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Preview: Incheon United vs Seongnam FC

Incheon United take on an in-form Seongnam FC on Sunday evening in yet another must win game for the bottom of the league side. Incheon haven’t ever beaten Seongnam at the Sungui Arena and have failed to beat Seongnam in their past fourteen attempts. Will Sunday be the turning point for the men in black and blue?

Last Time Out

Incheon United 1 – 1 Gyeongnam FC
Incheon United came back from behind to pick up a point against relegation rivals Gyeongnam FC on Tuesday evening. Incheon maybe should have gone one better and won the game, but failed to make the most of a few late chances. The game started slowly was both sides trying to adapt to the hot and very humid conditions. Neither side had a clear opening until out of almost nowhere Urus Đerić found space alone in the box to put Gyeongnam ahead after half on hour. The first half wound down quickly following the goal and Gyeongnam went into the dressing rooms with the narrow lead.

Incheon United started the second half with renewed energy and equalizer after just two minutes of the restart. Recent singing from Jeju United Kim Ho-nam produced the stylish finish off the post to level the game. Incheon controlled most of the half and created a number of solid chances but couldn’t convert. In the end Gyeongnam will be the happier finishing with a point, whilst Incheon maybe should have done better.

Highlights:

Seongnam FC 1 – 0 Sangju Sangmu
Seongnam FC completed back-to-back victories on Tuesday evening narrowly defeating fellow mid-table side Sangju Sangmu at home. The first half wasn’t exactly a great advertisement for the K League as neither side created much of note, with maybe Seongnam looking to more likely to score especially near the end of the half.

In the second half it was more of the same early on, however Seongnam started to take more and more control of the game the longer the half went on. However it did seem like the game was going to end goalless as the half entered injury time, but there was late drama. Seongnam scored the winning goal in the second minute of injury time with on-loan wing back Park Won-jae the unlikely hero. Seongnam held on for the final couple of minutes to record a vital three points as they attempt to break into the top half before the league split.

Highlights:

Previous Meetings

Incheon United and Seongnam FC have played each other twice so far this season with both games ending goalless. They didn't play each other last season as Seongnam were still in the second tier.

Incheon last beat Seongnam at home all the way back in 2011, winning 2-1 at the old Incheon Munhak Stadium. Park Joon-tae scored the late winner that day. Seongnam last beat Incheon away back in 2016, Hwang Ui-jo and Tiago Alves scoring in a 3-2 win.

Over the years Incheon and Ulsan have played each other 41 times with the victories dominated by Seongnam. They've won sixteen times to Incheon's seven. The other eighteen games have ended in draws. Incheon haven't beaten Seongnam in their last fourteen attempts, and have never recorded a win against them at the Sungui Arena.

Team News

Incheon United Manager Yoo Sang-chul made a lot of signing during the Summer transfer window trying to put his stamp on the Incheon team. Also good news that no Incheon players are suspended for this game, however defender Kim Jeung-ho, Lee Jae-sung and Myung Jun-jae are all a booking away from a ban.

Gordan Bunoza has been injured for much of the Summer, it’s a little unlikely but he could be available for a return on Sunday evening. Summer signings Rashid Mahazi & Lanre Kehinde both made their debuts on Tuesday, and should be involved again this Sunday evening.

Seongnam FC should have a full squad to choose from this coming weekend with no players currently suspended.

Who To Watch

Incheon United's current top scorer Stefan Mugoša currently has five goals to his name this season, and he is in fact the only Incheon player to have scored more than once. He'll be a danger of the Seongnam defence, along with new signing Nigerian Lanre Kehinde who played a full ninety on Tuesday. The tall former Denizlispor man looked solid on the ball and fingers crossed he finds a goal scoring touch sooner rather than later.

Moving into the midfield recent signing from Jeju United Kim Ho-nam scored his first for his new employers on Tuesday evening and will be looking to build on that goal against Seongnam. He looked more comfortable last time out and could a vital asset moving deeper into the season.

Finally at the back; Keeper Jung San has had a mixed season so far and is often let down by his defence. However he is a solid keeper and often makes very important saves. Also watch out of fullback Kim Jin-ya who have proven to be one of Incheon's most reliable and consistent players so far this season.


The Adversary

Seongnam FC won promotion back into the K League 1 last season despite finishing the season in second place. They took advantage of the fact Asan Mugunghwa where unable to gain promotion. However life back in the top tier hasn’t proven easy. They have won seven of their twenty-two games so far this season, however just like Incheon they have struggled in front of goal only scoring twenty time in the league.

Recently Seongnam FC have two on the bounce breaking a three game losing streak. They are currently sat in eighth place a little ahead of the relegation battle and five points below Suwon Bluewings who sit in at the bottom of the top half.


Look out for
former Jeonbuk Hyundai and Daegu forward Eder, the Brazilian was one of the standout players recently during the Team K League game against Juventus and is always dangerous whilst moving forward. He already has five goals to his name in the league so far this season.

Prediction

Incheon know that a victory on Sunday should be enough to move them off the bottom of the K League table for the first time in months. They cannot afford to lose contact with both Jeju and Gyeongnam who sit just a point ahead of them. However they face an in-form Seongnam on Sunday, a team that have proven to a boogie team for Incheon and currently hold a fourteen undefeated record against Sunday’s hosts.

Overall neither Incheon nor Seongnam have looked great so far this season. Seongnam have been able to pick up useful victories, a good example being their last minute win on Tuesday evening. Incheon on the other hand have struggled to kill game off and often have gifted silly goals and given away points.

On paper this one looks like a draw, previous games between Incheon and Seongnam have always been close and generally finish in a draw (the last four times in fact). I personally see this one also staying with the form book and once again ending all-square.

Predicted Score: Incheon United 1-1 Seongnam FC

[READK League 1 Round 24 Preview]

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