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Preview: Sangju Sangmu vs Incheon United

Incheon have finally discovered some form heading into the business end of the season, and will be looking to continue their great escape down in Sangju on Saturday. Sangju Sangmu maybe third in the league but are struggling for form at the moment. Who will come out on top on Saturday?

Last Time Out

Incheon United 1-0 Suwon Bluewings


Incheon United picked up just their second win of the season and second in as many games, beating relegation rivals Suwon Bluewings narrowly at the Sungui Arena. The first half was a little dull with neither side really testing the opposition keeper. The main moment of note was a VAR denied penalty for Suwon.

The second half was once again pretty slow at times with both sides highlighting why they are both struggling at the bottom of the league this season. However it was a moment of magic that separated their sides in the end. Super-sub Song Si-woo dodged two tackles in the box and then fired powerfully into the roof of the net to end his goal duct and give Incheon the lead. Suwon lacked ideas for an equalizer in the end and Incheon held on for another vital three points.

Jeonbuk Hyundai 2-1 Sangju Sangmu


Sangju Sangmu slipped to their second defeat on the bounce and lost contact with the top two in the process. Jeonbuk took a very early lead via Lee Sung-yoon in just the third minute. However Sangju regrouped and leveled shortly after. Oh Hyun-gyu scoring his first of the season for his on-loan club. Jeonbuk looked the better side during the rest of the half but cannot retake the lead.

The second half was more of the same as Jeonbuk pushed for a winner and Sangju defended ever deeper. It took until the eighty-eighth minute for Sangju to let Brazilian Gustavo slip and he made the most of it slotting home the winner. Jeonbuk won the three points, and Sangju went home with nothing.

Previous Meetings 

Incheon United and Sangju Sangmu played either other just over a month ago with the game ending 1-1. However the scoreline doesn't tell the whole story as Incheon played the final thirty minutes with only nine men and equalized in injury time.Last season they played four times with Sangju winning the opening two games, 2-0 then 2-1. But Incheon took a full six points from 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 last beat Incheon at home at the beginning of the season winning 2-0, Kim Min-woo with the late second. Incheon last beat Sangju away also last season winning 3-2, however they were three ahead after only twelve minutes.

Over the years Sangju and Incheon have played each other 42 times with the victories dominated by Incheon. They've won nineteen times vs Sangju's twelve. The other eleven games have ended in draws. Also Sangju have a much stronger record when playing Incheon at home.


Team News

Incheon have no players missing due to suspension for this league match, neither do Sangju Sangmu.

Incheon appointed former Jeju United manager Jo Sung-hwan as their new boss a few weeks ago, which seems to be having the desired result. It seems unlikely that there will be many changes in the starting lineup and/or tactics for Saturdays key game, following the wins over Daegu and then Suwon last weekend.

Incheon still have a few injury concerns and players lacking the fitness to play a full ninety. Captain Kim Ho-nam still can't complete a full ninety. Brazilian winger Gustavo is practically ready for a return to the squad following a couple of weeks of fitness training. Finally top scorer Stefan Mugosa will not miss games due to an International call-up which has been cancelled.

Adversary

Sangju Sangmu are playing just of fun this season due to their automatic relegation due to a change of host city next season. However that lack of pressure seems to be helping as they are currently up in third place. However the lost of a number of key players who ended their military service this week (more here), coupled with poor form may have ended any small title bid hopes.

The standout players for Sangju Sangmu have been normally defender and strangely also top scorer Kang Sang-Woo. The twenty-six year old has slotted home seven times so far this season, but he returned to Pohang on Thursday. So therefore watch out for former Incheon star Moon Seon-min on the wing and now main dangerman, as well as midfielder Moon Chang-jin who is on-loan for Incheon.


Who To Watch

Starting upfront; current Incheon top scorer is Montenegrin Stefan Mugosa with four. Which isn't a great return but Incheon have only scored ten this season. Also keep an eye out for super sub Song Si-woo who scored the winner last weekend and maybe finally rediscovering some long lost form.

Moving into the midfield; recent resigning Elias Aguilar has been fantastic controlling the game in the middle of the park the past few weeks, but looked tired last weekend. Also Kim Do-hyeok who has been key in the deeper aspects of the midfield battles.

Finally at the back, keeper Lee Tae-hui was wonderful again last weekend keeping a second clean sheet in as many games. Also at the back on-loan Oh Ban-suk made the K League team of the week once again following a strong performance against Suwon.

FNR

Prediction

Incheon United bridged the gap in the relegation battle last weekend beating Suwon giving them renewed hope of another great escape. Sangju Sangmu know they're going down but are still surpassing exceptions sitting up in third, but their form is questionable at the moment.

Incheon based on form should have a strong chance of picking up a third win on the bounce this coming Saturday. However Sangju will be rotating in some fresh legs for this game,  creating unknown new options. Once again a close game on paper for Incheon and I feel it will end the same as back in July when these sides last played.

Predicted Score: Sangju Sangmu 1-1 Incheon United

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