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scouting

Can Gangwon find a winning formula against FC Seoul?


After three consecutive draws and seven games without a win, Gangwon will be seeking an end to their poor run of form when they come up against FC Seoul. The away side come into this in a near-equal rut, though, and will hope that a COVID-related break may have refreshed their ranks ahead of this clash.


Recent Form

Gangwon are still struggling to find their feet this season, suffering from an ironic consistent inconsistency, and seemingly always failing to capitalise on any chances to turn their fortunes around. They have avoided defeat in four of their last five games, which notably includes impressive performances against Jeonbuk and Ulsan, but with the Bears the side with the least league wins this season, they will care more about points than their slow improvements and decent showings. They did claim an important scalp over Sunday's opposition last time out, however, so will be looking for more of the same in their last league home game before the break.

FC Seoul also come into the game having failed to win in their last seven league games, a dogged run which coincidentally started with a 1-0 home defeat to Gangwon. After having an extended break due to a COVID outbreak, they will hope to kickstart their return to action with a win against the side who stuck a pin in the season of Park Jin-sub's men, and in turn build on their two consecutive draws with all three points.

Team News

The Bears come into this fixture with renewed optimism on the injury front. Other than long-term absentees Cho Jae-wan, Ko Moo-yeol and Lim Chai-min, only Hwang Mun-ki, who suffered a training injury, is expected to miss out. The likes of Lee Bum-soo, Kim Dae-won and Han Kook-young are all presumed fully-fit after their respective injury issues. With Shin Chang-moo hitting form there may now be somewhat of a selection headache for Kim Byung-soo, which is likely to be welcomed rather than shunned given his side's current woes.

On the other hand, FC Seoul come into proceedings with a few worries. Although it is hard to quantify fitness levels, Go Yo-han, Yoon Jong-gyu, Ko Kwang-min, Han Chan-hee and Park Chung-bin all may miss out, but Park Chu-young may return. Other than that Park Jin-sub has a generally healthy squad at his disposal, and will look to utilise Ki Sung-yueng with the hopes that it will earn his team all three points.

Head-to-Head

Gangwon have the upper-hand over FC Seoul in recent contests, holding four wins over this week's opponents in the last ten meetings, and only falling to defeat twice. After a 1-0 win in April, the hope for the Bears is that they can emerge victorious in consecutive games against their opposition for just the second time in their history.

What to Watch

Can Gangwon salvage their season?


Despite their unenviable form, Gangwon aren't actually in any pressing danger. Although just two points off the foot of the table, Kim Byung-soo's side find themselves in with an equal chance of jumping to 7th place if results go their way, and remain just five points away from Jeju United in 6th. Should they start converting improved performances into wins, the Bears may just have hope to salvage their season, and push on before the upcoming break.

Pressure on Park Jin-sub?


At one point this campaign, FC Seoul looked like a team that were gunning for the apex of the division. After four wins from their opening six games the capital city-side were in a comfortable position, harbouring ambitions of a top-half finish. However, with things just as quickly falling apart, pressure may soon build on Park Jin-sub. It's believed that this break allowed Park to address his concerns and refresh his ranks, so if things continue to falter, there may soon be more questions asked as to whether the 44-year-old is the right fit to take the side forward.

Who to Watch

Lee Bum-soo


It's no coincidence that when Lee Bum-soo has been in goal for Gangwon, their form hasn't been as negative. The Bears average 1.56 points-per-game with the 30-year-old between the sticks, and are yet to lose this season when Lee has completed the full 90 minutes. With five clean-sheets to his name this season across nine appearances, it's clear that Kim Byung-soo needs his reliable hand to maintain his form should he wish to have any chance of progression come the end of the campaign.

FNR




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