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Preview: Seongnam FC vs. Incheon United


Two of last seasons strugglers Seongnam FC and Incheon United are set to clash on Sunday evening in the second game of the new 2020 season. Seongnam are coming off an impressive victory over Gwangju, whilst Incheon picked up a point in a goalless draw against Daegu. Therefore, the hosts should start as the favorites here, but they haven't bettered Incheon at home since 2015.

Last Time Out

Incheon United 0 - 0 Daegu FC


Sadly for all of the fans who tuned in to watch this one it wasn't exactly a classic as both sides looked a little off the pace. Incheon were second best during the opening forty-five minutes and if it wasn't for strong defensive midfield play from Aussie Rashid Mahaz, Daegu might have found the space to create more openings.

The second half was more even with both sides having a handful of half-chances, but nothing super clear-cut. Honestly, Daegu keeper Choi Young-eun might not have broken a sweat in the end. Both sides will be looking to put on improved performances over the upcoming weeks.

Gwangju FC 0 - 2 Seongnam FC



Seongnam FC traveled down to Gwangju last Sunday evening and were able to take home an impressive three points following a two-nil victory. Both goals came early and via former Pohang star Yang Dong-hyen. He scored his first after just four minutes, assisted by Yu In-soo. Then again seven minutes later this time assisted by Kim Dong-hyun. Not a bad start for a thirty-four year old on your debut.

The rest of the game was more even with both sides having a solid number of half chances. Kim Young-kwang proved to be the difference at times with a string of impressive saves. Brazilian Felipe and Doo Hyun-seok both could have brought Gwangju back into the game if not for the saves of Glory. Seongnam, in the end, went home happy with the full three points.

Previous Meetings

Incheon United and Seongnam FC played each other four times last season with the first two games ending goalless, followed by one-nil victories for either side both away from home.

Incheon last beat Seongnam in their last game against each other just last October, with Stefan Mugosa scoring the only goal of the game. Seongnam FC last beat Incheon at home back in 2015, with Hwang Ui-jo scoring the winner.

Over the years Incheon and Ulsan have played each other 43 times with the victories dominated by Seongnam. They've won seventeen times to Incheon's eight. The other eighteen games have ended in draws. Thank Incheon are playing away as they haven't beaten Seongnam in their last fourteen attempts at home, and have never recorded a win against them at the Sungui Arena.


Team News

This weekends game sees neither side coming in with any suspensions following the opening game of the K League 1 season.

Incheon maybe lacking star forward Stefan Mugosa for the entire ninety, as he only managed the final ten minutes last Saturday. Also hopefully defender Gordon Bunoza might be able to return to the bench this Sunday. Seongnam should come into the game with a clean bill of health and should be able to name a full-strength starting eleven.

Adversary

Seongnam FC had an OK 2019 season, but only finished one spot ahead of Incheon in ninth. Their issue was goals only scoring thirty all season, the lowest in the league. However a strong defence kept them up in the end, and they seem to have pulled a few gaps during the extended off-season.

Look out for veteran forward Yang Dong-hyen who scored a quick brace last weekend against Gwangju on the road. The thirty-four year old bagged ten goal last season over in Japan for Avispa Fukuoka, so Incheon need to keep a close eye on him. Another veteran in the form of former Seoul E-Land keeper Kim Young-kwang (aka Glory) was impressive last weekend as well.

Who To Watch

Incheon United's top goal scorer from the 2019 season was Montenegrin international forward Stefan Mugoša. He scored fourteen goals in twenty-two games, including nine in the final stretch of the season. That form lead him to be the only Incheon player named in the K League award nominations. However, his fitness has been a worry over the past month.

Moving into the midfield; Australia summer 2019 signing Rashid Mahazi quickly settled into life in the K League last season, and played a blinder last weekend against Daegu. He kept Brazilian forward Cesinha out of the game, and was unlucky not to receive the MOM award.

Finally at the back, the experienced hands of Jeong San kept a clean sheet last weekend, however, he was a little hit-or-miss last season. Former Seongnam centerback Mun Ji-hwan returns to his former home and will be hoping to continue the strong form he showed last weekend.

Prediction

Once again this is a tough one to call as historically games between Seongnam and Incheon are generally very even and sadly low scoring. Incheon are normally better playing over in Seongnam, but Seongnam were strong and victorious last weekend.

Overall I feel that Incheon will play with a higher tempo compared to last weekend, and Seongnam might set things a little deeper to guard against counter attacked. In the end, I see this ending in draw, with Seongnam probably edging the opening and chances during the ninety.

Predicted Score: Seongnam FC 1-1 Incheon United

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