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Preview: Busan IPark vs FC Seoul


After a resounding win last time out, Busan IPark are looking to build on a four game unbeaten run in the K League 1 this Friday night. The visitors to Gudeok Stadium are FC Seoul, who have endured a sluggish start to summer but will take heart from the four points taken from the past two games.

Overview

via Soccerway


Last Time Out

Gangwon FC 2-4 Busan IPark

Busan IPark recorded their second victory of the season last weekend away to Gangwon. Lee Dong-joon made the headlines for a two goal, two assist performance in front of the watching Paulo Bento, while Lee Jeong-hyeop and Kim Jin-gyu also got on the scoresheet in an impressive attacking performance. Gangwon played some typically eye-catching football of their own, but goals from Cho Jae-wan and Han Kook-young were not enough to paper over the defensive cracks.

Match Recap: Busan Victorious in Six-Goal Thriller


Suwon Bluewings 3-3 FC Seoul

FC Seoul played their part in one of the most entertaining Super Matches in recent memory last Saturday, coming from 1-3 down to almost nick victory with the last kick of the game. An Adam Taggart double and a Kim Gun-hee effort put the Bluewings in control at the break, with Park Chu-young’s goal the only reply from the visitors, but second half goals from Cho Young-wook and Ko Kwang-min brought the visitors level to set up a thrilling finale. Both teams hit the woodwork in the final moments, and in the end the shares were spoiled.


Previous Meetings

These sides last met in December 2018 in the two-legged promotion-relegation playoff final. Busan, who had finished third in the K League 2 that season, took the lead early in the first leg through Rômulo, but they paid the price for Kwon Jin-young’s first half red card. Second half goals from Cho Young-wook, Go Yo-han and Jung Hyun-cheol set Seoul on their way to victory, and a 1-1 draw in the second leg ensured the capital club’s first division status for another year.

The last time Busan and Seoul met in the league was back in August 2015, when Seoul ran out 4-2 winners at Busan’s Asiad Stadium. You have to go all the way back to March 2014 to when the Royals last beat Seoul in league action, a solitary goal from current Seongnam striker Yang Dong-hyun enough to give Busan victory.

Team News

Busan IPark have injury concerns over influential right back Kim Moon-hwan, who missed last weekend’s win at Gangwon. 21 year-old Lee Sang-joon could again be called upon to fill in for the international right back if he does not recover in time.

Yoon Suk-young hasn’t featured since the draw with Bluewings at the end of May, so Park Joon-gang is likely to continue at left back in his absence. Kim Byung-oh and Dostonbek Tursunov are also doubts, with both missing last weekend’s victory.

Busan IPark lineup to face Gangwon FC - K League 1, Round 10

Midfielder Park Jong-woo is back in contention after returning from injury to make the substitute bench last time out. Cho Deok-jae may decide to stick with a midfield lineup of Lee Gyu-seong, Rômulo, and Kwon Hyeok-gyu, however, after the trio helped Busan to seven points from a possible nine in recent games.

Kim Jin-gyu, who turned the game on its head with a virtuoso substitute performance against Gangwon, is vying to make a return to the starting lineup for the first time in over a month. Cho employed Kim on the left wing in that game – something he has been seemingly reluctant to do before – and could be tempted to give Kim the nod ahead of new signing Kim Seung-joon, who struggled to make an impact on his debut last weekend.

The Adversary

Choi Yong-soo has endured a miserable 2020 so far, with a run of five straight defeats earlier this summer leading to many fans to call for the coach’s departure. A win over Incheon and draw with Suwon have seen Seoul keep an eight-point gap between themselves and the bottom of the table, but this kind of form is hardly what was expected of a club that finished third last season.

One bright spark in the side is the reemergence of young forward Cho Young-wook, who opened his account for the season in spectacular style in the Super Match. With Adriano yet to rediscover his goalscoring touch, Park Chu-young is the team’s leading scorer for the season with two goals, and Cho’s speed and movement could make him a key player in the coming weeks, should Choi Yong-soo keep faith with the 21 year-old.

In midfield, the return of best player Osmar – who missed the five game losing streak – is a massive boost for the side. A star-studded midfield has largely flattered to deceive so far this season, however, and big names Ju Se-jong and Han Chan-hee, returning from suspension and injury respectively, were both left on the bench last weekend.

Who To Watch

Lee Dong-joon


All eyes will once again be on Busan winger Lee Dong-joon after the 23 year-old produced an attacking masterclass last weekend. Last year’s K League 2 MVP, Lee has sometimes cut a frustrated figure this season after failing to replicate his goalscoring exploits of last year.

That all changed against Gangwon, however. As well as taking his two goals with aplomb, Lee also recorded his first two assists of the season, the first an inch-perfect delivery from the right that would make any striker’s mouth water.

With the goalscoring monkey finally off his back, expect Lee to be in confident mood on Friday night. The winger has pace to burn and will be chomping at the bit to get behind the Seoul wing-backs and drive at the league’s leakiest defence.

Yoon Young-sun



FC Seoul have conceded 21 goals in ten games, the worst defensive record in the top division. It was no surprise when they moved for Ulsan Hyundai defender Yoon in late June.

The 31 year-old centre back is a full Korean international who played in the famous World Cup win over Germany in 2018, and he was a regular at the heart of Ulsan’s defence last season, when they narrowly missed out on the K League 1 trophy.

At the centre of Seoul’s back three, Yoon has a huge responsibility in organising and commanding a defence that has conceded on average more than two goals per game. Against a Busan side full of players coming into form, Yoon will have to be at his best to make sure Seoul stand a fighting chance.

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Prediction

Busan IPark are in their best form of the season so far, with two wins from three and no defeats in four, and their tails will be up after the manner of their victory against Gangwon. If Lee Dong-joon and company can produce more of the same against a porous Seoul defence, the Royals have a real chance of keeping the three points in Busan.

Predicted Score:
Busan IPark 2-1 FC Seoul


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