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Preview: FC Seoul vs Gangwon FC

Preview: FC Seoul vs Gangwon FC K League 1 Round 19
On a run of nine games unbeaten, FC Seoul will take on Gangwon FC this Saturday night in K League 1 Round 19. Seoul's winning run came to an end last time out, following the draw with Ulsan, and so will be keen to get back to winning ways. Gangwon meanwhile will be determined to bounce back from the FA Cup exit to National League side Daejeon Korail on Wednesday.

Last Time Out

FC Seoul 2-2 Ulsan Hyundai

A late, late Kim Bokyung equaliser for Ulsan Hyundai prevented FC Seoul from moving two points clear at the top of the K League 1 table. During an enthralling first half, FC Seoul came from behind to lead at the break - a stunning Ikromjon Alibaev strike after 41 minutes cancelling out Kim Taehwan's ninth minute opener, before Park Dongjin headed Seoul into a 44th minute lead from a Park Chuyoung cross. However, Kim Bokyong headed home in the dying embers to see the spoils shared at Sangam.

Match Report: here

Highlights: here

Daejeon Korail 2-0 Gangwon FC

In the FA Cup quarter finals, Gangwon traveled to Daejeon to take on National League side Daejeon Korail. With a few former K League players in their midst, Korail pulled off another upset by knocking out Kim Byungsoo's Gangwon FC side.

Kim made a few changes to his team ahead of the trip to the capital this Saturday, Nemanja Bibilja and Kiyomoto were handed rate starts, as was former Daejeon Citizen and Ulsan Hyundai forward Seo Myeongwon. Korail, meanwhile, had Kim Taeeun, Jang Wonseok, and Kim Jungjoo who had previous turned out for cross town neighbours Daejeon Citizen.

In the 68th minute Lee Keunwon gave the hosts the lead, sliding onto Kim Jungjoo's low cross from the right-hand side at the near post to give the Iron Horses the lead. Then, in the 93rd minute Korail wrapped up the win in stoppage time on the counter attack,
Lee Gwanpyo finding the bottom corner after working his way into the 18-yard box.

Highlights: here

FIFA 19 Preview

Previous Meetings

FC Seoul and Gangwon FC have met two times already this season, once in the league and the other in the FA Cup - both in Chuncheon and in the space of just a few days. On 14th April Seoul picked up a 2-1 league win against Gangwon thanks to a Pesic brace with a goal eitherside of a Kim Jihyun strike. Just three days later, though, and Gangwon were able to exact some revenge by dumping FC Seoul out of the cup thanks to an injury time winner from Uros Deric.

Lee Hyeonseok got Gangwon up and running with a 21s minute strike before Park Chuyoung turned the game on its head with a quick fire double in the 54th and 56th minutes. However, Uros Deric restored parity on the hour mark before firing in a 92nd minute winner.

There was late drama when these two sides last met at Seoul World Cup Stadium too as Park Chuyoung thought he had fired in an 84th minute winner as FC Seoul looked to avoid the relegation playoff. However, Jung Seungyong levelled just two minutes later to see the spoils shared.

Overall, there have been 20 meetings between these two sides with FC Seoul coming out on top 12 times, Gangwon five and three draws. In the capital, Seoul have five wins from nine meetings, and three losses.

Team News

For FC Seoul, centre back Lee Woonghee was included in the matchday squad which drew with Ulsan last time out after making a return from injury in the away win over Daegu. The former Daejeon Citizen defender had missed the last month through injury and could return to the starting eleven should Osmar's facial injury be deemed serious enough for the Spaniard to sit the game out.

At the other end of the field, star striker and K League 1 leading scorer Aleksandar Pešić is set to miss six weeks with a fractured toe. Park Dongjin, who scored his second goal of the season against Ulsan last time out, could keep his place up front. Alternatively, Choi Yongsoo has Choi Youngwook, Jung Wonjin or youngster Lee Ingyu at his disposal.

Choi Yongsoo will have no players suspended for the visit of Gangwon but Jung Hyeoncheol, Ko Kwangmin, Park Chuyoung, and Cho Youngwook are all just one booking away from a suspension.

FC Seoul lineup versus Ulsan Hyundai,, K League 1 Round 18.


The Adversary

Despite Wednesday's FA Cup exit, Gangwon make the trip west to Seoul in decent form having gone four unbeaten in the league. Draws with Suwon Bluewings and Daegu were followed up with the comeback win over Pohang Steelers, despite being 4-0 down after 71 minutes, as well as the 2-1 away victory over Incheon United.

Much like Saturday's opponents FC Seoul, Gangwon score the majority of their goals in the last 15 minutes of games - 28%. Interestingly, the average time which Gangwon concede the first goal is around the 35th minute mark, close to when Seoul, statistically, usually score their first.

In Kim Byungsoo's 4-3-3 formation, Han Kookyoung is a key figure. The former Korean international has made the most passes in K League 1 this season, is second in terms of the number of passes made per 90 minutes, and has a 91% passing accuracy rate. Furthermore, Han is fifth in K League 1 for the number of passes made to the final third with 173 placing him third in K League 1 in this regard with an accuracy rate of 89%. The former Al-Gharafa midfielder epitomises how Gangwon play with their possession-based style. The Chuncheon-based side have had the most possession with 57%, have made the most passes in K League 1, are fifth for the number of key passes made.

Gangwon don't have any players ruled out through suspension for Saturday's game but defender Kim Ohgyu, midfielder Lee Hyunsik, and forward Kim Jihyun are all just a scribble in the referees notebook away from missing the next game. Former FC Seoul full back Shin Kwanghoon could return to the starting lineup after being rested for the midweek trip to Daejeon, As too could the likes of Han Kookyoung, Jung Jogook, and Valentinos Sielis who are all expected to slot straight back in.

Gangwon FC lineup versus Daejeon Korail, FA Cup Quarter Final.


What To Watch

Veteran Strikers: Park Chuyoung vs Jung Jogook


At each end of the pitch veteran strikers Jung Jogook and Park Chuyoung are both in good form. Jung, who won the K League 1 title with FC Seoul in 2012, has three goals and an assist in his last two games - bagging a late, late winner against Pohang in the 5-4 comeback win, before a two goal haul away to Incheon extended Gangwon's unbeaten run to four games with two draws and two wins.

Whilst Park Chuyoung has form for scoring against Gangwon, three in his last two against the 2010-founded side, the former Arsenal forward has become more of a provider for FC Seoul this season. Park has five assists and one second assist and six goals in all competitions, two of which came in the FA Cup defeat to Gangwon earlier in the season.

Prediction

Losing Pešić and Osmar will be a huge blow to Choi Yongsoo's side. If Seoul are able to cope in their absence then the capital club should be able to get the job done. Gangwon, though, will be determined to bounce back after the defeat to third tier Daejeon Korail in the FA Cup. Although Seoul have kept six cleansheets this term, the capital club have conceded in each of their last five. Gangwon have scored in each of their last five league games and have drawn a blank away from home just twice. It stands to reason that both sides will score but Seoul should have enough to edge it.


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