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Preview: Incheon United vs FC Seoul

Incheon have the opportunity to move off the bottom if they can beat local rivals FC Seoul on Wednesday evening in the Gyeongin Derby. Both sides have discovered a little late season form and so this should be an even and competitive derby.

Last Time Out

Busan I'Park 0-0 Incheon United


Incheon United played out a dull goalless draw against Busan I'Park on Sunday evening, with both sides finishing the physical game with only ten men. The main moment of the first half came early on as Busan had a goal disallowed for handball within the first ten minutes. It was a midfield battle for most of the rest of the half with both sides cancelling each other out.

The second half was more of the same with players on either side getting frustrated as tackles started flying in. Incheon were reduced to ten as defender Jung Dong-yun was rightly sent off for a dangerous late challenge. Then five minutes later Busan were also a man short as Kim Jung-hyun was sent off for a second booking. Both sides had half chances in the first fifteen minutes or so, but the game concluded and a draw was a fair outcome.

FC Seoul 2-1 Suwon Bluewings


FC Seoul claimed bragging rights over their rivals Suwon Bluewings in the 'Super Match' this past Sunday. The action started quickly as Seoul took a seventh minute lead via a Jo Sung-jin own-goal. However Suwon rallied and earnt a penalty a little over ten minutes later. Fan favorite Yeom Ki-hun slotted home the spot kick to level the match. Seoul looked a little more like scoring during the rest of the half, but the sides went in at the break level.

The second half saw Seoul bring on forward Park Chu-young and that maybe helped them go up a gear and push Suwon back further. This pressure told as young midfielder Han Seung-gyu collected the ball on the edge of the box turned and his shot looped over the Suwon keeper with a hint of a deflection. Suwon without Aussie star Adam Taggart looked option-less going forward and Seoul saw out the game and collected the three points.

Previous Meetings 

Incheon United lost narrowly to FC Seoul earlier this season with Seoul winning by a single goal to nil. Last season they played each other three times, with Seoul winning twice and the other ending goalless.

Incheon last beat Seoul at home two seasons ago. They won 2-1 with Moon Seon-min (now at Sangju) scoring an eighty-seventh minute winner. Seoul last won at the Sungui Arena last season in July, winning 2-0 with Park Chu-young scoring the second that evening.

Over the years Incheon and Seoul have played each other fifty-two times with the victories dominated by Seoul winning twenty-six to Incheon's eleven. The other fifteen games have ended in draws.

Team News

Incheon will be without suspended Jung Dong-yun who was sent off against Busan. FC Seoul on the other hand have no players missing due to suspension.

Incheon manager Jo Sung-hwan has worked some magic since joining Incheon earlier in the Summer and it seems unlikely he'll change tactics this Wednesday. However he may rotate a few players due to tired legs as this is a midweek clash.

Once again Incheon still have a few players lacking the fitness to play a full ninety. Captain Kim Ho-nam hasn't been involved since the start of August and maybe missing again Wednesday. Brazilian winger Gustavo is could finally ready for a return to the squad after six weeks out. Finally Australian midfielder Rashid Mahazi has only manged five appearances this season and will be hopefully back soon.

Adversary

FC Seoul have had an average season so far, they currently sit in sixth but for the most part they've struggled down in the bottom half. They are of course still in the Asian Champions League, but focus currently is on the league. Their issue just like Incheon has been a lack of goals and a goal scorer.

Look out for scorer of the winner at in the Super Match on Sunday Han Seung-gyu, the young midfielder is currently the joint top goal scorer (although that's not tricky as its only three). Also Spaniard and Captain Osmar seems to be back to full fitness and controls the midfield.

Who To Watch

Starting upfront; current Incheon top scorer is Montenegrin International Stefan Mugosa with eight. Including five in his past five. Also attacking winger Ji Eon-hak who has become a key outlet in the past month or so.

Moving into the midfield; Costa Rican Elias Aguilar has been fantastic controlling the game in the middle of the park since his return to Incheon, fitness has sadly been an issue. Also Kim Do-hyeok who has been key in the deeper aspects of the midfield battles.

Finally at the back, keeper Lee Tae-hui kept another clean sheet this past weekend, cementing his place as the first choice between the posts. Also at the back on-loan Oh Ban-suk has been a shining light in previously struggling backline.

FNR

Prediction

Incheon United gained a point at the weekend to close to the gap on eleventh placed Suwon Bluewings. They've struggled most of the season, however they have a history of being strong finishers and so the rest of the bottom half can't feel safe yet. That could include Wednesdays opponents and local rivals FC Seoul who are just two points clear of the bottom half in sixth place.

Incheon could leapfrog Suwon if they beat Seoul and Suwon lose. So the relegation battle in still tight and Incheon aren't off of thing just yet. This Wednesday however they face a Seoul side on solid form and with a strong track record in the Gyeongin Derby. In the end I see a draw, but either side could edge it on the night.

Predicted Score: Incheon United 1-1 FC Seoul

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