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Preview: FC Seoul vs Daegu FC

Preview: FC Seoul vs Daegu FC K League 1 Round 24
Exactly one week after Team K League's 3-3 draw with Juventus, Seoul World Cup Stadium will again host Friday night football as FC Seoul take on Daegu FC in K League 1 Round 24. Both sides suffered defeats in midweek, their third in five with just one win, and so will be determined to get their respective seasons back on track. 


via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Ulsan Hyundai 3-1 FC Seoul

FC Seoul fell to a third defeat in five on Tuesday night thanks to a 3-1 loss to title rivals Ulsan Hyundai. The defeat has widened the gap between Seoul and the Horangi to nine points, leaving Choi Yongsoo with an uphill battle in mounting a genuine title challenge.

Despite being the better side in large spells during the first half, Seoul fell behind just shy of the hour mark thanks to a instinctive Kim Bokyung strike from just inside the area after some quick passing between Joo Minkyu and Junior. Kim then added a second just two minutes later via a header before Hwang Ilsu made it three on 71 minutes. Substitute Jung Wonjin narrowed the deficit four minutes from time for the visitors but was mere scant consolation on a night to forget for FC Seoul.


Daegu FC 0-2 Suwon Samsung Bluewings

Daegu's 2-0 home reverse to Suwon Bluewings meant that the Sky Blues make the trip to Sangam with an identical recent form record to that of FC Seoul, having lost three of their last five with just one victory. Suwon got underway just before the break when Waguininho steered home after picking up a loose ball on the penalty spot.

The win was sealed midway through the second half when recent acquisition from Melbourne Victory, Terry Antonis, on as a substitute to make his K League bow, sent in a deep cross from the left-hand touchline onto the right boot of Adam Taggart who fired in his 13th league goal of the campaign.


Previous Meetings

From the two previous meetings this season between FC Seoul and Daegu FC, it is the former who have come out on top on both occasions. The most recent was at DGB Daegu Bank Park in June where FC Seoul ran out 2-1 winners thanks to goals from Jung Hyeoncheol and Ikromjon Alibaev before Hwang Soonmin turned the ball home for the Sky Blues. Brazilian star Cesinha saw a late equaliser chalked off for offside with VAR intervening.

FC Seoul also ran out 2-1 winners when the two teams met in mid-May at Sangam, the last time Daegu made the trip to the capital. That evening Park Chuyoung laid on an assist in the 15th minute, guiding in a free-kick to centre back Hwang Hyunsoo whose headed caught Jo Hyeonwoo off guard to subsequently cancel out Kim Wooseok's 12th minute opener. Then with just seven minutes remaining, Park Chuyoung found the back of the net with a free-kick from a tight angle to turn the game completely on its head and seal the win.

Overall there have been 37 meetings between FC Seoul and Daegu FC; the capital club have 18 wins to Daegu's nine and 10 draws. At Sangam, from the 19 meetings, Seoul have 11 wins to Daegu's five and three draws.  Seoul's last defeat to Daegu at home was just last season, a 2-0 reverse in mid-September thanks to goals from Kim Daewon and Edgar. Since Daegu's return to the top flight in 2017, the Sky Blues have two wins to Seoul's three and four draws.

Team News

FC Seoul will have no players ruled out through suspension but remain to be without Aleksandar Pešić, Kim Wonkyun, and Ha Daesung through injury. Centre back Kim Namchun featured for the reserves last week and is nearing a return having not played for the first team since the tail-end of last season. Goalkeeper Yang Hanbin could find himself on the bench after an error gifted Ulsan their third goal of the evening during the 3-1 defeat to the Horangi on Tuesday night, Yoo Sanghoon could therefore make his first start since the 4-2 defeat to Incheon United on July 10th.

FC Seoul starting lineup versus Ulsan Hyundai, K League 1 Round 23.

The Adversary

Much like FC Seoul, Daegu FC are in the midst of a sticky patch of form at present. Andre's men have since slipped to fifth in the table having picked up just one win in five with three defeats. Since the AFC Champions League exit in May, the Sky Blues have won just twice in 11 games with injuries to some key players taking their toll. Striker Edgar Bruno has been missing since mid-June with a dislocated shoulder, whilst Japanese midfielder Tsubasa Nishi is out of the season with an ACL injury. Defender Hong Jungwoon is also out.

Nevertheless, Andre Gaspar will most likely stick to the same 3-4-3 system which saw his side win the FA Cup last year and have a good go at the AFC Champions League group stages and set his side up with a back three, wingbacks and Cesinha in the hole behind recent acquisitions Rildo and Park Gidong. Much like their opponents this Saturday, Daegu like to play on the counter attack and will look to exploit any space left by Seoul's two attack-minded central midfielders, Go Yohan and Ikromjon Alibaev.

Due to the way in which Daegu play on the counter, Andre's men have the lowest possession stats in the division with 44.4%. However, no team in K League 1 has had more shots than the Sky Blues having had 344 attempts on goal, and with 13.99 per 90 minutes, also the highest in the division. Furthermore, no other side has attempted more shots from outside the box than Daegu with 181 in K League 1 this term.

Daegu FC starting lineup versus Sangju Sangmu, K League 1 Round 23.

What To Watch

Shots From Outside the Box

For Daegu, Cesinha leads K League 1 in terms of having attempted the most number of shots, the most number of shots per 90 mins, the most shots on target (41%), the most shots from open play, as well as having made the most shots from outside the box in a team which has made the most shots in K League 1. Although the 30 year-old's goal for Team K League against Juventus was just inside the penalty area, from the nine goals the Brazilian has scored this season, three have come from outside the box, the same amount as FC Seoul's Ikromjon Alibaev, and one more than Park Chuyoung. Between the two of them, Alibaev and Park have 49 shots from outside the 18-yard box this season. Furthermore, versatile midfielder Osmar is certainly not afraid to shoot from distance, as was evident by the Spaniard's opening goal against Juventus last Friday night. The former Cerezo Osaka man hit a free-kick from a similar distance in the second Super Match of 2019 just a couple of months ago.


Neither side head into Friday's match in the best of form but, likewise, both FC Seoul and Daegu FC will perhaps see the game as an ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways. Seoul have had the upper-hand in recent meetings but have had to rely on set-pieces and shots from distance in order to do so. If the hosts can create more meaningful chances from open play, and not over expose themselves on the counter, then Choi Yongsoo's men should have enough to get a result.

Injuries to some key players for Daegu has left them a touch stretched and so will need the likes of Park Gidong and Rildo to hit the ground running for their new team. Key to Daegu is of course Cesinha and Jo Hyeonwoo; if the pair put in a performance then Daegu may be able to get a draw which is the most likely outcome of this one. Score draw.

[LISTEN: K League vs Juventus Reaction and Mixed Zone Podcast]

[READK League 1 Round 24 Preview]

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