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Preview: Incheon United vs Sangju Sangmu


With only two games to play in the 2019 K League Season Incheon United still face the real possibility of relegation. They host already safe Sangju Sangmu on Sunday afternoon, with a win being more important than ever. Can Incheon pick up the vital three points? Or sink deeper into the relegation nightmare?

Last Time Out

Jeju United 2 - 0 Incheon United

Incheon fell to a disappointing two goal defeat on the road against Jeju United a few weekends ago. The first half was a little dull with Jeju maybe creating the better openings, with Incheon looked focused on playing deep and hoping to counter. In the second half Magno Cruz broke the deadlock after sixty-one minutes and it was only at this point that Incheon started to try and play attacking football. Lee Chang-min doubled the lead for Jeju with eleven minutes to play and sealed the important three points. Incheon had time to see a Mugosa penalty saved in the final few minutes. One to forget for the traveling fans.



Gyeongnam FC 0 - 1 Sangju Sangmu


Sangju Sangmu picked up a narrow win over relegation strugglers Gyeongnam on the road just before the international break. Kim Gun-hee scored the only goal of the game late in the first half. Gyeongnam were on top much game especially after the goal, but just couldn't find a way past the solid Sangju backline. Controlling Urus Đerić was maybe part of the reason for Sangju's overall success on the day.


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. However in the third clash Incheon took home the spoils with a 3-2 win, with the three goals coming in the opening twelve minutes.

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 40 times with the victories dominated by Incheon. They've won eighteen times vs Sangju's twelve. The other ten games have ended in draws.

Team News

It was announced during the week that Incheon United Manager Yoo Sang-chul is currently suffering from stage four pancreatic cancer, but will continue in his role until the end of the season. This is such sad news for the everyone. The Incheon squad will hopefully put in a little extra for both the struggling club and their gaffer.

Incheon could recall defender Gordan Bunoza to the starting eleven as the fan-favorite has returned to the squad in recent weeks. Incheon have no players suspended for this weekends clash.

Former Incheon defender Gwon Wan-gyu will be suspended this weekend for Sangju Sangmu.

Adversary

Sangju Sangmu have had a solid season by all accounts. They are currently seventh in the league and cannot finish any higher or lower at this point. They made it to the semi finals of the FA Cup. So they should be able to build on this season heading into 2020, when they have a full pick of military service players following the ending of Asan Mugunghwa.

Watch out for Kim Gun-hee who has come alive in the latter part of the season. He has six goals in just eight appearances including winners against Gyeongnam and Jeju, plus a brace last time he faced Incheon United.

Who To Watch

Incheon United's current top scorer is in-form forward Stefan Mugoša who has fourteen goals to his name so far this season, including nine in his last eight K League games. This form has lead his to be the only Incheon player named in the K League award nominations. He is the main threat and basically only dangerman that Incheon have at the moment.

Moving into the midfield, U22 International Kim Jin-ya has recently moved from wing-back to attacking winger and has looked at home in a more attacking role. He has however just played a few games out in the Middle East so might be a little tired.

Finally at the back, keeper Lee Tae-hee produced a fantastic performance against Seongnam a few weeks back, but didn't look as go against Jeju last time out. With normal first-choice keeper Jeong San out for the rest of the season he needs to step up again in these final couple of games.

Prediction

Incheon come into this game having only lost one of their last six, but still only three points ahead of bottom side Jeju United. Sangju on the other hand are safe and clear at the top of the bottom six, with four wins from their last five games.

Overall, Incheon need the points and know that a draw might not be enough at this point, whilst Sangju are playing for fun and can relax a little knowing that they are safe at this stage of the season. In the end I see Incheon winning, it could be a narrow single goal game or a goal bonanza, I'm siding with the latter.

Predicted Score: Incheon United 3 - 2 Sangju Sangmu

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