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Preview: Incheon United vs Seongnam FC


Still winless in 2020 Incheon United welcome fellow strugglers Seongnam FC to the Sungui Arena this Sunday in a key battle at the foot of the table. Incheon desperately need a win, but away day specialists Seongnam will be a tough side to beat. Can Incheon finally pick up a massively overdue first victory of the season?

Last Time Out

Incheon United 1 -  3 Gwangju FC


Incheon United were beaten last weekend in heavy rain by Gwangju FC. Incheon started strongly with midfielder Elias Aguilar running the show for most of the first half. However mistakes at the back almost allowed Gwangju to take the lead via Brazilian Felipe. Incheon then took the lead thanks to a moment of magic from Costa Rican Elias Aguilar. The midfielder made a strong solo run before firing into the far corner given the keeper no chance. The half ended level with Incheon maybe edging the play.

The second half was a different story from the first as the rain bucketed down and Gwangju started to take control. Incheon hung on for seventy-two minutes until young star Eom Won-sang was given far too much time and space to level for Gwangju. The game looked like it would end level, but Eom Won-sang popped up again the secure a brace and give Gwangju the lead. Incheon at this point looked tired and defeated, this allowed Felipe to powered into the Incheon box to seal a full three points for Gwangju.

Seongnam FC 1 - 2 FC Seoul




Seongnam FC suffered a disappointing defeat to local rivals FC Seoul last weekend narrowly losing two-one. With fans finally in the stands the home side should have received a boost, but it was Seoul who drew first blood half way into the half. Yun Ju-tae made the most of just his second start on the season scoring the opener. Seoul looked to be going in ahead, but Seongnam leveled late into first half injury time. Croatian Tomislav Kiš picked up just his second of the season to level for Seongnam.

The second half was pretty even with both sides showing why they're in the bottom half at this stage of the season. It seemed like next goal wins and Seoul scored it. Yun Ju-tae once again finding the back of the net assisted by Han Seung-gyu. Seongnam had moments to maybe level, but it wasn't to be.

Previous Meetings

Incheon United and Seongnam FC played back in May with the game ending in a dull and boring nil-nil draw. A common result between these sides, four of the last six games have ended goalless with the other two ending one-nil.

Incheon last beat Seongnam at home all the way back in April 2011 with Park Joon-tae (now playing for Hwaseong FC) scoring the winner. Incheon have never beaten Seongnam at the Sungui Arena, only at their previous home the Munhak World Cup Stadium. Seongnam beat Incheon away just last season, with Seo Bo-min scoring the only goal that evening.

Over the years Incheon and Seongnam have played forty-four times with Seongnam winning seventeen of those games and Incheon only eight. Nineteen however have ended on draws. Seongnam on paper generally play better in Incheon than a home as well.

Team News

Neither Incheon nor Seongnam will have any players missing this weekend due to suspension.

Incheon appointed former Jeju United manager Jo Sung-hwan as their new boss on Friday morning, he'll most likely but in charge on Sunday. He takes over from caretaker Lim Joong-Yong who failed to pick up a win in his short time in charge. It seems likely that there will be a fair few changes in the starting lineup and tactics for Sunday evenings key game, new manager or not.

Incheon have a few injury concerns and players lacking the fitness to play a full ninety. Captain Kim Ho-nam made a short cameo last weekend and could return to the starting XI this weekend. Australian midfielder Rashid Mahazi was on the bench last weekend and might see some game time against Seongnam as Incheon looked weak last weekend in midfield. Finally Brazilian winger Gustavo made slightly surprising debut against Gwangju, he won't play the full ninety but should be given another opportunity to impress the home fans.

Adversary

Seongnam FC returned to the top flight just last season and finished just above Incheon in ninth. They had a solid defence, but lacked goals finishing the season the lowest scorers. So far this season they've struggled once again to score goals and find themselves in the bottom half and potentially in the relegation battle. They are however strong away from home only losing to league leaders Ulsan this season on the road.

The standout players for Seongnam FC so far this season have been; firstly Uzbekistan midfielder Iskanderov has been a mainstay in the squad all season. Whilst at the back keeper Jeon Jong-hyeok seems to be favored over experienced Kim Young-kwang at the moment. Finally top scorer and former Pohang Steelers favorite Yang Dong-Hyen has dropped to the bench recently, but is still very dangerous when on the field.

Who To Watch

Firstly upfront; Currently the Incheon top scorer is Montenegrin Stefan Mugosa with three. Which is almost half of the clubs tally of eight for the season. Also keep an eye out for young star Ji Eon-hak has had a much improved second season in Incheon, showing fantastic stamina and an eye for goal too.

Moving into the midfield; recent resigning Elias Aguilar had a fantastic first half against Gwangju including scoring a superb solo goal. However fitness issues limited his second half showing. That being said he'll be key for Incheon in the attacking third. Also watch out for Australian defensive midfielder Rashid Mahazi maybe making an overdue return, his strength and focus in the park of the park have been sorely missed in the past month or so.

Finally at the back, young keeper Kim Dong-heon was handed a surprise debut against Jeonbuk in July and then followed that up with a solid performance against Pohang. He missed last Saturdays game due to injury, but fingers crossed will return this Sunday against Seongnam.

FNR

Prediction

Incheon took a step backwards last weekend falling apart late and losing to a beatable Gwangju. The same could be said for Seongnam who lost to eleventh placed FC Seoul. So both sides will be looking to bounce back quickly and could be boosted playing in front of fans for just the second time this season.

Incheon based on form should have a fair chance against Seongnam FC who are also struggling for form. However Seongnam are much stronger when playing away from home and are often a boggy team for Incheon, especially when playing in Incheon. Finally these sides have an unfortunate traditional for drawing and that's the result I feel is most likely on Sunday. A result that neither side or set of fans will be very happy about.

Predicted Score: Incheon United 1-1 Seongnam FC

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