were back in front after VAR had awarded them a penalty on account of a handball from Dragons skipper, Lee Jinam. Yun Jutae stepped up and found the bottom corner, sending Jeonnam goalkeeper Lee Hoseung the wrong way in the process. Seoul weren't safe yet, though, as Jeonnam pegged the hosts back for a second time, Lee Jinam atoning for his handball by converting from close range after Wanderson Carvalho had sent in a teasing cross towards the six-yard box.

Then, heading deep into stoppage time, FC Seoul were awarded another penalty - again with the help of VAR. This time Park Chuyoung was adjudged to have been brought down just inside the penalty area with his back to goal by Lee Jinam. Park Chuyoung fired in his third goal of the campaign, sending Lee Hoseung the wrong way in the 94th minute to seal the win.

Highlights: here

Gangwon FC 2-3 Incheon United

At Songam Stadium, Chuncheon, Incheon United made hard work of their 3-2 win over Gangwon FC last time out. The Durumi found themselves two goals to the good inside 19 minutes, first Mugoša with his 18th of the season on four, before Jung Dongyoon doubled the visitor's advantage 15 minutes later.

However, fellow K League United Newcomer of the Year nominee, Uroš Đerić, halved the deficit with his 24th of the campaign just shy of the interval. Scorer turned provider on 70 when Đerić teed up Dylan McGowan for Gangwon's second of the afternoon to restore parity.

But then, with little more than stoppage time remaining, Lee Jungbin netted a dramatic late winner to seal a huge three points for Incheon United. The win brought Jorn Andersen's men to within just a point of Sangju.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

FC Seoul have failed in their last three attempts to pick up a win over their Gyeongin Derby rivals, drawing twice at Sangam and losing by two-goals-to-one at Sungui Arena Park in July.

The first meeting of the season was back in April and, after a flat first half, Evandro had come off the bench to give Seoul the lead shortly after the restart. But, not for the first time in his career, supersub Song Siwoo levelled a late, late equaliser to ensure the spoils were shared.

In August, Lee Sangho gave FC Seoul a seventh-minute lead with a header from close ranger only for the game to be turned on its head by Nam Jaejun who scored within seven minutes of Lee Sangho, before Moon Seonmin earned himself hero status with the Incheon faithful with a well-taken winner in the 87th minute.

The most recent meeting between FC Seoul and Incheon United was in September when Moon Seonmin again proved to be a nuisance for the hosts. The Korean international winger gave his team the lead on the stroke of half time before Seoul skipper Go Yohan levelled on 61.

Overall, there have been 47 meetings, FC Seoul have 23 victories to Incheon's 10 and 24 draws. At Sangam, Incheon have won just once - a 3-2 victory in March 2013.

Team News

FC Seoul have no suspensions to concern themselves with for the forthcoming Gyeongin Derby and are set to welcome Bojan Matić back from injury. The Serbian striker has just one in an FC Seoul shirt since joining over the summer but has declared himself fit on social media and so is expected to make a return to the first team soon. Kim Seongjun is Seoul's only long-term absentee, the former Seongnam midfielder suffered a serious knee injury during the 1-1 draw with Ulsan Hyundai in July.

FC Seoul starting XI vs Jeonnam Dragons R36
Incheon United will not be without any first team players through suspension either but no fewer than 10 players are just one booking away from missing the final league game of the season. Influential midfielder Elías Aguilar and top goalscorer Stefan Mugoša have five cautions whilst, Kim Daejoong, Han Seokjong, Kim Jinya, and Nam Junjae have two.

The Adversary

With only two games of the 2018 season to play Incheon United are still deep in the relegation battle. However a vital 3-2 comeback victory over Gangwon FC two weeks ago helped move them away from Jeonnam and into a safer area. It was however only Incheon’s third win in nine games. One sad statistic heading into this game is that Incheon have only won once away against FC Seoul in twenty-five attempts.

Norwegian manager Jørn Andersen won’t make many changes from a winning side, as no players are currently suspended plus no key players are currently sidelined with major injuries. However internationals Moon Seonmin travelled to Australia, Stefan Mugoša to Europe (Montenegro and Serbia) and Elias Aguilar to South American (Chile and Peru) so they’ll be tired and possibly jet-lagged. Moon Seonmin scored for South Korea on Tuesday evening in a friendly against Uzbekistan, finally bringing some of his K League form to the national team. His pace and commitment will be vital for Incheon on Saturday afternoon.

Incheon have a poor record in the Gyeongin Derby away from home, but this is almost a super derby as a win will be so important in the relegation battle. FC Seoul really only need a draw and therefore I see them lining-up defensively and looking to counter. A draw for Incheon might not be enough but it could well be the final outcome from this one, much like the two previous meetings at Sangam this season.

Incheon United starting XI vs Gangwon FC R36
by Tim Barnes

Who To Watch

FC Seoul - Yun Jutae


After scoring his first K League goals in over two years, Yun Jutae will be full of confidence heading into Saturday's crucial clash with Incheon. Yun had three attempts on goal during the 3-2 win over Jeonnam, all three of which were on target and two resulted in goals. Knowing that those goals helped the team onto earn a valuable three points, the returning former Sangju Sangmu conscripted striker is extremely likely to start up top again come Saturday.

Incheon United - Moon Seonmin


With 13 goals to his name, Moon Seonmin is the highest scoring Korean player in K League 1 this season and two of the 13 have come against FC Seoul. The Korean international winger, who scored the third goal in a 4-0 win over Uzbekistan on Tuesday, has missed just one game for the Durumi this term, featuring in 35 matches, 29 of which from the start. From which, Moon has six assists, 52 key passes, and is seventh overall in the league for the number of dribbles completed.

Prediction

FC Seoul only need a point to secure their place in K League 1 next season but will be determined to build on last week's win over Jeonnam. Ignoring the manner in which the game was won with VAR perhaps credited with an assist, scoring a 94th minute winner will have given the team a huge lift and much-needed confidence boost heading into their final two league matches. If Seoul can limit the amount of set-pieces conceded in and around the box, and are defensively sound, Choi Yongsoo's men should have enough to get what they need.

Incheon need more than just a point but will be well aware know that they have had Seoul's number this year having taken five points from a possible nine. With Moon Seonmin, Stefan Mugoša, and Elias Aguillar, amongst others, Incheon have a forward line that would be the envy of most K League 1 sides outside the top three. Andersen's men will be fired up and, if they can get the ball into the right players in the right areas of the pitch, they can hurt Seoul. Neither side can defend particularly well and so a score draw is perhaps the most likely outcome.

FC Seoul 2-2 Incheon United

Saturday's #GyeonginDerby will be streamed in HD and for FREE around the world via KLeague.com. Tune in on Saturday at 14:00KST here.

K League 1 R37 Preview: here

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