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Preview: FC Seoul vs Sangju Sangmu

Preview: FC Seoul vs Sangju Sangmu K League 1 Round 16
After two wins on the spin, FC Seoul now sit within touching distance of the top six. Up next for caretaker manager Kim Ho-young and his side is the visit of high-flying Sangju Sangmu. in Round 16 of the 2020 Hana 1Q K League 1 season. Despite being automatically relegated, the army side appear to be playing with a level of freedom and currently sit fourth 


via Soccerway

Last Time Out

FC Seoul 2-0 Gangwon FC

It is said that people on the Korean Peninsula have 'Jung', which refers to a broad concept of positive emotions as well as 'Han', a concept of an emotion, variously described as some form of grief or resentment. FC Seoul had both 'Jung' and 'Han' on Friday night, Jung Han-min and Han Seung-gyu who were both on target to seal a 2-0 win. Jung Han-min's first professional goal will have left the Sangam faithful left with nothing but positive emotions while Han Seung-gyu's second half strike ought to have helped rid those in attendance of any lingering resentment and grief towards the football club.

Seoul got up and running on 39 minutes on the counter after Yun Ju-tae broke free before laying the ball off to Jung Han-min. The young winger, who was making just his second first team appearance, showed great confidence to usher the ball inside before slotting it in to the bottom corner. Han Seung-gyu's goal on 61 minutes with similar, this time with Kim Jin-ya squaring the ball across the box to the on-loan Jeonbuk midfielder who bent the ball in off the far post to put Seoul 2-0 up. The win moved Seoul up from 11th and into seventh on Friday night but following the rest of the results form the weekend, the capital club now sit in eighth but level on points with Gangwon and just a point behind Seongnam.


Sangju Sangmu 2-0 Busan IPark

A Moon Seon-min brace in a 2-0 win over Busan IPark kept Sangju Sangmu in third place. Moon was, once again, left on the bench and asked to make an impact as a substitute. The former Djurgården and Östersunds FK winger came off the bench in the 554th minute, replacing Korean youth international Oh Se-hun. Moon's first goal came on 74 minutes, a mazy run which saw him beat half of the Busan team before slotting the ball in the back of the net. The second came in time added on Moon was played in on goal, rounded the 'keeper before slotting the ball into the corner, despite two Busan defenders' efforts sliding in.


Previous Meetings

Over the last 10 meetings between FC Seoul and Sangju Sangmu, each time has managed four wins and two draws. The most recent came earlier in the campaign in North Gyeongsang Province where a Kim Jin-hyuk goal just shy of the hour mark sealed the points. Sangju won the meeting before that too, emerging as 2-1 victors in the capital in September last year. Ryu Seung-woo gave Sangju the lead with 23 on the clock before Aleksandar Pešić equalised just after the restart. But, with just four minutes remaining, Song Si-woo, on loan from Incheon United, and a player who is no stranger to a late goal against Seoul, popped up to clinch the win for Sangju.

Kim Jin-hyuk (C) celebrates scoring against Seoujl in June 2020
Overall, there have been 48 meetings of which Seoul have 26 wins, Sangju 11 and 11 draws. In the capital, Seoul have won 11 of the 23 meetings, lost just four times and drawn on eight occasions.

Team News

Osmar remains a short term injury doubt but Ki Sung-yeung is believed to be nearing a return to full fitness and could be named amongst the substitutes. The former Korean national team skipper picked up an ankle injury whilst in Spain but is said to have made good progress with regards to rehabilitation and treatment and so could be handed his second K League debut this weekend according to a report by KBS. Elsewhere, Yang Han-bin is expected to keep his place in goal as too are defensive midfield duo Jung Hyeon-cheol and Kim Won-sik, two players who have had to remain patient for first team opportunities over the past couple of seasons. Caretaker gaffer Kim Ho-young fielded an unchanged team against Gangwon to that which beat Seongnam and so, injuries permitting, is expected to do the same on Saturday night.

