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Preview: Sangju Sangmu vs Incheon United

Bottom side Incheon United travel to Sangju Sangmu on Wednesday evening looking for an overdue three points. Sangju have a chance of making the top half of the league split with a win, whilst Incheon need to stay in touch with Jeju and Gyeongnam at the bottom.

Last Time Out

Suwon Bluewings 1-1 Sangju Sangmu

Sangju Sangmu came away from their midtable battle against Suwon with a maybe slightly fortunate point. The home side dominated the first half and were finally rewarded for their efforts eight minutes before the break. Kim Min-woo turned home a Han Eui-gwon cross/shot for the lead and that's how the half ended.

In the second half Sangju looked refocused and Kim Gun-hee (on loan from Suwon) equalized shortly after the restart. Suwon strangely didn't bring on either Waguininho or Damjanović and failed to make the most of a handful of openings as the game draw to a close. Sangju will go away happy with a point, whilst Suwon fans will question some of the tactics used specifically during the second half.

Highlights:


Incheon United 1-1 Daegu FC

Incheon hosted the only K League 1 game on Sunday able to go ahead as the others were postponed due to the weather. Incheon battled for a hard earned point on an evening dominated by VAR decisions. Incheon seemed to have taken the lead within the opening ten minutes, but the goal was disallowed via VAR due to a foul in the buildup. Both sides had their moments but lacked a little cutting edge during the opening forty-five.

The second half started as the first finished with neither side able to convert solid openings. But late in the half Daegu sub Rildo went down in the box and following animated protests VAR was checked and a penalty was given. Edgar Silva converted twice (the kick had to be retaken) and Daegu were ahead. Only with ten minutes to go did Incheon come alive and with two minutes to play Myung Jun-jae leveled as Daegu collapsed at the back. Both sides settled for a point at this stage tired maybe of the numerous VAR interruptions.

Highlights:


Previous Meetings

Incheon United and Sangju Sangmu clashed at the beginning of the season with Sangju winning 2-0.  Park Yong-ji and Kim Min-woo scored the goals to hand Sangju that win. Then they played again in May with Sangju also winning, this time 2-1 with Lee Tee-hee scoring the winner. Last season, they played each other four times, with Sangju winning twice, one game ending goalless and the final game was won 2-1 by Incheon.

Sangju beat Incheon at home at the beginning of last season 3-2, they were however 3-0 up at half time but almost let the win slip away. Incheon last beat Sangju away in August 2017, winning 2-1, with Park Yong-ji (currently playing for Sangju) scoring the winner with only two minutes to play.

Over the years Sangju and Incheon have played each other 39 times with the victories dominated by Incheon. They've won seventeen times vs Sangju's twelve. The other ten games have ended in draws.


Team News

Incheon United Manager Yoo Sang-chul needs to ring the changes again for this midweek game as there were some tired legs on show on Sunday. Thankfully he will be has a full squad to choose from as no one is currently suspended. But there are a few players currently a booking away from a ban.

Incheon key defender Gordan Bunoza continues to be a big miss at the back, will he return on Wednesday? It's 50/50. Also Kim Do-hyuk & Kim Jin-ya were both only on the bench on Sunday and should start on Wednesday.

Sangju Sangmu also have no players suspended for this game at home against Incheon. However they have seen a few key players return to their parent clubs following the end of their military service loan spells, notably Yoon Bit-garam.

Adversary

Sangju Sangmu have had a solid season by all accounts. They are current seventh in the league and on the bubble of making the top half of the split. They are also in the semi finals of the FA Cup and have a solid chance of winning the whole thing if they can get past National League side Daejeon Korail.

However standout player Yoon Bit-garam recently finished his loan spell and they are a little lacking in depth at the moment. Park Yong-ji has had a strong season so far scoring ten times and will be in the difficult situation of having to play his parent side this Wednesday evening.

Who To Watch

Incheon United's current top scorer Stefan Mugoša has ten goals to his name so far this season, including two against Pohang and a hat-trick against Ulsan, both in the past month. He seems to be finally finding his scoring form from last season when he bagged nineteen goals.

Moving into the midfield Kim Ho-nam has four goals to his name since joining in the summer from Jeju United. He played almost the full ninety on Sunday proving that finally his fitness issues might be improving.

Finally at the back, U23 International Kim Jin-ya has been the only standout player so far this season. He offers options moving forward and at the back and has a seemingly unlimited gas-tank. He strangely didn't start against Daegu, but therefore he should have some extra energy for the game against Sangju.

Prediction

With three games to go until the split Sangju are right on the bubble between the top half and the relegation half. They haven't won in their last five, but do have a strong record against Incheon so far this season. Incheon also haven't won in their past five games but unlikely Sangju are deep in the relegation battle. Incheon desperately need a full three points to keep in touch with both Jeju United and Gyeongnam FC who sit just above them.

Overall, it could be a slow game as both sides just played at the weekend, plus Sangju played in the cup just last Wednesday. A draw might not be great but at least a single point is a good return at this stage of the season. I see this one ending in a dull goalless draw (sorry).

Predicted Score: Sangju Sangmu 0 - 0 Incheon United

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