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Preview: Pohang Steelers vs Daegu FC

Prior to the international break in June, fourth placed Daegu FC will make another away journey to the east coast to clash with the sixth placed Pohang Steelers. The Steelers are hoping to bounce back with a victory at home, while the citizen club are looking to get back to winning ways after two consecutive goalless draws in the K League. Daegu FC columnist Muyeol Jung previews this clash.

Last Time Out

Ulsan Hyundai 0-0 Daegu FC
Daegu FC visited Munsu Football stadium in midweek to square off against K League 1 leaders Ulsan Hyundai. Prior to the kick off, Ulsan looked like the favourites to to win because of the squad depth and fatigue issues of Daegu. However, the citizen club managed to walk away with a point from after a goalless draw at full time.

It was the Horangi that dominated the entire game with attack minded players like Kim Insung, Hwang Ilsu, Junior, and Kim Bokyung all on show. Daegu remained disciplined with almost 10 men behind the ball for much of the match. Somehow, a couple of good chances fell to the visitors though, but they were unable to take them. Just 10 minutes before time, Daegu could have got the job done after the hosts went down to 10 men when Kim Sooan picked up his second yellow card of the night. However, Daegu didn’t take their opportunities before the final whistle.

Highlights: here

Suwon Samsung Bluewings 3-0 Pohang Steelers
Pohang made a long journey up north to take on the Suwon Bluewings in midweek when they were heavily smashed 3-0.

About a quarter of the way into the first half, the hosts found the net through Han Euikwon who smoothly swung a low cross into the net. In the second half, the hosts doubled their lead after Bosnian midfielder Sarić struck from the edge of the box.

Afterwards, it was all downhill from there. The Steelers looked out of sorts, while the Bluewings took control of the entire game with a third of the evening scored by defensive midfielder Choi Seongkuen, who flicked a lovely header across goal.

This was the first defeat for Pohang under their new manager Kim Kidong, following former manager Choi Soonho’s departure in May.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Historically, the Pohang Steelers have had the upper hand against Daegu FC with 19 wins and 10 draws from 39 meetings. At the Steelyard, Pohang have a very similar record, with 10 wins and 5 draws from 20 meetings.

Earlier this season, they met in DGB Daegu Bank Park where the Sky Blues had a 3-0 win. After the game, Pohang announced that they would be parting ways with former manager Choi Soonho following an extremely poor start to the season.

Team News

Regardless of the results this weekend, Daegu are likely remain in their current position as they are four points adrift from third placed FC Seoul and three points ahead of Sangju Sangmu. Nevertheless, a win will certainly shorten down or maintain the gap from the top three teams in the table.

In terms of defence, Daegu continue to show off their watertight defence after recording successive clean sheets in their last two matches. However, even though their manager Andre continues to defend his team by saying “they made some critical goal chances [against Ulsan]”, concerns about the team's attacking abilities still linger.

Hong Jungwoon has been instrumental in Daegu's back three this season

For the game against Pohang, the Sky Blues have no players suspended. Former Buriram forward Edgar and centre back Hong Jungwoon will return to the team with more energy after serving one game suspensions. However, Japanese midfielder Tsubasa remains uncertain after he was missing from the matchday squad in midweek. In addition, Daegu boy Ko Jaehyun remains out of the squad because of his international duties for the Korean U20 national team.

The Adversary

Pohang managed to bounce back from an extremely abysmal start to the season after current Pohang manager Kim Kidong took over the job in late April. However, their five-game unbeaten run has come to an end after their loss in the previous game.

This season, Pohang have somehow managed to score goals via Kim Seungdae and Wanderson, but their key asset, Choi Yongwoo, appears to have had difficulty in settling into the team. The 30 year old has only managed to play 231 minutes from 6 appearances.

For the Daegu game, the Steelers have no suspensions so the majority of the first team should be available for selection. However, the second team made a journey to Myanmar for two friendlies which were played on the 28th and 30th of May. It is not still unclear what players were involved and when they will come back to Korea, but considering the first team had the midweek game the Pohang starting XI should remain similar to the previous match.

Prediction

Judging by current form, Pohang look unable to open the scoring against the more disciplined teams in the league, while Daegu have their key asset Edgar back in the front line. Therefore, despite their fatigue Daegu FC will likely get the result they need.

Predicted score: Pohang Steelers 0-2 Daegu FC


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