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Super Match Preview: Suwon Bluewings vs FC Seoul

Super Match Preview: Suwon Bluewings vs FC Seoul K League 1 Round 10
FC Seoul travel to their bitter rivals Suwon Bluewings in Round 10 of the 2019 K League 1 for a bit of Children's Day action. Coming off recent losses and sitting at opposite ends of the table this will still surely be a competitive encounter between the old foes. Expect drama aplenty as these two giants of Korean football go head-to-head in the 60th edition of the Super Match. 

Last Time Out

Pohang Steelers 1-0 Suwon Bluewings
The Suwon Bluewings lost for the first time in seven games last week when they went down by a single goal to nil away to the Pohang Steelers. The first half passed by without much goalmouth action but it sprung to life in the second half as the Bluewings went all out for the win.

It didn't take them long to get going after the break and they should have taken the lead in the 47th minute when a looping Elvis Sarić cross was met by the head of Waguininho. The Brazilian's tame header was too central though and was easily saved by Ryu Won-woo in the Pohang goal.

Suwon, again, almost took the lead in the 54th minute of the game after Dejan had picked up the ball and fed Adam Taggart on the left hand side of the penalty area. The Australian struck his shot across goal but with the goalkeeper stranded the ball rolled the wrong side of the far post.

Both teams pushed for a winning goal and it was Pohang who found it in the 85th minute. Shin Se-gye failed to deal with a cross from the right hand side and after the ball fell to the feet of Kim Seung-dae the midfielder curled a sublime effort into the top corner to hand Pohang their third win of the season.

Full highlights can be found here

Jeonbuk Hyundai 2-1 FC Seoul
Meanwhile, Seoul slumped to an agonising defeat when they traveled to Jeonju last weekend. Seoul were up against it for much of the game after Ikromjon Alibaev was sent off in the 33rd minute. Having already been booked for a robust challenge earlier the Uzbekistan international made contact with the head of Jeonbuk's Lee Seung-gi and the referee brandished a second yellow card.

The game continued to be heated and it was Jeonbuk who broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time. Some beautiful one-touch passing between Lee Seung-gi and Moon Seon-min found the former through on goal, and the midfielder made no mistake with a powerful one touch finish.

Jeonbuk pushed for much of the second half but were met by a resolute Seoul defence and it was the away team who produced an unlikely equaliser in the 89th minute. A long ball was headed on by Park Dong-jin and as the Jeonbuk defence scrambled to deal with it Aleksandar Pešić nipped in to race away and tuck the ball beyond the goalkeeper.

However, the late drama was not finished and Jeonbuk won the game in 98th minute. A deep cross was challenged for at the back post by Kim Shin-wook and the ball fell to youngster Han Seung-gyu whose turn and shot nestled into the back of the net to send the Jeonbuk fans into delirium.

Full match highlights can be found here

Previous Meetings

Its not been happy times for the Suwon Buewings in this fixture and they are yet to win a league game against their rivals since 2015. Thirteen league games have passed since that victory and although there was an FA Cup triumph in 2016 those two wins remain the only ones that Suwon have picked up against Seoul in the last five years. During that period Seoul have won four games at the Suwon World Cup Stadium and have outscored Suwon by 23 goals to 14.

The overall record of the Super Match is still pretty even though with Suwon winning 23 games to Seoul's 22.

Team News

Lee Lim-saeng will only have one injury concern going into this huge game but it is in the most concerning area of his team, the defence. Jo Sung-jin came off at half-time in the previous game and remains a doubt for this Super Match. The centre-back has performed exceptionally well so far this year. Having been absent from the defence for the first three games of the season Suwon only conceded one goal in the next five games after he took up his place in the centre of defence, and he will be a huge loss if he is not able to feature in this match.

Suwon Bluewings lineup versus Pohang, K League 1 Round 9

The Adversary


Much like FC Seoul's bitter rivals Suwon Bluewings, Choi Yong-soo's men head into Sunday's Super Match on the back of a defeat last time out. Han Seung-gyu's late, late winner for Jeonbuk in the dying embers at Jeonju Castle will have left a sour taste in the mouth but victory in Sunday's match will be seen as the perfect way to bounce back. Seoul will have felt hard done by given that Ikromjon Alibaev was sent off with just 33 minutes on the clock with question marks over whether a second yellow was necessary following the Uzbek international's challenge on Lee Seung-gi.

As a result, Choi Yong-soo is faced with somewhat of a selection headache. The two-time K League title winner could opt for Jung Won-jin as an attacking option alongside, most likely, Go Yo-han. Cho Young-wook is away on international duty with the Korea U20 squad and so will not be available for Sunday's Super Match. Jung played in two East Sea Derbies during his time with Pohang Steelers but, having played just six times since his move to Sangam last Summer, and with just one start to his name in 2019, the Super Match may be too much of a risk for the 24 year-old. Ha Dae-sung is also injured which leaves Coach Choi with the experienced Song Jin-hyun, despite not featuring for the first team since September 2018, Jung Hyeon-cheol who is perhaps too similar to Osmar, as well as Hwang Ki-wook and Kim Won-sik who are both more suited to a holding midfield role.

Formation wise, FC Seoul will almost certainly lineup in a 3-5-2 when in possession, 5-3-2 when they're not. Using Aleksandar Pešić's pace on the counterattack will be key.
-Paul Neat

FC Seoul lineup vs Jeonbuk, K League 1 Round 9

Who To Watch

Super Match Preview: Suwon Bluewings vs FC Seoul Adam Taggart Osmar Ibanez Barba

Adam Taggart has taken the league by storm since his arrival in February and he is not only the leading goalscorer at the club but also among the leading goalscorers in the league. He's yet to have a quiet game for Suwon and has impressed not only with his eye for a goal but how busy he remains throughout the ninety minutes. Recent games have seen Lee Lim-saeng experiment with the forward on the right-hand side of a front three but it remains to be seen if the Australian will line-up there for this match. Taggart has linked up well with his fellow strike partner Dejan Damjanović but he will also feel he has the beating of the Seoul back line if selected to start up front alone.

For FC Seoul, Osmar Ibáñez Barba will be tasked with keeping the likes of Taggart and Dejan at bay. The Spaniard will be key for visitors, whether that be as a left-sided centre back in a three, or as a holding midfielder in Choi Yong-soo's 3-5-2 formation. During the K League United Podcast interview with Osmar and Dejan, the Spaniard revealed that a midfield role is his preferred choice but, should the game require more patient build up from the back, then operating as a defender is a good way to approach things. During the Super Match Media Day, Choi affirmed that his side will be looking to attack and so that could indicate where Osmar is likely to play.

Prediction

Over recent years Super Matches have become a little predicable with either low scoring draws or Seoul wins becoming the norm. The games themselves have sometimes been criticised as teams have often played just not to lose. However, both managers and players alike have said that they will approach this game in the right way and both sets of managers look set to play attacking formations in what could be the game to put some life back into the Super Match.

Both teams come into this having lost their previous matches but with recent history weighted so heavily in the favour of Seoul, the home team will be up against it on Sunday afternoon. Still with only two wins to their name this year, it's been a difficult few months for the Suwon Bluewings and they won't expect it to get any easier with the visit of their bitter rivals. Seoul will make the short journey south knowing that a win in the first Super Match of the season will confirm that they are back with the big boys after a disappointing 2018. With quality players at either ends of the pitch, on both sides of the battle, we can expect a topsy-turvy game, full of tension and quality, and hopefully, a few goals.

Super Match Media Day Highlights
: here

K League United Podcast: Super Match Preview



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