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Preview: Incheon United vs Jeonnam Dragons

Preview: Incheon United vs Jeonnam Dragons K League 1
The final game of the 2018 K League 1 season is upon us and already-relegated Jeonnam Dragons will be looking to spoil the Incheon United party on Saturday. A draw should be enough to secure survival for Incheon, but defeat could see the Durumi doomed to a playoff nightmare.

Last Time Out

FC Seoul 0-1 Incheon United

Incheon United picked up a huge derby win last weekend at Seoul World Cup Stadium against bitter rivals FC Seoul. The game for the most part was pretty poor, with the pitch having patches of snow covering it and the players (as well as the fans) looking cold. The only goal of the game came after just nine minute as Han Suk-jong curled in a beautiful finish that left the Seoul defence frozen. The rest of the game mainly a midfield battle and despite the ref adding five extra minutes, Incheon held on.

Match Report: here

Highlights: here

Jeonnam Dragons 1-2 Daegu FC

Jeonnam Dragons lost their fifth game on the bounce last weekend, sealing their fate and, sadly, a place in K League 2 next season. The first half was pretty even until Cesinha converted a penalty just before half time. Jeonnam however started the second half brightly and Kim Young-wook equalised after 60 minutes to give the home fans hope of a vital comeback. But, sadly for Jeonnam fans, Daegu defender Hong Jung-woon scored with fifteen minutes to play and Jeonnam just couldn't recover.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Incheon United and Jeonnam Dragons have played each other three times so far this season with the series currently sits in Incheon's favour. Incheon have won 3-1 twice, whilst the third game ended 2-2 all the way back in April.

Incheon last beat Jeonnam at home just a few months ago with a 3-1 victory, Moon Seon-min picked up a brace that day. Jeonnam last won in Incheon, just last season. The Dragons won 3-2 on the day with Jair scoring the vital third goal.

Over the years Incheon and Jeonnam have played each other 46 times with the victories level at thirteen each, with the other twenty games ending in draws.

Team News 

Incheon United will have Asian Games Gold Medalist Kim Jin-Ya as well as Lim Eun-Soo missing due to suspension on Saturday. They both picked up bans following booking last weekend. However Internationals Elias Aguilar and Stefan Mugosa have recovered from their travels and could start.

Jeonnam Dragons will be missing experienced defender Heo Jae-Won, as he picked up his third booking of the season last weekend.


Newly-relegated Jeonnam Dragons make the long journey north to Incheon for their final K League 1 game for at least two seasons with little to play for, bar pride. And even though this marks the first time the Dragons have ever been demoted from the top-tier of South Korea’s professional football league, most people saw this coming. And with relegation now confirmed, it’s difficult to predict how Jeonnam will approach this game. A lot of first team players’ futures are now in doubt and thus there is a danger their minds could be elsewhere this weekend. On the other hand, all pressure is now off so, theoretically, the Dragons should be able to play with more freedom.

Dragons head coach, Kim In-wan, will no doubt be keen to arrest the alarming slide that has seen his side lose their last six matches, and end the season on a positive note. Thus, Han Chan-hee should return to the starting lineup after serving his second one-match suspension of the season. In addition, Croatian midfielder Vedran Jugović will surely make his way back into the team after beginning from the bench the last time. Regardless, Jeonnam supporters travelling up to the game deserve to be entertained and given a chance to say goodbye to some of their heroes so hopefully the team can put on a good show for them.

By Aodan Halligan

Who To Watch

For Incheon United, upfront Stefan Mugoša has had a great debut season in the K League scoring eighteen goals to date. These goals have been key to the Montenegrin being named the K League United Newcomer of the Year. Behind him we have Korean international Moon Seon-min who should finish the season as the top domestic goalscorer in the K League.

Moving into the midfield Costa Rican Elías Aguilar has had a strong debut season in Korea and could be lining up for Jeonbuk Hyundai next season. Nam Jun-jae has been impressive in recent weeks and has been the best summer signing this year.

Finally, 'keeper Jung San has cemented his number one shirt in the Incheon lineup and picked up a clean sheet last weekend.

For Jeonnam Dragons; top goalsocecer Heo Yong-joon has been out-of-form in recent weeks whilst Brazilian Wanderson De Macedo seems to have left the team. Therefore going forward they don't have many options. However at the back their other Brazilian Wanderson Carvalho has been a constant fixture in their starting lineups.


Incheon at this point only need a draw but can't afford to lose. Jørn Andersen's men will need to play a similar game as they did last weekend, looking the breaks and staying strong at the back. The lineup will be similar to most of the season with a 4-2-3-1 formation with flying wing-backs.

Jeonnam will be playing for pride with a few players looking to impress possible scouts. They might give a few players game time who've been on the edge of the first team which should add some energy to the side. They will be a difficult challenge for Incheon.

Overall, it will be an interesting game with Incheon fans keeping half an eye on the scoreline down in Sangju. I personally see this one ending in a draw, with Incheon surviving to see another K League 1 season.

Predicted Score: Incheon United 1-1 Jeonnam Dragons

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