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Islanders Look to Avenge Only Loss Against Suwon FC

Jeju United continue to occupy third spot in the K League 1 table as they head into the weekend to face newly-minted rivals Suwon FC.  Controversy surrounded the previous fixture earlier this season as the islanders had a pair of goals called off after VAR review, giving them their only loss of the season to date.  With Ulsan Hyundai idle, they have a chance to inch closer to second with a win.  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to the match.

Match: Jeju United vs Suwon FC
Venue: Jeju World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday May 8th, 2021; 14:00 KST

Recent Form

Islanders Still Third After Jeonbuk Draw

Lee Chang-min has proven himself a worthy captain since taking the armband last season.
Jeju United continue to hold on to third place in the table following their 1-1 draw with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors last weekend.  Jung Woo-jae fired them into the lead in first half injury time only for Stanislav Iljutcenko to draw the hosts level on the hour mark.  To date, Jeju have only lost once this season - to the very same team they will face on Saturday afternoon and it has all the makings of a very personal affair.

The last time the sides met, it ended in controversy, as a late would-be Joo Min-kyu equalizer was chalked off after video review, one of two goals to be called back that afternoon for Nam Ki-il's men.  The two sides developed a dislike for each other in K League 2 last season in the midst of a title fight which Jeju claimed thanks to a 2-0 win last October, the previous time the teams met on the island.  If the script goes according to plan, there is no reason why Jeju shouldn't be able to do it again and lay another brick into Suwon FC's path back to the second division.

Winless in Three For Suwon FC

Murilo has been a key addition to the squad this season.
Suwon FC come into the match on a poor run of form as they have not won in their past three matches.  Last time out, they were outclassed 4-2 by Daegu FC and are now three points clear at the bottom of the table.  They had the majority of the possession against the Sky Blues and by a considerable margin, but they looked poor defensively in key moments, particularly evidenced by Park Ji-soo's own goal just minutes before the end of the first half.  In fairness, Daegu FC are in their best form of the season and there was little that Kim Do-kyun's men could do to stem the tide once it came rolling in.

Their task will not get much easier when they visit the island this Saturday, the place which lost them the opportunity to be crowned champions a season ago.

Team News

Jeju United

Joo Min-kyu did not start last time out against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors but Oskar Zawada did make his return after a period out due to injury.  If Joo is unable to play this weekend, it is likely the Pole will get the call once again to lead the line.  Kim Hyun-woo and Lee Jung-moon are also doubtful and may be game time decisions.  

The club announced that Song Joo-hoon will join Gimcheon Sangmu to do his military service next month, so his availability for the weekend is up in the air.  Jin Seong-wook should be available as an option from the bench.  The starting eleven will most likely be similar to the one which kicked off against Jeonbuk last weekend.

Suwon FC

Despite their poor record, Suwon FC do have some dangerous pieces that Jeju must be wary of.  Lars Veldwijk found the back of the net for them the last time the two sides met and will be counted on again to do the same.  He came off the bench last week but could be in the starting eleven against Jeju.  Murilo also had an impact on the match in the previous meeting, playing provider for the South African's goal and should take his spot in midfield on the left side.  

Park Ji-soo is among the names of those who will head to Gimcheon Sangmu next month, so he will face Jeju one final time this season before heading down to the second division.  Han Seung-gyu will look to be a factor for the squad in midfield and Yang Dong-hyen, who scored in a losing effort last week is also an option in attack.

What to Watch

How will the islanders approach Saturday afternoon's fixture?

For Nam Ki-il's men, now is not the time for caution.  The back three has been cemented since the middle stages of last season, so there should be no concerns in the back.  The midfield has remained intact for much of the season as well and there are a plethora of options to choose from in case there is any chance that the squad may rotate one or two players.

Attack is again the major question, as Joo Min-kyu is doubtful and that is a cause for concern as he was one of the best players on the pitch the last time these two sides met, not to mention his recent excellent run of form.  Oskar Zawada has looked eager and is due for his first goal in Jeju colors.  Should he get the start, it just might come through for him this week as he can be a factor from set pieces.  Jeju have some adept set piece takers in Lee Chang-min, Jung Woo-jae and Kim Young-wook, so the opportunities will be there for him; he just needs to take them.

Oskar Zawada may get the starting eleven nod again against Suwon FC on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday is a chance for redemption as Suwon FC is the only team to have beaten Jeju this year.  The islanders have a huge opportunity in their grasp with Ulsan Hyundai idle this weekend because of their match against Seongnam being postponed due to COVID-19 protocol.  A win brings them to within two points of second place in the standings; it is simply not an opportunity to be missed.

Who to Watch

Jung Woo-jae - Jeju United

Jung Woo-jae will be key to Jeju's chances on Saturday afternoon.
Since returning from ACL surgery a few years ago, the former Daegu FC man has figured prominently in Nam Ki-il's plans since the manager's arrival prior to last season.  He has become a fixture on the left side of midfield and his offensive production has benefitted greatly as a result.  He scored the islanders' only goal last week and is a constant threat to defenders with his darting runs and delivery into the box.  His full return to health is evidenced by the fact he has played full minutes this campaign to this point.

Having faced the same side last season, he is savvy enough to know where to pick his spots.  He was the provider for Jin Seong-wook, who scored the clinching goal in Jeju's victory last October against their title challengers and will surely be a factor again on Saturday afternoon.


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