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Preview: Incheon United vs FC Seoul

Incheon United are now three points adrift at the bottom of the K League 1 table with only two wins to their name all season. They head into the fiftieth ever Gyeongin Derby knowing that this is a perfect time to kick start their season and get the home fans behind them.

Last Time Out

Incheon United 2-3 Suwon Bluewings
Despite losing on Wednesday evening Incheon at least showed signs of improvement in the attacking third scoring twice for only the third time this season. However, defensive mistakes lead to two of the Suwon goals and those issues that need to be addressed quickly. The game started in the worst way possible for Incheon as in-form Australian forward Adam Taggart turned home a Koo Dae-young cross to give Suwon a fifth minute lead. Things then turned from bad to worse after twenty minutes as Koo Dae-young put himself on the scoresheet, converting a Sarić through ball. But then Incheon sparked into life, and winger Jung Hoon-sung scored his first ever K League goal on the half hour mark. The action slowed down into half time.

In the second half the action restarted with a bang as Adam Taggart capitalized on an error at the back and scored after only thirty seconds of the restart. However Incheon were offered a lifeline soon after as Ku Ja-ryoung was sent off for a second yellow card. Incheon made the most of their man advantage and reduced the deficit to one, Lee Jae-sung scoring his first goal for Incheon. Incheon continued to push for an equalizer by just couldn't find a way past the Suwon defence. Suwon took home the three points and Incheon sunk deeper into trouble at the bottom of the table.

Highlights:


Jeju United 4-2 FC Seoul
FC Seoul stumbled on the road this past Wednesday losing to struggling Jeju United in depressing style. The game couldn't have started any worse as Yun Il-lok scored a brace within the opening ten minutes to put the home side in a commanding position. Jeju then went three ahead a little before half time as recent signing Nam Jun-jae scored on his Jeju debut. Go Yo-han was able to grab a goal back for Seoul just before the half time whistle. But things continued to look bleak.

During the second half the action continued but at a slow pace. Park Chu-young came on for Seoul but looked off the pace and lacking form. Seoul went down to ten as Jung Hyun-cheol saw red for a second yellow. Jeju scored their fourth of the game with ten minutes to play as former Seoul hero Yun Il-lok completed his hat-trick. There was enough time for Go Yo-han to grab a consolation goal in injury time, but it was too little too late for the visitors.

Highlights:

Previous Meetings

Incheon United and FC Seoul played out a dull Gyeongin Derby earlier this season with the game ending 0-0. Last season they played each other four times with Incheon winning twice, and the other two games finishing in draws.

Incheon last beat Seoul at home just last season. They won 2-1 with Moon Seon-min (now at Jeonbuk) scoring an eighty-seventh minute winner. Seoul last won at the Sungui Arena almost two years to the day, winning 5-1 with a Dejan Damjanović hat-trick doing most of the damage that evening.

Over the years Incheon and Seoul have played each other forty-nine times with the victories dominated by Seoul winning twenty-three to Incheon's eleven. The other fifteen games have ended in draws.

Team News

Incheon United Manager Yoo Sang-chul continues to favor heavy squad rotation bringing in squad players with mixed success. No Incheon players are suspended for this game, however defender Kim Jeung-ho and Myung Jun-jae are both a booking away from a ban.

Also Gordan Bunoza and Jiloan Hadam were both pictured at the game on Wednesday, so fingers crossed they're fit and ready to play on Saturday. Recent signing from Jeju United Kim Ho-nam should also be available.

FC Seoul will be without Jung Hyun-cheol who was sent off during the week against Jeju.

Who To Watch

Incheon United's current top scorer Stefan Mugoša played a full ninety against Suwon on Wednesday, however he wasn't at his best and didn't really get into the game. However he is still the best outlet for goals Incheon have.

Moving into the midfield Jung Hoon-sung once again impressed during the week and his energy was rewarded with a goal. Myung Jun-jae also continued to adapt quickly to life in Incheon and looked solid in the middle of midfield.

Finally,  at the back, keeper Jeong San and wingback Kim Jin-ya both returned on Wednesday and played well. However, errors from the rest of the backline cost Incheon in the end. Kim Jeung-ho and Gordan Bunoza might be needed to help plug the gaps at the back this coming weekend.

The Adversary

FC Seoul lost on Wednesday extending their winless run to three. They are now starting to lose touch with Jeonbuk and Ulsan in the title race and need to rediscover some of their form from earlier this season. They have a buffer in front of Gangwon in fourth so they can afford to experiment and try out some new tactics and squad players.

Heading into Saturdays derby game against bottom of the league Incheon, FC Seoul will be favorites to take home the full three points despite losing against Jeju. But as it's a derby game they might play things a little safe and defensive. Looking to score on the break and overall control the pace of the game.

Look out for midfielder Go Yo-han who played well against Jeju scoring a brace, and is the main creative outlet at the moment for Seoul.

Prediction

Incheon seem to be able to improve in one area one week but then fall back into bad habits the next. Against Suwon they were better in attack, but looked weak and open at the back. Hopefully manager Yoo Sang-chul can find a solution to the problem as soon as possible.

Looking at Saturday evenings game Incheon haven't won since the end of May, when they beat Jeju on the road, and haven't won at home since March when they beat Gyeongnam. Couple this with the fact they've only scored twleve times this season, and you can see why they're bottom of the league. FC Seoul might be third, but recently they've looked sloppy. Their defeat to Jeju highlighted their drop in form, which is good news for Incheon.


Overall, Incheon can't afford to fall any further behind the rest of the relegation pack. The derby game against FC Seoul won't be an easy game and but it's the perfect starting point to find some mid-season form. However, both sides will be looking to bounce back from defeats and a defensive draw seems like the more likely outcome in my opinion.


Predicted Score: Incheon United 1 - 1 FC Seoul


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