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FA Cup Preview: Gangwon FC vs FC Seoul

FA Cup Preview: Gangwon FC vs FC Seoul
After a 2-1 win away to Gangwon FC in K League 1 Round 7 on Sunday, FC Seoul will make a second trip to Chuncheon in the space of just a few days for a Korean FA Cup 4th Round clash. The winners of this all top tier tie, the first meeting in the FA Cup between the two teams, will go on to play either Dankook University or Paju Citizen at home. 

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Gangwon FC 1-2 FC Seoul

An Aleksandar Pešić brace, with a strike either side of a Kim Jihyun header, gave FC Seoul a valuable away win over Gangwon FC on Sunday, albeit with the help of VAR. Seoul manager Choi Yongsoo made a few changes to his starting line up; Ko Kwangmin and Yoon Jonggyu returning at left and right wing-back in place of Kim Hangil and Shin Jaewon respectively, Jung Wonjin came in for Ikromjon Alibaev, and Cho Youngwook was preferred to Park Chuyoung in attack.

The deadlock was broken with just 24 minutes on the clock, Aleksandar Pešić finding the bottom corner following a smart knockdown from Cho Youngwook. Go Yohan lifted the ball into Cho who beat Lee Jaeik to the ball, guiding it into Pešić who, first time, found the far corner. The Serbian's celebrations were muted however until referee Kim Yongwoo consulted VAR.

Gangwon levelled five minutes after the restart, Kim Jihyun with a header at the far post from former FC Seoul fullback Shin Kwanghoon's cross from the right. However, the hosts weren't level for too long, Pešić restored Seoul's lead from the spot. The 26 year-old once again combined with Cho Youngwook who was brought to the ground by Lee Jaeik. Contact was minimal but, after the man in the middle consulted VAR, the penalty was given. Pešić stepped up to calmly convert, sending the ball into the bottom left-hand corner with goalkeeper Kim Hojun diving the opposite way.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Aside from Sunday's 2-1 win for FC Seoul, the three previous meetings between Gangwon FC and FC Seoul had all ended in stalemates; a 1-1 draw at Sangam in October followed 0-0 and 1-1 draws in Chuncheon last September and May respectively.

Wednesday's meeting will be the first between the two teams in the FA Cup. However, Gangwon FC and FC Seoul have met on 19 different occasions prior; FC Seoul have 12 wins to Gangwon's four and three draws.

In Gangwon, Seoul have seven wins to Gangwon's one - a 4-0 demolition at the tail end of the 2017 season when what was then Hwang Sunhong's team were gunning for AFC Champions League qualification. Kim Seungyong, Lim Chanwool, Han Kookyoung and Lee Keunho on target for Gangwon that afternoon.

Team News

Choi Yongsoo is unlikely to make wholesale changes to his starting lineup, certainly judging from his previous reign as manager, but some squad rotation is to be expected. At this stage in 2016, the last time the former LG Anyang Cheetah's forward took charge of a Korean FA Cup 4th Round tie, FC Seoul took on Daegu FC just a few days after a 2-0 win over Pohang Steelers in K League Classic Round 9. Coach Choi opted to rotate the goalkeepers with Yoo Hyun replacing Yoo Sanghoon in one of only a few other personnel changes.

Therefore, Yang Hanbin may be called upon for his first start of the season having found himself playing second fiddle to the aforementioned Yoo Sanghoon. Osmar may also be given the chance to get some more minutes under his belt after making a late cameo appearance on Sunday in Chuncheon. During Choi's last spell, Osmar was largely deployed as a left-sided centre back in a 3-5-2 and so could take his place in Seoul's backline should the man in the hotseat at Sangam feel the need to stick with the in-form Jung Hyeoncheol.

Elsewhere, Ha Daesung is out with a calf injury and Aleskandar Pešić is likely to be rested ahead of Sunday's Gyeongin Derby with Incheon United.


FC Seoul line up vs Gangwon FC, K League 1 R7

The Adversary

Sunday's 2-1 defeat to FC Seoul on Sunday was Gangwon's third on the spin and enough to see Kim Byungsoo's side drop to tenth in the K League 1 table. Gangwon have just four goals this season, none of which have come in the first half of games. However, thus far in 2019, Gangwon have had the most possession in every match bar one, Jeonbuk away being the exception - a 1-0 win.

Gangwon have struggled in front of goal since the start of the campaign. Against the FC Seoul on Sunday, Gangwon had 63% possession but failed to truly test goalkeeper Yoo Sanghoon from their five shots on target. Last year the provincial side relied heavily on Serbian striker Uroš Đerić but so far this term, the 26 year-old has been limited to just three starts with Nemanja Bilbija or Kim Jihyun preferred up top - as was the case on Sunday. However, Đerić was introduced as a second half substitute and may be called upon come Wednesday night. Jung Seokhwa is out through injury.

Tactically, Kim Byungsoo has set his side up in a number of different formations this season. In K League 1 Round 1, Gangwon started the match against Sangju Sangmu in a 4-4-2 before switching to a 3-4-2-1 and a 4-2-3-1 in the second half. Against Ulsan Hyundai (0-0) Gangwon began with a 3-4-3 but away to Jeonbuk, a 1-0 away win, the 2008-founded club started with a 3-5-2 before switching to a 4-3-3 and a 5-4-1. In rounds four and five against Seongnam and Pohang Steelers respectively Coach Kim has set his side up in a 3-4-3 before switching to a 4-3-3 against Suwon Bluewings and for Sunday's defeat to Seoul.

Gangwon FC lineup vs FC Seoul, K League 1 R7

Who To Watch

Gangwon FC - Uroš Đerić


Gangwon's top score in 2018, Uroš Đerić, is yet to find the back of the net for Kim Byungsoo's men this term but given his team's shortcoming's in front of goal, may recalled to the starting eleven for the visit of FC Seoul. The 26 year-old's expected goals last year was just over 19 but managed to score 24 and become Gangwon's most potent goalscorer in a single season both in K League 1 and K League 2. If selected, a run out in the FA Cup may just be what the Serbian needs to kick start both his and Gwangon's season.

FC Seoul - Cho Youngwook



After beginning the season on the bench, former Korea University forward Cho Youngwook started upfront alongside Aleksandar Pešić in the 2-1 win over Gangwon on Sunday. Cho was involved in both goals; a glancing header played in Pešić for the game's opening goal before the Serbian tried to return the favour with a chest-down into the path of the youngster who was baring down on goal. However, Gangwon defender Lee Jaeik brought the Korea U20 international to the floor to concede a penalty which was duly converted by Pešić.

Cho has one goal and one assist to his name already this term and could well have the opportunity to add to that tally after impressing in Chuncheon on Sunday.

Prediction

With a favourable home tie with either Dankook University or Paju Citizen awaiting the winner, it would be amiss for Choi Yongsoo to make wholesale changes to his team. That said, with a busy month ahead, and with one or two first team players still not 100% fit, Coach Choi will surely make a few changes to his starting eleven. Seoul got the job done on Sunday, albeit with VAR assisting, and so will head into Wednesday's FA Cup tie as the favourites.

Interestingly, in 2018 Seoul played Gyeongnam and Jeju back to back in the FA Cup and league but were unable to record back to back wins. After a penalty shootout win away to Gyeongnam, Seoul then lost 3-2 at home to the Reds. Then, in the fifth round, after comfortably dispatching the Islanders at home in a 3-0 league win, Seoul fell to a 2-1 loss in the cup just a few days later. That said, this ought to be an away win for FC Seoul.

FA Cup 4th Round Preview: here

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