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Preview: Incheon United vs Sangju Sangmu


Bottom of the league and winless so far this season Incheon United host in-form Sangju Sangmu on Saturday evening. Incheon will be looking to break a run of eight consecutive defeats, whilst Sangju will be looking to pick up their fifth straight league win. Can Incheon finally win? Or will it be another loss?

Last Time Out

Ulsan Hyundai 4-1 Incheon United


Incheon United fell to their eighth consecutive defeat last weekend, this time at the hands of title challengers Ulsan Hyundai on the road.

It didn't take Ulsan long to get going as they looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to Jeonbuk a week prior. Former Bolton Wanderers star Lee Chung-yong smashed home after just fifteen minutes with the Incheon defensive putting up little resistance. Brazilian Junior Negao doubled the lead just five minutes later, to add to his impressive goal tally for the season. Incheon however bounced back has Stefan Mugosa nodded home a Kim Jun-yub cross to halve the hosts lead. However the faint hope was short lived as Junior Negao scored his second just before half time.

Ulsan slowed the pace of the game during the second half, and controlled the flow of the game. Incheon offered little in attacking ideas and looked tired. Junior Negao completed the scoring and his hat-trick with a little over ten minutes to play, confirming the three points for Ulsan and yet another defeat for bottom club Incheon.

Sangju Sangmu 1-0 Jeonbuk Hyundai


Sangju Sangmu pulled off a shock victory last weekend beating league leaders and defending champions Jeonbuk Hyundai by a single goal. The first half was pretty dull and lacked any major talking points as both teams seemed happy to focus on the second half.

The second half was played at a much better pace and it didn't take long to improve in regards to action. Jeonbuk won a penalty, however Lee Dong-gook uncharacteristically failed to convert and the game continued goalless. With the game entering the final fifteen minutes Sangju won a penalty of their own and currently star Kang Sang-woo smashed home into the top corner for the lead. During injury time the game became heated seeing three players booked and Jeonbuk defender Kim Jin-su sent off in the final moments. Sangju held on for another impressive three points, whilst Jeonbuk dropped most of their lead at the top of the table.

Previous Meetings 

Incheon United and Sangju Sangmu clashed four times last season with Sangju winning the opening two games, 2-0 then 2-1. But Incheon took the three points in the following two games, winning 3-2 and then 2-0. The second win confirmed Incheon's place in the top tier for another year.

Sangju beat Incheon at away at the beginning of the season winning 2-1, Lee Tae-Hee with the winner. Incheon last beat Sangju at home as already mentioned at the end last season winning 2-0.

Over the years Sangju and Incheon have played each other 41 times with the victories dominated by Incheon. They've won nineteen times vs Sangju's twelve. The other ten games have ended in draws. Also Incheon have a much stronger record when playing Sangju at home.

Team News

Incheon have no players missing due to suspension for this league match, neither do Sangju Sangmu. However a few are getting closer to an automatic one match ban, which happens when players pick up five bookings.

Lim Wan-seop stepped down as Incheon boss a little over a week ago and the coaching staff are taking caretaker control at this point. The rumored return of previous boss Yoo Sang-chul has been delayed for the time being, and any other possible new manager is still currently unknown.

Croatian defender Gordan Bunoza left the club during the week after almost four seasons in the K League. His replacement could be signed next week, with Jeonbuk defender Oh Ban-seok a top pick. Last week captain Kim Ho-nam went off injured and therefore is a doubt as is forward Ji Eon-hak.

Adversary

Sangju Sangmu are already playing just of fun this season due to their automatic relegation due to a change of host city next season. However the lack of pressure seems to be helping as they are currently up in third place and maybe mounting an unlikely the title bid, following four straight league wins.

The standout players for Sangju Sangmu have been defender and strangely also top scorer Kang Sang-Woo. The twenty-six year old has slotted home four times so far this season, including the winner last weekend against Jeonbuk Hyundai. Also watch out for former Incheon star Moon Seon-min on the wing as well as midfielder Moon Chang-jin who is on-loan for Incheon.

Who To Watch

Firstly upfront; Stefan Mugosa has been struggling this season with injuries and fitness issues, but has a couple of goals to his name. Sadly Incheon have no other options up-front at the moment to give him a break. Song Si-woo hasn't scored all season and neither have any of the other forwards in the squad.

Moving into the midfield; new resigning Costa Rican international Elias Aguilar played a full ninety last weekend and seemed to be getting back into the groove of playing for Incheon. Also defensive midfielder Rashid Mahazi has been key for Incheon this season, but is a slight doubt due to injury.

Finally at the back, the experienced hands of Jeong San shipped four last weekend but was not given much help from his defensive line. Sadly at the back Incheon don't have any players at the moment who stand out for the right reasons.

FNR

Prediction

Incheon have seemingly gotten worse over the opening two months of the 2020 K League season and are winless all season and have lost eight on the bounce. Sangju on the other hand sit up in third winning their last four, all whilst not conceding a goal.

Despite the gap in recent form this will be a close game as Sangju Sangmu have only edged their last four league games all one-nil. Plus despite last weekends heavy defeat Incheon normally only lose by a single goal. In the end I feel Sangju will have the edge, but Incheon will make it a close game.

Predicted Score: Incheon United 1-2 Sangju Sangmu

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