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FA Cup Preview: Gangneung City FC vs Jeju United

FA Cup Preview: Gangneung City vs Jeju United
Jeju United will travel away to face Gangneung City FC in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday night.  At this stage of the competition last season, Jeju defeated Korea University by a score of 4-1.  Gangneung City, meanwhile, already has a win to its credit after narrowly defeating Gyeongju Citizen in the third round.  The islanders know that a win will mean they will face one of either Sangju Sangmu or Seongnam FC in round five.  KLU's Branko Belan previews the tie.

Fixture: Gangneung City FC vs Jeju United
Venue: Gangneung Stadium
Kickoff: Wednesday April 17th, 2019; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Jeju United 0-1 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Jeju returned home to the island to host defending champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors last Saturday.  It was a rather lackluster performance, as they fell 1-0 to Jeonbuk, extending their winless streak to seven, thanks to Kim Shin-wook's pointer just before halftime.

It could have been much worse if not for the heroics of Lee Chang-keun, who made several key saves just to keep Jeju in the match.  Questions abound as to whether the club will make a coaching change sometime in the near future, and, it is something for consideration, as it seems Cho Sung-hwan has lost control of the locker room.  Wednesday night will add another page to the script, as Jeju still have hopes to advance.

Highlights: here

Gangneung City FC 3-0 Changwon City

Gangneung City hosted Changwon City last Friday night and picked up a 3-0 win, amping hopes for an upset in the mid rounds of this year's competition against a club that has under performed, not only based on the talent they have on paper, but also results on the pitch.  Whether they will be capable to pull it off or not shall be seen in midweek.

Previous Meetings

This is only the second meeting between the two sides in the FA Cup.  In May 2009, Jeju beat Gangneung 5-3 at home on penalties following a 0-0 draw.  The last time Jeju matched up against a National League side in the FA Cup, it was away to Gimhae City almost two years ago.  It was a 1-0 success, thanks to a goal from Jin Seong-wook in the 23rd minute.

Team News

The new season is quickly shaping up as a reprisal of last season's summer slump, as Jeju have yet to win a match.  The positive side of things is that the new faces, namely Elías Aguilar and Yun Il-lok have gradually worked themselves into the scheme, and, the Jeonbuk loss aside, looked well and competitive in the previous matches against Seongnam and Pohang, respectively.

There has been, however, some consternation with regards to the number of men to put up top, as Jeju has experimented with both one and two so far this season.  How much of a factor that will be against Gangneung will be seen, but there is enough quality in the side to get a victory to advance.

The Adversary

After finishing last season with a record of ten wins, seven draws, and eleven losses, good for fourth in the National League table, this campaign has started out quite well for Gangneung City, winning three straight out of the gate, over Gimhae, Cheonan City, and Mokpo City, with the former pair having finished directly above them in the standings last year.

The new campaign has been kind to the East Coast side, as they have yet to lose, and ride a wave of momentum into the cup tie against Jeju on home ground hoping to cause an upset, which is entirely possible given Jeju's lack of results thus far this season.

Prediction

Last year, Jeju were slow out of the blocks in the first half against Korea University, and didn't really put things into a higher gear until Tiago came on as a substitute in the second half and scored two goals to help the islanders to victory.

There is too much quality on paper for Jeju to lose this match, but with their season off to a sub par start, everything will depend on how they open the match.  If they go for it from the first whistle, there is every possibility that they could stake out to an early lead.  However, if they try to calculate too much, they just may get caught by surprise.  

They are due for a win to boost confidence and morale within the side, although there has been a bit more promise in their recent performances.  The club was able to recruit a great crop of rookies over the winter, and they should have more than enough quality to get over the line in this one.

Prediction: Gangneung City FC 0-2 Jeju United

Live Stream: YouTube

FA Cup 4th Round Preview: here

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