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Preview: Gangwon FC vs FC Seoul

Preview: Gangwon FC vs FC Seoul K League 1 Round 7
For what will be the first of two trips to Chuncheon in the space of just four days, FC Seoul take on Gangwon FC this Sunday in round seven of the 2019 K League 1 season. Choi Yongsoo's men sit in second with just one defeat and four wins. Gangwon on the other hand, have lost their last two and sit in ninth place.

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Gangwon FC 0-2 Suwon Samsung Bluewings

After three matches unbeaten, including back-to-back wins over Champions Jeonbuk and newly-promoted Seongnam, Gangwon suffered their second successive defeat on Sunday - a 2-0 reverse at home to Suwon Bluewings.

Dejan Damjanović came off the bench to give the Bluewings the lead, turning home Adam Taggart's through-ball from a tight angle just inside the box. Then, in time added on, Yeom Kihun joined the 70-70 club with a trademark free kick from 20 yards out. The club legend now has 70 goals and 70 assists in K League.

Highlights: here

FC Seoul 2-1 Gyeongnam FC

A first K League goal from Aleksandar Pešić got FC Seoul on their way to a 2-1 home win over last season's runners up Gyeongnam FC. The first half was somewhat lacking in quality but just before the break Park Chuyoung atoned for some previously wasteful set-pieces by sending in an inviting cross for former Red Star Belgrade striker, Pešić to guide the ball into the top corner.

In the second half, Pešić was involved in Seoul's second as his seemingly goal-bound shot was cleared off the line only for Cho Youngwook, on as a substitute, to tuck away the rebound. The goal was initially chalked off for offside but, after consulting VAR, Pešić was adjudged to be onside when the initial ball was played.

The visitors were not giving up hope just yet, though and began to stage another late fight back. Kim Jongpil pulled one back on 90 minutes, nodding home an in-swinging cross from Kunimoto on the right-hand side in the 92nd minute. Kim had another glorious opportunity to level deep into stoppage time but the 27 year-old's header went over the bar from just a few yards out.

Match Report: here

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The last three meetings between Gangwon FC and FC Seoul have 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.

With FC Seoul fighting for their lives, Park Chuyoung came off the bench to fire the beleaguered capital club into an 84th minute lead. However, just two minutes later, Jung Seungyong levelled for Gangwon to see the spoils shared.

These two teams have met on 18 different occasions prior to Sunday; FC Seoul have 11 wins to Gangwon's four and three draws. In Gangwon, Seoul have six 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

Shin Jaewon made his professional debut at right wing-back during the 2-1 home win over Gyeongnam last weekend. However, it proved to be a difficult afternoon for Shin who gave away a penalty in the second half. Yun Jonggyu had been performing well enough in that position and may be recalled for the trip to Chuncheon.

Spanish defensive midfielder Osmar remains a doubt in the short term but is said to be nearing a return. The former club captain is still recovering from tendinitis in his right knee. Elsewhere, Go Yohan is just one yellow card away from serving a one-match ban.

FC Seoul lineup vs Gyeongnam, K League 1 Round 6

For Gangwon, full backs Yun Sukyoung and Shin Kwanghoon could make their first appearances against FC Seoul having made the switch to Gangwon over the winter. Manager Kim Byungsoo has no suspensions to concern himself with this and will have a relatively full squad at his disposal for the visit of FC Seoul.

The Adversary


Gangwon host FC Seoul having lost their last two; the 2-0 reverse at home to Suwon Bluewings last Sunday was preceded by a narrow loss away to Pohang Steelers in round five. 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 Bluewings, Gangwon had 60% possession but managed just two shots on target, neither of which came in the first half. Furthermore, the Chuncheon-based outfit have registered just three goals this term and just 37% of all shots have found the target and are yet to score in the first 45 minutes so far in 2019. Last year 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.

Tactically, Kim Byungsoo has set his side up in a number of different formations. In 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.

Gangwon lineup vs Suwon Bluewings, K League 1 Round 6

Who To Watch

Jung Seokhwa, Gangwon FC


Attacking midfielder Jung Seokhwa joined Gangwon in 2018 from Busan IPark where he made 146 league appearances over five seasons before making the move north. In his first season with Gangwon, known for his quick feet and ability to dribble, the 27 year-old played 35 times.

This term, after six rounds, Jung Seokhwa is second in K League 1 for the number of key passes made with five, two behind Jeonbuk's Ricardo Lopes in first. Jung also ranks highly for the number of one-on-one dribbles with 35, just behind Cesinha and Ricardo Lopes. However, in terms success rate, Jung ranks the highest with a percentage of 86%.

Furthermore, the man dubbed "Lightening Seokhwa" is in the top ten for number of touches inside the box, ahead of Suwon Bluewings' Adam Taggart, Jeju United's Tiago Marques, and Jeonbuk's Kim Shinwook, and is fourth for the number of expected assists with 1.54.

Aleksandar Pešić, FC Seoul


After bagging his first K League goal during the 2-1 win over Gyeongnam, Aleksandar Pešić is beginning to find his feet in Korea. The former Red Star Belgrade striker had five shots against Gyeongnam, all five of which hit the target and has an expected goals ratio of 0.4 per match.

Compared to K League 1's leading goal scorers, the 26 year-old's expected goal per game ratio is on a similar level to Bae Kijong (0.43) and Cesinha (0.37), both of whom have scored three goals this term. Pešić's willingness to create as well is backed by 70% passing accuracy and has as 75% success rate in terms of recoveries in the opposition's half.

Prediction

Given Gangwon's poor form, and FC Seoul's solid start to the campaign, this fixture ought to be one where Choi Yongsoo's side can lay down a marker. Gangwon are yet to score in the first half and have managed to find the back of the net just three times this season. If the likes of Pešić, Park Chuyoung and Alibaev in particular can perform as they have been doing, there is no reason why Seoul can't pick up an away win. Pešić in particular will be keen to add to his tally for the season.

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