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Preview: Daegu FC vs Jeju United

Preview: Daegu FC vs Jeju United K League 1
After a thrilling 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory on the road in ACL, Daegu FC are inviting Jeju United to their brand-new stadium, DGB Daegu Bank Park, this Saturday for the Sky Blues' home opener of the 2019 K League 1 season. Daegu FC Correspondent Muyeol Jung previews this clash with the help from Jeju United Writer Branko Belan.


Last Time Out

AFC Champions League: Melbourne Victory FC 1-3 Daegu FC

After a 1-1 tied opener against Jeonbuk last Friday, Daegu FC made the long journey to Australia for their first ever ACL match against Melbourne Victory. There were question marks over the depth of Daegu's squad and their performances at continental level.

However, Daegu proved that they are entitled to enjoy the AFC campaign after an extraordinary performance. As expected, they looked heavy and daunted by the pressure of the campaign until they easily conceded the first goal halfway into the first half. However, at the drop of the hat, Daegu’s key player Cesinha equalised with a top class strike from just outside of the penalty area.

In the second half, Daegu began to put in a much better performance with substitute Japanese midfielder Tsubasa coming on instead of Ryu Jae-moon. The Japanese was very effective in keeping as well as distributing the ball and helped a lot defensively to let Cesinha go for goal. Thanks to him, Cesinha was able to destroy the defensive line with Edgar, Kim Dae-won, and Hwang Soon-min. In this flow, Daegu aggressively continued to create chances, and managed to add two more of the night through Hwang and Edgar. In the end, Daegu held on and recorded a historic win in Melbourne with Korean international goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo keeping Melbourne at bay.

Highlights: here

K League 1: Incheon United 1-1 Jeju United

Jeju managed a point away to Incheon United on opening day, but it easily could have been much more. It took the islanders quite a bit of time to get into proceedings, as they were unable to generate any sort of attack in the first twenty minutes of the first half. They could have gone behind had Incheon done a better job of taking their chances in front of goal.

The match marked the return of Lee Chang-min to Jeju’s lineup after a long spell away from football due to personal issues. The 25 year-old put his side into the lead with a long distance effort on 36 minutes that Incheon ‘keeper Jung San failed to get within his grasp. Despite having the lead at the break, the islanders soaked up too much pressure and it would eventually cost them in the second half.

Stefan Mugoša was dangerous all afternoon for Incheon, and would draw them level just after the hour mark from the penalty spot after VAR spotted a handball in the area by Park Jin-po. The Montenegrin then calmly sent Lee Chang-keun the wrong way, and the two sides would end up sharing the spoils in the end.
(Branko Belan)

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Head to head, Jeju United have clearly upper hands against Daegu with 18 wins for Jeju, nine wins for Daegu, and ten draws. However, these lopsided records seemed to be cracking last year. The Sky Blues beat them twice last year from three meetings after they lost four games in a row since their return to K League 1 in 2017.

Interestingly, the clash between the two teams have a tendency to see goal feasts as none of six games in last two year saw less than two goals by both teams. The latest clash in August, 2018 saw five goals (3-2 to Daegu), while six goals in April 2017 (4-2 to Jeju), and April 2018 (4-1 to Jeju), respectively.

Team News

Daegu FC first team have arrived back in Korea late night on 6th March after two-legged 14 hours flights from Melbourne to Incheon via Sydney. They must be jet-lagged and fatigued, even though it has been only a week since the new season kicked off.

Before the home opener on this Saturday, despite there are two full days to recover, but the gaffer Andre might have to make some forced changes to his team due to the reasons. Also, a home ACL game against Guangzhou Evergrande on upcoming Tuesday night is another factor Andre has to consider in making his selection. As a result, some degrees of rotation are highly expected here with those who either did not travel to Australia or did not get decent gaming minutes.

Even if there are changes in the staring 11, a tactical approach will likely remain as same as usual with a 3-4-1-2 formation with counterattacking.

The Adversary

In post-match interview, Cho Sung-hwan lamented his team’s inability to open with a win, saying that although things did not go according to plan, there was some encouragement in the fact that the team’s play improved in the second half, but that the overall performance has to improve in the coming matches.

Yun Il-lok, who was brought in on loan from J League side Yokohama F Marinos, did not make an appearance as he is out with an undisclosed injury and there is currently not a concrete date for his return. Magno Cruz came on as a substitute in the second half for Jeju and almost turned the match in his sides’ favor, but his close range effort from a back heel flick could not find the back of the net. Elías Aguilar made his debut for United against his former club, but it will still take him some time to acclimatize himself to his new teammates.

The trip to Daegu will be the second of six consecutive road dates to open the 2019 campaign for Jeju. It will be a challenge once again, as Daegu officially unveil their new stadium this coming weekend. Jeju will, however, try to reverse their fortunes against an opponent which beat them twice last season. However, the road team in the tie won all of the contests between the two last season, so that could go in Jeju’s favor again, although if they are to secure their first victory of the season, they will have to be much more clinical in front of goal.
(Branko Belan)

Who To Watch

GK Jo Hyeon-woo


It has been said and written many times about how important Jo Hyeon-woo is in Andre’s side, but nevertheless needs to be considered the one to keep an eye on this Saturday in Daegu. There were slight concerns about his fitness and harmony within the team as he only joined Daegu's training camp in mid-February due to international duties and the Asian Cup. However, as we already had witnessed in K League, he showed his ability in front of Asian football fans in the ACL game against Melbourne Victory. The moment he denied the Swedish forward Ola Toivonen’s header in point-blank range was the best of the night.


Judging by the highlight of Jeju’s opener this season, mid-range shots seem to be their main weapon, rather than creating goal scoring opportunities inside the final third. Not to mention Lee Chang-min’s stunning rocket in a 1-1 tied match, the 25 year-old continuously boasted powerful and accurate strikes on Incheon’s goal. In addition, former Incheon playmaker Aguilar will also support Lee Chang-min, also partial to a longranger. Therefore, this Saturday afternoon, Korea international Jo Hyeon-woo will face a tough test.

Prediction

It will be a very tough game for Daegu who just returned from ACL duties in midweek. However, as this is the first game in DGB Daegu Bank Park, the Sky Blues will remain resolute to get a positive result.

Daegu FC 1-1 Jeju United

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