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Preview: FC Seoul vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Preview: FC Seoul vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors K League 1 Round 5
After suffering defeats last time out, both FC Seoul and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will be seeking victory when the two sides meet in the capital this Saturday in Round 5 of the 2020 Hana 1Q K League 1 season. Seoul have failed to win each of their last nine matches against Jeonbuk and the last five at home. 

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

FC Seoul 0-1 Seongnam FC

FC Seoul failed to build on their back-to-back wins over Gwangju and Pohang by suffering a last gasp home loss to Seongnam FC. Tomislav Kiš bundled the ball over the line from point blank range with just a minute of normal time remaining with what was the Croatian forward's first in K League just six minutes after coming on as a substitute. Seoul had defended well for 88 minutes of the match but some slack marking from Seoul's three centre backs allowed 'Tomi' the time and space to convert Lee Tae-hee's cross from the right.

Post-match Analysis: here

Highlights



Gangwon FC 1-0 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

On Saturday, Jeonbuk fell to their first league defeat of the season away to Gangwon FC, old boy Ko Mu-yeol with the game's deciding goal. Jeonbuk were reduced to 10 men for the second game in a row when centre back Hong Jeong-ho impeded Cho Jae-wan on the edge of the box and, as the last man, left referee Kim Jong-Hyeok no alternative but to brandish the red card.

On 37 minutes Gangwon took the lead, Kim Kyung-jung's left-footed cross from the right was met by Ko Mu-yeol six yards out who nodded in what turned out to be the winner against his former club.

Highlights



Previous Meetings

Seoul have gone nine matches without a win against Jeonbuk and, at home, have failed to win their last five attempts. Seoul have conceded at least one goal against Jeonbuk in the last seven counters as well as at least one in the last nine home games.

Seoul's last win over Jeonbuk dates back to 2017, a 1-0 victory thanks to a last gasp Park Chu-young strike at a rain-sodden Sangam. Famously, Park was the match winner on the final day of the 2016 season too with a goal that sealed the K League title.

However, since those two wins, Seoul have endured a poor record against Jeonbuk. In the last 10 meetings, Seoul have just one win to Jeonbuk's seven and two draws. The most recent meeting saw Seoul pick up a point in Jeonju. Hwang Hyun-soo put Seoul ahead after 20 minutes but later saw his close range effort cancelled out by legendary striker Lee Dong-gook five minutes from time. The three other meetings in 2019 all ended in Jeonbuk wins, two of which came at Sangam - 4-2 and 2-0 to the Green Warriors.

There have been 90 previous meetings between FC Seoul and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. Seoul have 33 wins to Jeonbuk's 32 and 25 draws.

Eulji Lewis

Team News

For FC Seoul, defensive midfielder Osmar is out and Pešić remains as a minor doubt after the pair picked up injuries in training recently. With Pešić's loan deal set to expire at the end of this month, Seoul fans will be wondering if they will be able to see the former Red Star Belgrade hit man in a red and black shirt again before he departs. Han Seung-gyu is unavailable to play against his parent club; Ikromjon Alibaev or Cho Young-wook are expected to step in.

After a disappointing defeat, and another lethargic performance from his attacking players, FC Seoul manager Choi Yong-soo will have a lot to ponder ahead of the visit of Jeonbuk. Both Cho Young-wook and Adriano made cameo appearances off the bench, at least one of them is likely to start but given that Cho can play in central midfield too. The Korean youth international could slot into central midfield or partner Park Chu-young in attack. Against Seongnam, Cho played as a number 10, shadowing Park Chu-young.

FC Seoul lineup vs Seongnam FC, K League 1 Round 4.

Jeonbuk will be without centre back Hong Jeong-ho following his first half dismissal away to Gangwon last time out, Kim Min-hyeok is expected to replace the former Augsburg man. Cho Gyu-seong is back from a suspension of his own and could be given the nod to start as Jeonbuk's U22 player. Jose Morais' other option in that regard is Lee Soo-bin on loan from Pohang Steelers.

Alternatively, given how disappointed Lars Veldwijk appeared after being subbed off against Gangwon following the Hong Jeong-ho red card, Morais may start with the South African as his centre forward. Injury wise, Oh Ban-seok and Koo Ja-ryong are yet to make any match day squads this season suggesting that the pair could be sidelined.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors lineup vs Gangwon FC, K League 1 Round 4.

The Adversary


It's not often that Jeonbuk head into a match against FC Seoul following a defeat. In fact, it has been two years since the North Jeolla side have faced Seoul having lost last time out. Interestingly, in 2018, prior to all three of the meetings between the two sides, Jeonbuk were coming off the back of a loss - two to Pohang and one to Incheon. The 2018 campaign was the only time this has happened since Seoul's last win over Jeonbuk in 2017.

Despite sitting top of the league, Jeonbuk have seldom looked convincing this term. That said, the Green Warriors are also first in K League 1 in terms of xG with 6.96 and first for the number of shots made. An insight into how Jeonbuk play can be seen from how many one-on-one dribbles have been made thus far in 2020 - 122, the most in K League 1. Jeonbuk are direct and also like to get crosses into the box, they rank third in the division in that regard and are second in terms of accuracy. The majority of Jeonbuk's crosses have come from the left-hand side. With Osmar absent for Seoul, this could be a game for Lars Veldwijk to add to his Jeonbuk goal tally.

Formation-wise, Jose Morais has largely set his side up in a 4-1-4-1 formation but has also dabbled with a 4-2-3-1. A 4-1-4-1 was used for the first 49 minutes of the match when these two sides last met for the 1-1 draw in October last year before switching to a 4-2-3-1 and later a 3-4-3. More than anything, discipline seems to be an issue for Jeonbuk, just as it was last term. From six matches in all competitions, the North Jeolla outfit have had five player sent off.

What To Watch


The team selection of both managers will be interesting. Both Jose Morais and Choi Yong-soo face selection dilemmas and, after defeats last time out, are expected to make changes ahead of Saturday's clash. For the hosts, Choi is forced into one change with Han Seung-gyu unavailable to face his parent club. Cho Young-wook would add some much-needed pace in Seoul's attack which has been pedestrian at times. Adriano's killer instinct may be the difference but whether the Brazilian is fit enough to get his second start of the season remains to be seen. If Seoul are to play on the counter then they are going to need to be clinical and quick in transition. Much to ponder.


For Jeonbuk, it's the U22 rule which poses a problem for Jose Morais. Lars Veldwijk's physical presence and old fashioned centre forward style might suit Jeonbuk's tendency to get crosses into the box. But, if the South African international starts then that means Cho Gyu-seong will have to be shoehorned in on the wing or Lee Soo-bin is brought in to play in central midfield, the youngster on loan from Pohang. One of Son Jun-ho, Kunimoto, Lee Seung-gi, or Kim Bo-kyung will have to miss out. Whichever manager takes a proactive approach and fields an attacking team might just go on to pick up a win. For Seoul, that will be the first win over Jeonbuk in three years.

Prediction

Yellow cards. There has been a red card in each of Jeonbuk's last two games and five dismissals from six games in all competitions so far this term. Seoul's record is clean in comparison with five players picking up just one yellow each this term. In terms of this fixture, there has been a card inside the first 30 minutes in eight of the last 10 games between Seoul and Jeonbuk. There should be goals too. There has been an odd number of goals in each of the last seven games played by Seoul at home.

Even with the defeat to Gangwon last time out, Jeonbuk should edge this one but it depends on if Seoul can get out of second gear. The reliance on Park Chu-young is costing them at the moment and, according to Choi's post-Seongnam press conference, the rest of his forwards are not quite ready to play 90 minutes.

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