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Preview: Suwon Bluewings vs Gyeongnam FC

Two of the K League 1's draw specialists go head-to-head on Saturday evening when the Suwon Bluewings host Gyeongnam FC. An entertaining six goal thriller earlier in the season was just one of both teams' numerous ties and with the attacking options on show another high scoring game could be on the cards. 

Last Time Out

Jeonbuk Hyundai 1-1 Suwon Bluewings
Suwon put in an impressive performance against the defending champions and could have taken all three points away from Jeonju had it not have been for a monumental mistake by goalkeeper No Dong-geun. The Suwon custodian handed Jeonbuk the lead in farcical fashion when he attempted to clear the ball, hitting forward Lee Dong-gook in the face and the ball cannoned into the back of the Suwon net.

The rest of the first half played out with neither team having any significant chances but the game changed upon the introduction of Waguininho at half-time. From thereon Suwon dominated the match and scored a deserved equaliser after Waguininho's flick on was latched onto by Adam Taggart. The striker, still with a lot of work to do, calmly dribbled towards goal and slotted home beyond a despairing Song Bum-keun.

Suwon did have a slice of luck though after Kim Shin-wook thought he had scored a winner deep into stoppage time. Kim expertly converted a cross from Bernie Ibini but had previously handled the ball in the build up to the goal and after a lengthy VAR review the goal was disallowed.

Full match highlights can be found here. 

Gyeongnam FC 1-1 Incheon United
Gyeongnam couldn't find a way out of the relegation scrap that they are in when they spurned a perfect opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the bottom two last weekend.

It was Incheon who got themselves in front in the game when Stefan Mugoša robbed Gyeongam of the ball on the halfway line and fed Jiloan Hamad. The midfielder made no mistake, sliding the ball beyond the goalkeeper for his first goal for Incheon.

Geyongnam were back level shortly after half-time with Luc Castaignos scoring his second goal in as many games. A beautiful cross from Jo Jae-cheol found it's way to Castaignos at the back post and the towering striker nodded in from close range.

Full match highlights can be found here. 

Previous Meetings

These two played out one of the games of the 2019 season earlier in Spring with Gyeongnam snatching a late goal in a 3-3 draw. After taking the lead, in what would become a topsy-turvy match, Suwon conceded two goals to allow Gyeongnam back into the game. Suwon thought they had won  courtesy of a goal from Adam Taggart and and an 88th minute strike from Hong Chul but Gyeongnam were to have the last laugh in injury time, Bae Ki-jong scoring the equaliser.

Clashes between these teams have been fairly even over the years and Suwon have 13 victories to Gyeongnam's 9. However, Gyeongnam haven't been happy travelers to the Suwon World Cup Stadium losing 9 of the 15 games played their. It's been 6 visits since their last win in Suwon, with that coming all the way back in 2012.

Team News

Yeom Ki-hun was missing from a matchday squad for the first time this season last weekend because of a foot injury, but club officials have said that he should be available in some capacity for the visit of Gyeongnam. However, Dejan Damjanović still remains sidelined with a muscle injury he picked up against FC Seoul and will be out for the foreseeable future. Jeon Se-jin will also be missing for more than a month after it was revealed that he had sustained a stress fracture in his foot whilst representing South Korea at the recent U-20 World Cup.

With those attacking options missing it is likely that Waguininho will see more game time after his match changing cameo against Jeonbuk. Suwon will need the Brazilian to rediscover his form of last year if they are to overcome this troubling period.

Defender Yang Sang-min will also be suspended for this game. Jo Sung-jin will be the natural replacement at the heart of the defence. The centre-back made his first appearance in almost two months last weekend but should be fully fit to start this match.

Gyeongnam also have their own injury crisis to contend with at the moment. Takahiro Kunimoto and Negueba are both side-lined with long term injuries, whist Jordon Mutch also isn't expected to return anytime soon. Kim Seung-jun will also be unavailable as he serves a one game suspension.

The Adversary

Not many people expected Gyeongam to perform as heroically as they did in 2018, when they finished second in the league, but neither would many have predicted that their form would drop off as dramatically as it has. At this stage last season Gyeongnam had accrued a massive 32 points, 20 points better off than they are now. Add to that an early departure from the Asian Champions League and 2019 has been a bit of a dismal year for Kim Jong Boo's side. 

One of the main failings of the team has been their defence and no team has let in more goals than Gyeongnam. Their 34 goals conceded is 17 more than they had conceded at the same stage last year and they rank among the lowest clubs in defensive duels won and interceptions made.

What To Watch

Whichever team scores the first goal will be vital in this match as both teams have tended to struggle after going behind this year. Gyeongnam have only secured one win from from matches where they have found themselves in a losing position, whilst Suwon have an identical record from the 10 matches they have been behind in.

Both teams also haven't been superb at holding on to leads which explains why both have drawn so many games this term. Gyeongnam have only four wins from the ten games that they have led in this year, whilst Suwon have fared a little better managing to win four of the seven games in which they have led in, in 2019.

Neither team has a stellar defensive record so the first goal might not seal the result but whoever does go behind first will have a mountain to climb if they want to win the game.

Prediction

Both teams are suffering an injury crisis at the moment and won't be at their strongest, but given Suwon's performance against Jeonbuk and that they have one of the league's best strikers in Adam Taggart, and one of the league's leading assist makers in Elvis Sarić this might be the game where Suwon can really put daylight between themselves and the bottom three of the league. It has the potential to be a high scoring affair but one that I expect Suwon to just edge.

Suwon Bluewings 3-2 Gyeongnam FC

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