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Preview: Jeju United vs Incheon United

Jeju United finally return home to the World Cup Stadium on Tuesday night to host Incheon United.  They are coming off a hard-fought win over the weekend at Gangwon FC, while Incheon fell to defeat at home against Sangju Sangmu.  The last time these two met, it ended in a draw, but momentum and home field might tip this one to the islanders if all falls into place. Branko Belan and Tim Barnes have the preview.

Match: Jeju United vs Incheon United
Venue: Seogwipo World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: Tuesday May 28th, 2019; 19:30 KST

Last Time Out

Gangwon FC 0-1 Jeju United

Jeju got a much needed three points on the weekend with a 1-0 win against Gangwon, thanks to a 54th minute winner from Tiago.  They didn't look very good in the first half, however, as they were prone to Gangwon's counter-attack, but the hosts were not able to turn their chances into an advantage going into the first half break.

Jeju did look better defensively as they played in a back four, and they would soon go into the lead after the restart, when an attacking move started by Magno turned upfield as he touched a ball into space for Im Chan-ul, who laid it forward for Tiago who streaked in and put away a low shot that deflected off the hand of Kim Ho-jun on its way into the net.

Gangwon would press the rest of the way for an equalizer, but it was all for not, and Jeju managed to hold on for just their second win of the season.

Highlights: here

Incheon United 1-2 Sangju Sangmu

Things got off to a great start for Incheon in their match with Sangju on Friday night as they took the lead through Stefan Mugosa after only eight minutes.  He broke free of the defence to beat Yoon Bo-sang one on one with a low shot that gave the Durumi their first goal at home since March.

That would, however, be the end to their joy on the night, as Sangju would equalize on 37 minutes when Park Yong-ji found the back of the net after some defensive confusion in the box.  Sangju would take the match over from that point, and could have been in the lead before the half, but Incheon managed to keep things level.

A double dose of disaster would strike the home side early in the second half, as Stefan Mugosa had to be substituted due to a potential injury, and then Sangju would take the lead in the 55th minute.  Lee Tae-hee was the man on the spot to finish coolly from close range.

The rest of the second half was a bit of a dull affair, with neither side really getting back among the chances for much of the time remaining.  Moon Chang-jin could have drawn level for Incheon on 89 minutes, but his effort finished on the roof of the net.  Incheon would succumb to defeat in the end and remain at the bottom of the table.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The two sides met on opening day and played to a 1-1 draw.  Lee Chang-min put Jeju in front on 36 minutes with a cracker from outside the box that Jeong San got a hand to but couldn't keep out of the net.

Stefan Mugosa would tie things up from the penalty spot in the 61st minute after a handball in the box, and not much else would change after that as the sides shared the spoils on the day.  

Jeju took seven out of a possible nine points from Incheon last season with two wins and a draw, so things may tip in their favor on Tuesday night.

Team News

Jeju welcomed Jeong Woo-jae into the side for the match against Gangwon.  It was his first start of the season.  He started at left back and was active the entire match up and down the pitch.  He played a few good balls into the box which gave the Gangwon back line some problems, and showed he can be a valuable piece for Jeju moving forward this season.  He just needs minutes in his legs to fully get back to match fitness.

Elias Aguilar did not play against Gangwon, likely because Choi Yun-kyum wanted to give him a bit of rest, as he has played quite a few minutes already this season.  Im Chan-ul played in his place, and was mostly effective, providing an assist for Tiago's winner and making runs through the middle which led to some decent scoring opportunities.

Lee Chang-min took a bit of a knock midway through the second half, and was replaced by Lee Dong-hee.  His status is unknown at present, but he may be given a rest to be ready for the weekend match against Ulsan.

Park Jin-po picked up a foolish yellow card as he was caught out of position after pinching too early and was forced to make a last ditch challenge that prevented a potential goal for Gangwon just before the end of the first half.  Aleks Jovanovic also picked up a yellow in the first half, and was substituted at the break by Kim Won-il.  

It was the third yellow of the season for both players, and they will not be available for the match against Incheon, meaning likely that Kim Won-il may start at right back and Kim Seung-woo will partner with Kim Dong-woo in the center of defence.  Aguilar should get back into the starting eleven, and there is a good chance that Magno and Tiago will play together up front as they did on the weekend.  Kim Ho-nam also returns from suspension and will be included in the lineup, taking up his customary position on the right in midfield.

For Incheon, Stefan Mugosa went off due to injury in the second half of the match against Sangju and was replaced by Lee Jun-suk.  Goalkeeper Jeong San also had to come off because of an injury in the first half.  It looked as though he sustained a knock to his hand during an exchange in the box and Lee Tae-hui came on to replace him.

The status of both players is not known but there is a chance that they may not be available for the match against Jeju with the quick turnaround.

Kim Jeung-ho picked up a yellow card in the match against Sangju, but they should still have the rest of the squad ready and new manager Yoo Sang-chul will field the best possible eleven available to him.

The Adversary

Incheon United come into this game without a win in eleven and only two goals in their past nine games. They seriously need a good result, especially against tenth placed Jeju United. New manager Yoo Sang-chul hasn’t had a good start to life in Incheon, losing his opening two games. However, Incheon have at least put themselves on the score sheet.  Vice-Captain Gordan Bunoza returns on Tuesday following suspension, however, both top scorer Stefan Mugosa and number one 'keeper Jung San went off injured against Sangju, so they might not play.  The formation should be a defensive 4-5-1 once again,as Incheon rarely change from that tactic.


Who to Watch

Asian Games Gold medallist and young star at Incheon United Kim Jin-ya has been one of a few consistent players so far this season.  The 20 year-old Winger turned full-back is reliable both at the back and going forward, and never seems to tire.  Also look out for Vietnamese superstar Nguyễn Công Phượng, who didn’t get a game as expected on Friday and therefore should feature against Jeju, especially if Mugosa is ruled out.


Prediction

Coming off a win and returning home, coupled with a match against the team at the bottom of the table should provide more than enough motivation for Jeju to go out and get a win on Tuesday night.  

Incheon are struggling for goals and have not won away from home all season, so it is fair to say that they are very much in crisis mode at the moment.  With two key players likely out, their chances of getting a result do not look good.

Jeju will welcome playing on their true home patch for the first time this season, and have enough quality through the lineup to get another three points and continue their progress, which, if all goes to plan, may see them move up the table in the near future.

Prediction: Jeju United 2-1 Incheon United 

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