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Preview: Gangwon FC vs Incheon United

Bottom of the league Incheon United travel over to Gangneung on Sunday afternoon looking for a vital three points in their bid to make the great escape. They take on an improving Gangwon FC who shocked the league last weekend beating Jeonbuk Hyundai.

Last Time Out

Jeonbuk Hyundai 1-2 Gangwon FC


Gangwon FC pulled off a shock win last weekend beating defending champions Jeonbuk Hyundai over in Jeonju. The first half was pretty even with both sides creating openings, with maybe Gangwon looking to more like scoring especially from range.

The second half was more of the same solid openings narrowly missed or denied by excellent defending. It wasn't until the seventy-sixth minute when the deadlock was finally broken. Gangwon broke down the left wing and quickly worked the ball across to Kim Ji-hyun who finished in the bottom corner. Jeonbuk pushed for an equalizer and it finally came with two minutes of the ninety to play. Han Kyo-won poked home following a bit of a goalmouth scramble. But Gangwon had the last laugh as in the third minute of injury time they score a surprise winner. Go Moo-yol had a shot parried into the path of Kim Ji-hyun who couldn't miss. The Jeonbuk looked for an offside flag that wasn't going to come. Gangwon climbed into the top half, whilst Jeonbuk lost ground in the title race.

Sangju Sangmu 3-1 Incheon United


Incheon struggled last weekend down South and were beaten by a clinical Sangju Sangmu. The hosts took the lead after just thirteen minutes. Former Incheon star Moon Seon-min broke free on the wing and teed up young forward Oh Hyun-gyu for his second of the season. Things didn't improve for Incheon as Sangju doubled their lead on the half hour with Moon Seon-min once again the creator. Kim Min-hyeok this time slotting home as the Incheon defence failed to clear. However Incheon bounced back around ten minutes later. Kim Jun-yub setting top scorer Stefan Mugosa free to give Incheon hope just before the break.

Sadly for the visitors it was a disastrous start for the second half as once again Moon Seon-min broke down the wing to played in Jeong Jae-hee to restore the two goal advantage. Following the goal the rain started to pour down leaving puddles on the pitch, slowing the game down and reducing options. Incheon had a couple of opening to get back into the game but they were easily dealt with. Incheon went home wet and pointless.

Previous Meetings 

Incheon United and Gangwon clashed back in June with Gangwon picking up the win. It took an eighty-sixth minute Go Moo-yol penalty in a 2-1 victory. Also they played either other three times last season, once in May on Children's Day with Gangwon narrowly winning 1-0. Shin Kwang-hoon scored the only goal of that game. Gangwon then won again in June this time 2-1 with Jung Jo-gook (now Jeju) scoring both goals. The final game ended 2-2, with Stefan Mugosa scoring the second in a two goal comeback for Incheon.

Over the years Incheon and Gangwon have played each other twenty-four times with the victories edged by Gangwon eleven to Incheon's nine. Only four games have ended in a draw. Finally only one of the twenty-three games has finished goalless.

Team News

Incheon have no players missing due to suspension for this league match, however Gangwon will be without Lim Chai-min who picked up a fifth booking last weekend.

Incheon manager Jo Sung-hwan has only been in control for around a month but he has picked up a couple of wins during that short time. It seems likely that there will be a few changes in the starting lineup and/or tactics for Sunday game, as a few players looked tired during last weekends defeat to Sangju.

Incheon still have a few injury concerns and players lacking the fitness to play a full ninety. Captain Kim Ho-nam was rested for last weekends game and therefore could return on Sunday. Brazilian winger Gustavo is could ready for a return to the squad following a couple of weeks of adaption and training. Once again top scorer Stefan Mugosa will not miss games due to an International call-up which has been cancelled.

Adversary

Gangwon had a strong 2019 season finishing in the top half, but lacked a little at times to be able to push beyond that. They have a young squad and have built on last seasons positives and strengths. They have focused on domestic talent this season, not using a single foreign player to date. So far this season they've beaten FC Seoul, Gwangju, Incheon and Jeonbuk Hyundai (twice). However those victories have been spread out, basically once a month.

The standout players for Gangwon FC so far this season have been top goalscorer Ko Moo-yeol. The former Jeonbuk, Asan and Pohang forward has six goals so far during his debut season for Gangwon, including the winning goal last time against Incheon. Also young star Kim Ji-hyun scored a brace last weekend and will be looking to add to his tally of five so far this season.

Who To Watch

Starting upfront; current Incheon top scorer is Montenegrin International Stefan Mugosa with five. Including two in the past three games. Also keep an eye out for super sub Song Si-woo who can't be a little hit-or-miss but always gives one hundred percent.

Moving into the midfield; recent resigning Elias Aguilar has been fantastic controlling the game in the middle of the park since his return, the rain was an issue for his style of play last time out. 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 let down by his defence a little last weekend, but did keep clean sheets against Daegu and Suwon back-to-back. Also at the back on-loan Oh Ban-suk has been a shining light in a struggling backline.

FNR

Prediction

Incheon United lost ground on their relegation rivals last weekend losing to Sangju and are now six points adrift with nine games to play this season. Gangwon on the other hand look strong against title chasing Jeonbuk and have only lost one of their last five games.

Incheon cannot afford to lose against and draws won't be enough at this point. However Gangwon are building form and are stronger when at home, especially in front of goal. Incheon will give everything, but I'm not sure that will be enough. So I've sided with a narrow Gangwon win.

Predicted Score: Gangwon FC 2-1 Incheon United

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