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Preview: Gangwon FC vs Daegu FC

This Saturday sees two struggling sides Gangwon FC and Daegu FC square off at Gangneung Complex Stadium in search of an overdue win behind closed doors. Can the Bears break the chain of their woeful results against the Sky Blues? Or will the Sky Blues easily benefit from it? K League United's Daegu FC correspondent Muyeol Jung previews this clash in Round 17.

Last Time Out

Gwangju FC 2-2 Gangwon FC

Gwangju FC and Gangwon FC shared the points in a 2-2 draw last Sunday. The hosts could have been off to a good start, but their goal was chalked off for offside. With nearly 20 minutes played, the visitors went ahead with the opener from Kim Seungdae who put the deflected ball away with composure near the six-yard box. But the Bears' lead didn't last that long. Gwangju foreign winger Willyan intercepted and forced a save with a brilliant curling effort from distance before Eom Wonsang tapped in to equalise.

In the early minutes of the second half, the Yellows took the lead for the first time in the game. Willyan, who helped get the equaliser, reacted first to the loose ball after fellow country man Felipe's shot was denied by Lee Beomsoo. The quick turnaround of the game forced the introduction of Go Mooyeol for Gangwon with 20 minutes to go. Immediately, the visitors got very close to finding the second of the night with a strong header from Kim Jihyun, but the ball remained spinning towards the goal line before it was finally cleared off the line by a defender. With their total control in remaining time, the visitors levelled the game with substitute Go Mooyeol's great finish through direct passing with Kim Jihyun. Then, neither side added more and it ended in a 2-2 draw.


Daegu FC 0-1 Incheon United

Unfortunately Daegu FC became the victim of the first win for winless Incheon United in Round 16 after the visitors held onto their 1-0 lead 'til the final whistle. Attacking wise, Stefan Mugoša for Incheon was very clinical when the chance came. With around half an hour played, he superbly swept home a pass from Lee Junseok on the left flank. There was no chance Daegu GK Gu Sungyun could stop the ball.

In the second half, the hosts kept on bombarding Incheon's goal with 28 shots, but there had been a shot stopper Lee Taehee for Incheon. It was his first appearance this year though, the goalie incredibly defended Daegu's onslaught well and gave his side the first win this season.


Previous Meetings

This season Daegu FC and Gangwon FC met once at Daegu's turf in late June when the hosts beat the visitors 2-1 through goals from Edgar and Cesinha, while Go Mooyeol found a consolation from the spot kick for Gangwon before the final whistle.

Historically, the two sides have met 39 times and the Sky Blues have better results with 19 wins compared to the Bears' ten wins in a 12-year history. The citizen club's dominance even intensified in their recent ten meetings with their absolute upper hand (nine wins and a draw). Gangwon's last win over Daegu dates back to May 2017.

Team News

Gangwon FC

With no suspensions, manager Kim Byungsoo might have to go to the game with his key asset Han Kookyoung left behind. The former Korean international was unusually subbed off at break in the previous game upon his request due to dizziness, according to the gaffer.

There's no more update on how serious his medical status is, but it could be quite serious as he had his head hit hard and injured in a collision with an attacker in Round 14 and had been taken to the hospital. On the best assumptions, it might have been just a mild symptom of heat stroke he had and he might be ready to play this weekend after enough rest.

Other than that, the remaining line-up will likely remain similar restricted by the lack of depth and a few injured players in the squad such as Lee Hyunsik and Lee Gwangyeon (unspecified injury).

Daegu FC

The Sky Blues will make a long trip to the Northeast with the majority of their key players available thanks to the return of defensive midfielder Kim Sunmin from a two-game ban. Accordingly, Ryu Jaemoon, who had to leave the pitch with a head injury, later confirmed okay in a check-up, is likely to be rested or make the bench.

What To Watch

What changes must Kim Byungsoo bring to Gangwon for Resurrection?

The Bears now have gone six games without a win in all competitions with three times repeat of a loss and a draw streak (LDLDLD) and the boss Kim Byungsoo expressed his frustrations in a post match interview that he sincerely had wanted to get the result rather than how they played. However, he was quite content with earning a point away from home after coming from behind. Heading into the next game, he hinted that he would be considering "rolling out a new formation" to get out of the prolonged slump.

Will manager Kim Byungsoo finally break the chain of woeful results against Daegu FC with tactical changes?

What changes will he bring to the Bears? Well, I think it would be most likely a switch to a back three considering they have very limited options available. In their recent few games, despite little change to a back four defence with Lee Beomsoo in goal, they are defensively too open and vulnerable, having conceded two goals each in the last three league games. Nevertheless, the shot stopper will likely continue to be played with their U22 goalkeeper Lee Gwangyeon having been absent on the bench since early July with a suspected injury.

The Worst is to yet come for Daegu

The defeat to Incheon United at home last weekend was truly a shock to many football fans. Despite constantly knocking on the door with 28 shots attempted, the Daegu lads failed to find the back of the net and they now have a record of two home defeats with no goal scored in front of fans, which is embarrassing to embrace.

With hindsight, the poor and dull performances in the previous Jeonbuk game wouldn't have resulted from the differences in quality, but the evidence that the citizen club would have been in downwards trend, heading to the final third of the campaign.

However, good news was announced yesterday that a midweek fixture scheduled to play next Wednesday, has been pushed back to early September following the cancellation of international breaks, which subsequently will ease fixture congestion and fatigue issues for Daegu who hardly rotate the squad because of the depth of quality.

Will Daegu FC continue to keep their good results against Gangwon?

Among six games left to play before the split, they will have to earn as many points as they can before they will later meet Pohang, Ulsan and resurgent Seoul on the way. This will be the pivotal chance for the Sky Blues to seize as they have superior results against struggling Gangwon in recent years. At the moment, there's no other way than powering through with the best players every game week provided that the second string players support little and the first strings will be strong enough to get the job done.

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Both sides, in desperate need of a win, meet each other in a difficult situation and will clearly fight for three points. The game is going to be very close, but Gangwon's defensive setback will cost them anyway.

Gangwon FC 1-2 Daegu FC

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