FC Seoul starting lineup vs Gangwon FC, K League 1 Round 15

For Sangju, a several players are due to return to their parent clubs on August 27th and so could be pulling on a Sangmu shirt for the final time when Sangju visit in the capital on Saturday. Kang Sang-woo, Han Seok-jong, Kim Dae-joong, Lee Chan-dong, Jin Sung-wook are all set to rejoin their parent clubs, as is Ryu Seung-woo who has been out injured. Meanwhile, full back Ahn Tae-hyeon is just one booking away from a ban. 

Sangju Sangmu starting lineup vs Busan IPark, K League 1 Round 15

The Adversary

Sangju's top scorer Kang Sang-woo (L) and manager Kim Tae-wan celebrate a goal vs Jeonbuk in July.
Sangju Sangmu have made an excellent start to the 2020 campaign, sitting in third place with seven wins, four draws and just three losses. Two of those three losses came to Ulsan and one to Pohang. But when facing teams outside of North or South Gyeongsang provinces, the army side know exactly what it takes to grind out a result. All eight of their wins this term have come via a one or two goal margin. Five have been won by a single goal, including the last time Sangju met Seoul, and three by two goals. In addition, Sangju have kept a cleansheet in every match they have won this term. But, regardless of where Sangju finish this term, they will be relegated to K League 2 for the 2021 campaign due to Sangmu's move from the city of Sangju to Gimcheon.

Only two players have started in every single game for Sangju this season, top scorer Kang Sang-woo, who is set to return to Pohang in a fortnight, and centre back Kim Jin-hyuk. Former FC Seoul midfielder Park Yong-woo has featured in all 15 matches, but three appearances have come from the bench.

Kim Tae-wan likes a back four and has set his side up in a 4-4-2 for 34% of the time this term, 4-1-4-1 for 19%, and 4-4-1-1 for 17%. When these two sides met in June, Coach Kim opted for a 4-4-2 with Kang Sang-woo on the left wing with Park Yong-woo in the centre along side Han Seok-jong. Moon Seon-min then partnered Oh Se-hun in attack before being switched to left wing and Kang up top.

Eulji Lewis  

What To Watch

Wing Night

FC Seoul - Jung Han-bin

Caretaker manager Kim Ho-young handed professional a professional debut to winger Jung Han-min during the 2-1 away win over Seongnam a fortnight ago. The 19-year-old kept his place for Seoul's home fixture with Gangwon last week and, with 'one shot one kill', bagged his first goal as a professional. Deployed on the left-hand side of a three in a 4-2-3-1, Jung enabled Seoul to stretch teams and break quickly on the counter due to his ample pace. His goal against Gangwon also showed a healthy level of confidence after opting to shoot from the edge of the box. The FC Seoul youth product will fancy himself to score on Saturday but it will be interesting to see if the Uijeongbu native can maintain this good form.

Sangju Sangmu - Moon Seon-min

Korean international winger Moon Seon-min spent one season with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, won the title then began military service this year. With four goals to his name, Moon is Sangju's second-top scorer from 14 appearances but only four of those have come from the start. Manager Kim Tae-wan has used the former Incheon winger sparingly but has still been afforded enough time to be a nuisance for teams this season, whether it be from the start or off the bench. His brace last time out will leave the 28-year-old feeling confident of scoring against Seoul having already bagged two against Seoul in the blue and black of Incheon in 2018.


Beating Seongnam and Gangwon is nothing to be sniffed at but with the Magpies' inconsistent form and an apparent puncture in 'Byung-soo Ball', this Saturday's clash with Sangju will be much tougher. Seoul have played with vigour and were expansive, particularly against Gangwon. If they can use the pace and guile of Cho Young-wook and Jung Han-min, as well as the experience of Yun Ju-tae and attacking qualities of Han Seung-gyu then they have a chance. A draw might be the most likely outcome but Seoul have it in them to get a result as confidence will be high.

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