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Preview: Suwon Samsung Bluewings vs Sangju Sangmu




Suwon Samsung Bluewings host Sangju Sangmu at the Big Bird on Sunday in the K League. Who will prevail at the end of the clash? Nived Zenith previews the encounter.

Last Time Out

Daegu FC 3-1 Suwon Bluewings 

Lee Lim Saeng’s men were handed a disappointing defeat in their previous encounter against Daegu FC in the K League last Sunday. Although the Bluewings took the lead through Ko Seung-beom, who scored from a direct free kick, a disastrous second half display proved fateful for the visitors at the Forest Arena. 

The hosts powered their way back into the game courtesy of a quick brace from Cesinha, while former Bluewings striker Dejan Damjanovic completed the rout in second half stoppage time. The result left the Bluewings in the bottom half of the table, while Daegu climbed to fourth in the standings.


Seongnam FC 0-1 Sangju Sangmu

The military men of Sangju Sangmu notched up another vital win last weekend, when they edged out Seongnam FC away from home. The visitors were forced to wait until second half stoppage time, as they were awarded a penalty.

Moon Chang-jin, who came off the bench in the second half, dispatched the spot kick with relative ease and secured maximum points for his side. Kim Tae-wan’s side climbed to third in the league table, after their win in Seongnam.

Previous Meetings

The latest meeting between the sides ended in a thumping 4-1 win for Sangju Sangmu. However, the other two meetings last season ended in a 1-1 draw and a 2-0 win for Suwon Bluewings. In total, there have been 43 meetings between the sides over the years. Suwon hold the upper hand with 24 wins, while Sangju have come away with three points only on eight occasions. 

The fixture has also seen 11 draws during that time, while Suwon have netted 63 goals compared to just 30 by Sangju in the fixture. Notably, Sangju have only registered three wins away from home against the Bluewings ahead of their trip to the Big Bird.

Team News

Suwon Bluewings have yet to find their best combination after eight games in the K League this term. Lee Lim Saeng’s decision to leave out Sulejman Krpic and Terry Antonis from the playing eleven during the defeat at Daegu did not do him any favour either. Even though the manager could start with all four of his foreigners on Sunday, it remains unlikely he would shift from the 3-5-2 formation.

Sangju seem more consistent with their playing eleven compared to the Bluewings. Kim Tae-wan has opted for a 4-1-4-1 shape in all but one of his last five league games. There is also consistency at the back, where they have opted for An Tae-hyun and Kim Jin-hyeok in each of the last five outings. With the exception of the 4-2 defeat against Pohang Steelers, Sangju have conceded just two other goals during that time as well. Oh Se-hun was restored to the playing eleven against Seongnam and he could keep his place against Suwon on Sunday.

The Adversary

Sangju have recovered well after suffering a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Ulsan Hyundai during their opening game of the K League this term. Since that defeat, the military men have lost just once in the seven games that followed. In addition to draws away from home to Daegu FC and Busan IPark, Sangju have won against all of Gangwon, Gwangju, Seoul and Seongnam during that time.

Kim Tae-wan’s side have won two games in a row and could make it three consecutive wins, should they add insult to injury on Suwon Bluewings’ campaign so far in the K League. Sangju have also scored nine goals this term, while keeping four clean sheets in their eight games until now.

What To Watch




Can Suwon keep a clean slate?

The Bluewings have consistently struggled at the back since their inaugural game of the season against Jeonbuk Hyundai. Lee Lim-saeng’s men have failed to make the best use of scoring first in three games, owing to their poor defending. While they were fortunate enough to salvage a point against Gangwon, defeats against Ulsan Hyundai at home and more recently in Daegu would be considered as nothing short of catastrophic. 

As such, it is essential for the Bluewings to shore up their defence when they lock horns with Sangju, who can punish them if they show their usual lackadaisical approach at the back.


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Prediction

Suwon Bluewings 1-1 Sangju Sangmu

The Bluewings have serious work to do if they are to overturn their poor start to the K League season, but with Sangju eyeing making it three wins in a row, it remains to be seen whether they can spring a change in their fortunes. 

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