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Preview: Incheon United vs. Pohang Steelers


Incheon United look to kick start their slow start to the 2020 K League 1 season this coming weekend as they host Pohang Steelers on Sunday evening. Incheon are still looking for their first goal of the season, but have proven to at least to be defensively strong. Can Pohang find a way past the Incheon backline? Or can Incheon rediscover some attacking ideas?




Last Time Out

Suwon Bluewings 1-0 Incheon United


Incheon the for third week running played out a dull game and produced an uninspiring performance to boot. Suwon were on top for nearly the entire ninety minutes with Incheon rarely troubling keeper No Dong-geon. However they were able to hold out for the first half and took a goalless draw in at half time.

The second half was much of the same as Suwon pressed slowly trying to find a way past a deep Incheon defence. The host finally found an opening from the spot just past the hour and Yeom Ki-hun easily converted into the bottom left hand corner. Incheon finally started trying to play some attacking football but lacked options moving forward. Even pushing keeper Jeong San up for the injury time corners resulted in nothing and they went home with nothing.

Full Suwon v Incheon Recap Click Here

Pohang Steelers 1-2 FC Seoul


Despite dominating much of the game Pohang lost last Friday at home to an improving FC Seoul. The host started brightly and took a fifth minute lead following a wild error at the back by Seoul keeper Yu Sang-hun. Stanislav Iljutcenko tapped home for the lead. Pohang however couldn't take that lead into half time as defender Hwang Hyun-soo rocketed in an equalizer with little more than ten minutes of the half to play.

Pohang continued to look the more like scoring during the second half, however it was Seoul who once again found the break-through. Spanish defensive midfielder Osmar found space to head in via a Ju Se-jong corner. The host pressed for an equalizer but couldn't find a way past a solid looking Seoul defence. 

Previous Meetings 


Incheon and Pohang played each other three times last season with Pohang coming out with a 1-0 win in the first game in Incheon. Kim Yong-hwan scored an injury time winner that afternoon. Then, Incheon won the second game played in Pohang, winning 2-1 that evening. The third game was a goal feast with Pohang winning 5-3, a Wanderson Carvalho hat-trick the highlight that evening back in August.

Incheon last won at home against Pohang back in 2017, picking up a 2-0 win. Choi Jong-hwan (now playing for Suwon FC) scoring the winner that evening. As mentioned before Pohang beat Incheon away just last season, winning 1-0.

Over the years Incheon and Pohang have played each other 48 times with the victories edged by Pohang twenty-one to fourteen. The other thirteen games have all ended in draws.

Team News

Incheon have no players missing due to suspension this coming weekend, neither do Pohang Steelers.

Incheon maybe lacking Nigerian forward Lanre Kehinde who went off injured during the first half last weekend against Suwon Bluewings. Midfielder Rashid Mahazi has missed the last two games, but maybe able to return this weekend. Finally Bosnian defender Gordan Bunoza hasn't played yet this season, was pictured at Incheon United training during the week focusing on fitness along with Mahazi. So they might be back for this game against Pohang.

Adversary

Pohang Steelers narrowly missed out on an ACL spot last season finishing fourth. They lacked a key forward however attacking defender Brazilian Wanderson Carvalho picked up fifteen goals which plugged that issue. Sadly however he moved to Kalba who play in the U.A.E at the end of the season.

Look out for German-Russian forward Stanislav Iljutcenko, the former MSV Duisburg star has scored twice in the opening three games this season, and picked up nine in eighteen during last seasons campaign. Also twenty year old Song Min-kyu has been an impressive young star once again for Pohang in the opening games this season.

Who To Watch

Firstly upfront; Incheon United's top goal-scorer from the 2019 season Stefan Mugoša. He scored for fun during both the 2018 and 2019 seasons for both club and country. However so far this season he has been a little off the pace, coupled with the fact that teams know he is Incheon's only danger going forward.

Moving into the midfield; Australia summer 2019 signing Rashid Mahazi played a blinder on the opening weekend against Daegu, but has been missing for the past two weeks due to injury. Kim Ho-nam has been impressive on the wing, but does struggle to last the entire ninety minutes.

Finally at the back, the experienced hands of Jeong San has kept back-to-back clean sheets during the opening two games of the season, but couldn't stop the penalty last weekend against Suwon. Overall the defence has been the bright light for Incheon so far this season.

FNR

Prediction

Incheon have looked extremely average so far this season, and sadly have put forward very defensive and boring performances to date. Pohang on the other hand have been more attacking, but lacked a little cutting-edge. Only two points separate these sides, so a win for Incheon would take them above Pohang and maybe into the top half.

However, it's tough to see Incheon winning this one as they've hardly looked like scoring during their opening 270 minutes of football this season. But they may only need one this Sunday. Overall I honestly see Pohang having the edge on the road, but it will be close. Also maybe don't expect a classic based on the previous Incheon games this season.

Predicted Score: Incheon United 1-2 Pohang Steelers

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