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Preview: Sangju Sangmu vs Daegu FC

Preview: Sangju Sangmu vs Daegu FC K League 1 Round 22
Prior to a short break for the Team K League vs Juventus friendly at Seoul World Cup stadium next week, Sangju Sangmu and Daegu FC go head to head on Sunday night. The hosts are hoping to bounce back with a victory, while the visitors are looking to build up on the momentum after a narrow 1-0 win over Seongnam last weekend. K League United Daegu FC Columnist Muyeol Jung has the preview.

Last Time Out


Sangju Sangmu 0-2 Suwon Samsung Bluewings

FA Cup semi-finalists Sangju Sangmu and Suwon Samsung Bluewings went head to head in K League at Sangju Civic Stadium last weekend. The game was played on a waterlogged pitch due to the downpour that started two hours before kick off.

Despite difficulty in build-up due to the pitch's condition, Australian international Adam Taggart was the standout player on the pitch. In the 2-0 win over Sangju, Taggart scored the second of the night after he indirectly helped the first goal of the game. Only seven minutes into the first half, Han Seokhui, partnered with the Aussie, tapped the rebound in after Adam’s low shot was pushed away by Sangju’s shot stopper. Afterwards, the hosts pushed hard for a goal, but didn’t create any meaningful chances till the break.

In the second half, creative midfielder Yoon Bitgaram commanded Sangju’s attack all over the pitch, but unfortunately for him it was the visitors who found a goal. Halfway into the second half, Taggart put it away through the goalkeeper’s legs after a long range shot from Waguininho was punched towards the striker. Then, Sangju fiercely started to pose a threat with a few meaningful chances, but their efforts were not enough to net a consolation.

Highlights: here


Seongnam FC 0-1 Daegu FC

After spending the first half of the season in Moran Stadium temporarily, Seongnam FC returned to a newly refurbished Tancheon Stadium on Sunday evening for K League Round 21 against Daegu FC.

The hosts were well-prepared side tactically. From the beginning, they started to put pressure on Daegu, knowing that the Sky Blues would be unable to build up from the back. The result being that Seongnam were able to have several clear-cut chances. However, Korean international goalkeeper Jo Hyeonwoo once again showed what he is capable of and kept Seongnam at bay till half time.

In the second half, Daegu manager Andre made a change to his formation with a 3-4-1-2 and it didn’t take that long to see it pan out. Less than five minutes after the break, Daegu took the lead through Cesinha’s lovely scissor kick inside the 18-yard box. Afterwards, the hosts again took the control of the game and pushed for an equaliser but despite their efforts, they were unable to find a way past through Jo Hyeonwoo and lost 1-0 at home.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Both teams had a first meeting of 2019 season at DGB Daegu Bank Park on 3rd May when the Sky Blues narrowly beat the Soldiers thanks to a winner from Jung Seungwon seven minutes before time. By then, Daegu had difficulties in creating chances following the absence of Cesinha due to a hamstring injury, but fortunately for Andre's men, the only shot on target, which came late in the second half, dramatically gave Daegu three points at home.

Head to head, Daegu FC have been favourites to get the result when they face Sangju. The citizen club have only been defeated by the Soldiers twice with ten wins and seven draws from 19 meetings. The results of last ten games is also lopsided to Daegu with five wins and four draws. Sangju’s the latest win over Daegu is 25th April in 2018 when Daegu were struggling at the bottom of the table.

Team News

Struggling Daegu FC finally registered another win to their name in K League by beating Seongnam 1-0 on the road after having gone five games without a win. Thanks to the win Daegu FC are ranked fifth, a point adrift of fourth placed Gangwon FC.
In the previous game, the tactical change at the break, by bringing veteran wingback Kim Junyup on for Jung Seonho, which enabled Hwang Soonmin to be positioned behind Cesinha, was spot on. After the change, Daegu were able to move the ball up front quickly.

However, after the absence of Hong Jungwoon and Jeong Taewook, at the back Daegu looked weaker, particularly in aerial duels. During the game, they almost let the opponents win the header without any hindrance, which put Daegu in a danger. But fantastic performances from Korea international goalkeeper Jo Hyeonwoo, some absolutely outstanding saves, despite being in the midst of a transfer rumour linking him to Fortuna Düsseldorf in the Bundesliga.

