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Preview: FC Seoul vs Seongnam FC

Preview: FC Seoul vs Seongnam FC K League 1 Round 4
FC Seoul host Seongnam FC on Sunday in Round 4 of the 2020 Hana 1Q K League 1 season. Choi Yong-soo and his men will be looking to make it three wins in the spin, but take on a Magpies side currently unbeaten so far this term.


via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Pohang Steelers 1-2 FC Seoul

FC Seoul came from behind to earn three points away to Pohang Steelers last Friday night. A defensive howler from the visitors involving centre back Kim Nam-chun and goalkeeper Yu Sang-hun,allowed Stanislav Iljutcenko to roll the ball into an empty net. However, Seoul were back on level terms 10 minutes before the break, Hwang Hyun-soo heading in a Park Chu-young corner.

Choi Yong-soo's side turned the game on its head via another header from a corner, this time with Ju Se-jong finding Osmar six yards out. There were impressive performances from Han Seung-gyu and the returning Go Yo-han, but Han Chan-hee was forced off early through injury.


Gangwon FC 1-1 Seongnam FC

Seongnam, meanwhile, picked up a point on the road away to Gangwon. The game's opening goal came after 17 minutes thanks to some great link up play between Kim Seung-dae and Ko Mu-yeol. The ball was sent long, Kim Seung-dae chested it down and didn’t appear to be in an area to really punish Seongnam but a lovely ball around the corner played in Ko Muy-yeol who found the bottom corner.

Seongnam very nearly levelled a minute later, Yang Dong-hyun showed great strength and determination to get a shot away. The rebound fell to youngster Hong Si-hoo but he hit the post. The equaliser eventually came on 55 mins. Hong was involved again, the initial shot was blocked but found its way to Kwon Soon-hyung who turned in his first goal for the club after joining from Jeju. Both sides had chances to win it but 1-1 was probably a fair reflection.


Previous Meetings

These two sides met almost exactly a year ago, on 28th May 2019, with Seoul emerging as 3-1 winners. Park Dong-jin, Osmar and Pešić were on the scoresheet for FC Seoul, Mathias Coureur for the Mapgies. Last term, Seoul picked up two wins over Seongnam, the first coming in round two when Go Yo-han scoring the only goal of the game on the stroke of half time. The most recent encounter, however, was in mid-August at Tancheon Sports Complex. Moon Sang-yun on target for hosts in a 1-0 win.

Overall, there have been 42 meetings between these two teams. Seoul have 17 wins to Seongnam's 14 and 11 draws. At home, Seoul have 10 wins, five draws and four losses to Seongnam. The most recent Seongnam win in the capital was in June 2016, despite the Magpies going a goal behind after just 13 minutes. Adriano got Seoul up and running but compatriot Tiago levelled just three minutes later. Hwang Ui-jo made it two on 33 minutes before an unfortunate own goal from 'keeper Yu Sang-hun capped off the win.

Team News

Ikromjon Alibaev, Kim Won-gyun, Adriano, and Han Chan-hee were all in training earlier this week but Aleksandar Pešić is a doubt whilst Osmar looks also set to miss out. The Spanish midfielder was pulled from Seoul's pre-Seongnam press conference on Thursday, suggesting that the former club captain is a doubt for the visit of the Magpies.

Whilst FC Seoul's apparent 3-5-2 formation has become synonymous with Choi Yong-soo, the capital club's evolved throughout the win over Pohang Steelers last Friday. Up until the 50th minute, Seoul were set up in a 3-4-2-1 formation with Han Seung-gyu and Go Yo-han behind Park Chu-young in attack. After which, Seoul were in a 3-5-1-1 up until the 78th minute, and then for the last 12 minutes a 5-3-2.

FC Seoul lineup vs Pohang Steelers, K League 1 R3.
Seongnam are likely to be without captain and versatile left wing back Seo Bo-min and centre backs Ahn Young-gyu and Jovanović through injury. Meanwhile, left back Park Soo-il, former FC Seoul striker Kim Hyun-sung and midfielder Joo Hyun-woo are also doubts having not yet featured for the Magpies in 2020. Veteran striker Yang Dong-hyun has two goals to his name so far but both came against Gwangju on the opening day. Since then the former Pohang man has managed just one shot on target and so it could be an opportunity for Tomislav Kiš.

Seongnam FC lineup vs Gangwon FC, K League 1 R3.

Eulji Lewis

The Adversary

Seongnam have made a good start to the new campaign with one win and two draws. After falling behind, the Magpies came back to earn a draw away to Gangwon last time out with young forward Hong Si-woo showing early promise. The 19-year-old is a first-year professional and has been chosen to partner Yang Dong-hyun in attack. New Magpies gaffer, Kim Nam-il, has largely used a 5-3-2 formation with three centre backs and two wing-backs. However, for the trip to Gangneung, Coach Kim had his side set up in more of a 4-4-2 with youngster Choi Ji-muk at left back due to the injuries to Seo Bo-min and Park Soo-il.

So far this term, Seongnam rank fourth in K League 1 for xG with 4.69 and second in terms of the number of shots made. And, with 57% possession, Seongnam are third only to Gangwon and Jeonbuk so far this term. Fans should expect a decent amount of possession from the visitors and a lot of shots on goal. The onus will be on Yang Dong-hyun and his rookie side-kick, Hong Si-hoo, to pick up a first win at Sangam since 2016.

What To Watch

Set Pieces

Hwang Hyun-soo and teammates celebrate the defender's goal vs Pohang Steelers
Last season and already with just three games played in 2020, Seoul have proven to be a threat from set pieces. Both goals came via corners against Pohang last Friday, Park Chu-young and Ju Se-jong on hand to provide the assists for Hwang Hyun-soo and Osmar respectively. Including the two ACL matches which FC Seoul played earlier in the year, 44.4% of corners have resulted in an attempt on goal, 24% more than any of their opponents so far. With Osmar out of Sunday's match, Hwang Hyun-soo will be one to keep an eye on.


Seoul be without Park Dong-jin and Osmar, two players who have proven to be key for the capital club in grinding out results. However, the embarrassment of riches Choi Yong-soo has on terms of midfield options should prove to be enough, even if Park Chu-young is deployed as a lone striker. Seongnam have done well so far but have some injuries and already seem to have a reliance on Yang Dong-hyun. Narrow home win.

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