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Preview: FC Seoul vs Seongnam FC

Preview: FC Seoul vs Seongnam K League 1 Round 14
Unbeaten in four, FC Seoul host Seongnam FC at Sangam this Tuesday night for what will be the first meeting between the two sides in the capital since 2016. The Magpies though are on a dismal run of three straight defeats and no wins in five since the away win over Ulsan in April. Whilst the hosts will be looking to keep up with the league leaders, Seongnam will be keen to preserve their three point cushion over fellow strugglers Jeju United towards the foot of the table.

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Pohang Steelers 0-0 FC Seoul

Away to an in-form Pohang Steelers side, Choi Yongsoo's FC Seoul side came away with a point from the Steel Yard following a 0-0 draw. On the East Coast, Seoul enjoyed most of the possession but were only able to register three shots on target from 14 attempts.

The draw, coupled with Ulsan's win over Tuesday's opponents Seongnam, means that the gap between Seoul and the league leaders is now four points.

Highlights: here

Seongnam FC 1-4 Ulsan Hyundai

Despite taking a third minute lead, Seongnam were soundly beaten at home to league leaders Ulsan Hyundai by four goals to one. Joo Hyunwoo had the Magpies' tails up early on only for Brazilian forward Junior to restore parity 20 minutes later.

Veteran striker Lee Keunho, who is in his second stint with the Horangi, turned the game on its head shortly after the restart before former USA international midfielder Mix Diskerud put daylight between the two sides with just seven minutes remaining. Former Cardiff City and Jeonbuk attacking midfielder Kim Bokyung completed the scoring in injury time to cap off a rampant away win for Kim Dohoon's men.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

FC Seoul made the short trip to Seongnam back in March in K League 1 Round 2 and came away with all three points thanks to a Go Yohan strike on the stroke of half time. The meeting in Seongnam Civic Stadium was the first in over two years as a result of the Magpies' relegation to the second tier in 2016.

The last time these two sides met in the capital was in June 2016 when Seongnam came from behind to record a 3-1 win. Adriano gave Seoul the lead with 13 on the clock only for compatriot Tiago Alves to level just six minutes later. Hwang Uijo made it 2-1 just after the half hour mark before a third went in via Seoul custodian Yoo Sanghoon.

In fact, Seoul have not beaten Seongnam at home since 2014, a Park Heeseong strike in the 86th minute in May 2014 being the most recent win at Sangam World Cup Stadium.

In total, from the 40 previous meetings, FC Seoul have 16 wins to Seongnam's 13 and 11 draws. In the capital, Seoul have won nine of the previous 18 encounters, Seongnam just four and five draws.

Team News

FC Seoul will continue to be without young forward Cho Youngwook due to the 19 year-old's involvement in the U20 World Cup in Poland. Ha Daesung remains a long term doubt with a calf injury whilst centre back Kim Namchun's return date is also unknown. Kim returned to Seoul from military service at the tail end of last season but has not featured for Choi Yongsoo's side in 2019.

FC Seoul lineup versus Pohang Steelers, K League 1 Round 12

The Adversary



Newly promoted Seongnam find themselves sitting in ninth place in K League 1 following a run of three straight defeats and no wins in their last five, and scoring just three goals in the process. The Magpies began the new season with two straight defeats, the second being the home loss to Seoul. But a 2-1 win over Suwon Bluewings followed to bring hope Magpies faithful, as did a three-match unbeaten run in early April. But since then, after bowing out of the FA Cup on penalties to Sangju Sangmu, Nam Ki-il's men have struggled. Two stalemates in a row preceded three straight losses with seven goals conceded.

As Seongnam's recent run of form has suggested, the Magpies are the second lowest scorers in K League 1 with just 11 goals scored - only Incheon have scored fewer with six. Seongnam's expected goals is, at 13.25, the second worst in the league. Although possession isn't always everything, Daegu for instance have had the least amount of possession with 41% yet are in fourth place. Seongnam meanwhile have the second-worst possession in the league with 46% and have also made the lowest amount of key passes with just 20, 1.45 per match on average. However, Nam Ki-il's side have the fifth best record in terms of crossing and have the best record for one-on-one dribbles, averaging at 28 successful dribbles per 90 minutes.

Nam Ki-il has tended to line his team up with a back three, opting for either four or five across the middle and either two or three up top. In the last two matches, home defeats to Ulsan and Gangwon, Coach Nam has used a 3-5-2 with Eder utilised as a striker along side Gong Minhyun or Mathias. However, from rounds eight to 11, Nam opted for a combination of Lee Jaewon, Gong Minhyun, Kim Hyunsung, Cho Sungjun, or Moon Sangyoon who have three goals between them. Seongnam's top scorer is former Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors winger Eder with two goals along side Kim Minhyeok who has departed for Sangju Sangmu for military service.

Seongnam FC lineup versus Ulsan Hyundai, K League 1 Round 12

Who To Watch

FC Seoul - Ko Kwangmin




Left wing back Ko Kwangmin returned to FC Seoul at the start of the season after returning from military service in K3 League (fourth tier) with Hwaseong and later Yangpyeong. With one assist, a cross from the left for Pesic's first of two against Sangju in round 12, Ko Kwangmin has 78% passing accuracy, 76% in terms of passes made into the final third. The 30 year-old has made four key passes so far this season, just two behind Pesic - Seoul's best in that regard. Overall, 80% of all dribbles made by Ko have been successful.

Seongnam FC - Kim Dongjun



Young goalkeeper Kim Dongjun missed the vast majority of last season with an ACL injury and was deputised by Kim Keunbae and Jeon Jonghyuk. However, upon the Magpies' promotion back to the top flight, the highly rated stopper has been ever present for Seongnam this term. Kim has kept four cleansheets thus far and has conceded 14, four less than an expected goals conceded of 18.

Prediction

A point away to Pohang will be seen as a decent result but, that said, FC Seoul manager Choi Yongsoo will be keen to get back to winning ways. Given Seongnam's poor form, and Seoul's unbeaten run, the capital club will be heavy favourites and after drawing a blank at the Steel Yard, will be keen to lay down a marker. Home win.


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