On Sunday, Daegu FC will make the short trip to North Gyeongsang for the game against Sangju with a few possible changes in the squad. Daegu FC defender Park Byunghyun will not travel after he picked up a third yellow card for the season, while Kim Daewon will make his way to Sangju after serving two game bans. Therefore, Captain Han Heehoon will likely take his place in back three along with Kim Wooseok and Kim Taehan as Jeong Taewook is still not fit enough to play after he recovering from a minor thigh injury. Accordingly, young defender Ko Taekyu could get involved in the game on the bench again.

Meanwhile, diligent midfielder Jung Seungwon, who dropped out of squad in the previous game with a suspected injury, still remains uncertain, but likely to get involved with the game weekend if the injury was a minor knock. New foreign import, Rildo is also expected to make squad as more likely substitute as rule of thumb. Lastly, between the sticks, Daegu’s most beloved player Jo Hyeonwoo will be positioned as usual.

Injury list: Tsubasa (ACL, out of the season), Hong Jungwoon (ACL, out of the season), Edgar (dislocated shoulder, expected to return in August), Jeong Taewook (Thigh muscle, expected within late July), Jung Seungwon (suspected injury, uncertain)

The Adversary


Sangju manager Kim Taewan returns from two games touchline ban.
A 2-0 loss to Suwon Samsung Bluewings extended Sangju’s winless run to four, and dropped the Soldiers to eighth-place in the table with only four points ahead of ninth placed Seongnam FC. In a post match interview after the Suwon game, Sangju manager Kim Taewan expressed his concerns of a lack of teamwork on account of a mix of injuries to key players and newly recruited players who are need time to settle in.

Currently, Sangju’s shot stopper Yoon Bosang returned from injury, but captain Kim Minwoo and Ahn Jinbeom are still sidelined for a while. Kim has a muscle injury and is expected to be available by the end of July at earliest, while Ahn is suffering from an ankle injury and will be out for six weeks.  Winger Shin Changmoo appears to be injured as well judging by a video of him posted on his social media, wearing a brace on his left knee after the previous game.

However, the gaffer, who will return from touch line ban against Daegu, positively anticipates that two centre backs Kwon Wankyu and Kim Youngbin are expected to return to the team, which is a boost for them at the back. They will form the wall with Lee Taehee and Lee Minki on each flank in a 4-4-2 diamond formation. In the middle, former Korean international midfielder Yoon Bitgaram will be partnered with his usual colleagues Kim Kyungjae, Lee Kyusung, and Han Seokjong. Upfront, Park Yongji will likely pose a threat with Shim Dongwoon instead of the injured Shin Changmoo. On weekend, the Soldiers have no players suspended.

Who To Watch


Daegu FC young defender Kim Taehan has a lot of responsibility resting on his shoulders now following the absence of certain defenders available at Andre’s disposal. The 1996-born defender has only featured in five professional games in his career since 2018 when he joined Daegu FC. His first appearance this season was against Gyeongnam FC in Round 19 when Daegu split the points with the Reds before he had to watch his hometown club hammered by Jeonbuk 4-1 including two early first half goals caused by defensive errors. Afterwards, he quite successfully proved his defensive ability in 1-0 win over Seongnam thanks to help from teammates, which was the team's first clean sheet in six games. With Park Byunghyun suspended against Sangju, the Daegu-born defender is expected to have another chance to represent his local club and it will be interesting to see if he can keep Sangju at bay.

Prediction

On paper, Daegu FC are a much better side compared to the hosts Sangju, but following the absence of key players and recent performances from their replacements, the Sky Blues look less convincing. Nevertheless, the citizen club have still top-quality players who can make difference; Cesinha and Jo Hyeonwoo in particular. As a result, Daegu FC should be able to defeat the army side by a narrow margin.

Predicted Score: Sangju Sangmu 0-1 Daegu FC

K League 1 Round 22 Preview: here

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