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Preview: Sangju Sangmu vs Incheon United

Saturday features a top of the table clash in the K League 1, but containing two sides you might not expect. Shock league leaders Sangju Sangmu host a dangerous looking Incheon United, in a battle between two in-form sides.

Last Time Out

Incheon United 2-1 Gyeongnam FC

Incheon United picked up their first win of the 2019 season beating last seasons runners-up Gyeongnam FC with a strong performance. The game started slowly, but Incheon found a chance to break in the twentieth minute when Stefan Mugoša released captain Nam Jun-jae, and he converted for the lead. Stefan Mugoša then picked up his second of the season following good work from Jiloan Hamad.

The second half started on a sour note as Nam Jun-jae was caught by an unintentional knee from Jordon Mutch. The Incheon captain left the field in an ambulance, but has since recovered.

Gyeongnam did find an opening for a consolation goal, as Park Gi-dong scored with a little over ten minutes to play. But Incheon held on in the end and even gave Nguyễn Công Phượng a late cameo debut.

Highlights: here

Pohang Steelers 1-2 Sangju Sangmu

Sangju Sangmu completed back-to-back wins last weekend with a come from behind away win over Pohang Steelers. Pohang took the lead after only six minutes when David Silva converted from the spot. However, at this point Sangju woke-up and began to take control of more of the game. After fifteen minutes Song Si-woo equalized for the Army side. The game then settled down until part way into the second half when Song Si-Woo scored again to give Sangju the lead. After this, Pohang couldn't find a response and Sangju picked up the three points.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Sangju Sangmu and Incheon United played each other four times during the 2018 season, with Sangju winning twice, one game ending goalless and the final game was won 2-1 by Incheon.

Sangju beat Incheon at home at the beginning of last season 3-2, they were however 3-0 up at half time but almost let the win slip away. Incheon last beat Sangju away in August 2017, winning 2-1, with Park Yong-ji (currently playing for Sangju) scoring the winner with only two minutes to play.

Over the years Sangju and Incheon have played each other 37 times with the victories dominated by Incheon. They've won seventeen times vs Sangju's ten. The other ten games have ended in draws.

Team News

Sangju Sangmu have no key players currently out injured, however Kim Young-bin and Kim Kyeong-jae both picked up their second booking of the season last weekend and therefore should be suspended for this game.

Incheon United captain Nam Jun-jae spent last weekend in hospital following an injury in the Gyeongnam game and will be rested this coming weekend. However, apart from him Incheon should have a full squad to choose from for this game. Four players are currently a booking away from a suspension.

Who To Watch

For Sangju Sangmu, forward Song Si-woo is someone the away fans will know very well. He is a currently on-loan from Incheon for his military service and seems to have found his scoring boots this season, after picking up a brace last weekend against Pohang.

Also look out for Yoon Bit-garam, the former FC Seoul and Jeju United winger has international experience and is a key presence in attack for Sangju Sangmu.

For Incheon United, Stefan Mugoša scored his second of the season last weekend against Gyeongnam, as well as creating the opening goal. He scored nineteen goals last season as well. He'll be key once again for Incheon on Saturday.

Moving into the midfield, and pre-season signing Jiloan Hamad was again impressive last weekend. The soon to be Iraqi International showed increased confidence on the ball as well as creating the second goal. We should see a slightly longer appearance from Vietnamese star Nguyễn Công Phượng this weekend, but once again off the bench.

Finally, at the back, Gordan Bunoza stepped into the captains role quickly last weekend following the injury to Nam Jun-jae. He was commanding at the back and certainly helped Incheon hold on for the win in the closing stages.


Both Sangju and Incheon have had surprisingly strong starts to their respective seasons. Sangju are currently the league leaders, following two wins from their opening two games. Whilst Incheon are just behind them, with four points from their first two games.

Incheon took a long time to get going last season, but it seems like that depressing tradition has ended under Jørn Andersen. But this is their first away game of the season and so this will be an interesting test of their strength on the road.

Overall, it will be a close game with a few goals scored, as both sides can be sloppy at the back. However in the end I see Incheon continuing their strong start to the 2019 season picking up three points on the road, and handing Sangju their first loss of the campaign.

Predicted Score: Sangju Sangmu 1-2 Incheon United

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