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Jeju Face Tough Test With the Visit of Daegu FC

Jeju United have struggled of late, heading into the weekend's K League 1 action winless in their last four matches.  Things will not get much easier as the opposition this weekend is Daegu FC, arguably the hottest team in the division at the moment.  Having surrendered three goals in each of their last two losses, things will have to return to normal defensively if they are to have a chance at a result against the Sky Blues.  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to the match.

Match: Jeju United vs Daegu FC
Venue: Jeju World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: Sunday May 16th, 2021; 14:00 KST

Recent Form

A Rough Patch for the Islanders

Things have not come easy for Jeju United over the last while as they have failed to win in their past four outings, having drawn against Pohang Steelers and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and lost to both clubs from Suwon.  As circumstance would have it, Kim Oh-gyu's absence due to suspension against Suwon Samsung Bluewings proved costly as the back line was exposed on several occasions, showing that once again a lack of depth in the back could hurt them again as was the case in the early stages of last season.  It remains to be seen if the club will decide to make additions over the summer, but another piece for defensive purposes could prove useful.

Sky Blues Soaring

Winners of five straight, Daegu FC have charged up the table and now sit fourth in the pecking order on arguably the best form of any side in the division at the moment.  Edgar Silva has been a major catalyst for their recent success with several match-winning performances to erase a sluggish start for the club.  Daegu are back to playing the exciting brand of football which saw them earn ACL qualification for the first time in club history only two seasons ago and on their current run of form, they look a good bet to progress to the group stage of the competition this year.  

Team News

Jeju United

Kim Oh-gyu returns from suspension and will be a welcome addition back to the starting eleven.  It cannot be underestimated how important he has become to the club since arriving on the island last summer.  It imperative to note that Jeju play much better and look much more organized with him on the pitch.  He was one of the main reasons why the islanders only had to endure one season in K League 2 to put it in mild terms.

Joo Min-kyu has been in fine form of late.
Joo Min-kyu's fine form in the month of April earned him a nomination for Player of the Month.  His health and his form are critical to what Jeju manage to achieve this season.  He scored both goals against Suwon Bluewings last time out and will look to continue on that clip this weekend.

The league announced that Nam Ki-il was fined three million won for failing to attend the post-match press conference following last weekend's loss to Suwon FC.  He expressed regret for failing to do so, citing that would make an improved effort to make himself available to the media in the future.

With regards to the match against Suwon Bluewings, he stated that preparations went well for the match but due to unfortunate circumstances, the result was not as expected.  He also alluded to the need for the team to do better work in the defensive third and to re-organize their shape so as to avoid conceding goals as they have in the last two matches.

He did point to Joo's proficiency of late, saying that winter training and promotion to the first division set him on course to work harder and become a greater leader for the club.

Kwon Han-jin is out following a blow to the head in midweek which left him with a nose injury.  His spot in the starting eleven could go to Kim Kyung-jae.  It may be considered a risky proposition, however, as he was responsible for conceding the penalty which led to Suwon's second goal from the penalty spot.  Hong Sung-wook, another one of Jeju's U-22 prospects, could also be up for consideration to make his third start of the season.

Kim Young-wook picked up a pair of yellow cards last time out and is suspended this weekend.

Daegu FC

The Sky Blues have been in record form recently.
It will be all hands to the pumps for Lee Byung-keun's men as the team has finally returned to full health following injuries to some key players.  Edgar Silva, Cesinha, and Kim Jin-huack all have four goals this season, and they will look to employ their quick counter-attack to exploit Jeju's defensive tactics.  There are not expected to be too many changes in the starting eleven as they look to extend their club record winning streak to six.  They will also have the advantage of being rested as they did not play in midweek.

What to Watch

How will Jeju's defensive structure fare against the Sky Blues' counter-attack?

Daegu FC have a whole host of options in attack which could cause problems for the islanders defensively.  They have scored seven goals in their past two matches and those goals have come from several different sources.  Edgar Silva, Tsubasa Nishi, and Lee Keun-ho were on the scoresheet in their 4-2 win over Suwon FC after Park Ji-soo had scored an own goal near the end of the first half.  Last week against Incheon, Kim Jin-hyuk, Cesinha, and Oh Hoo-sung found the back of the net.

That is quite a lot of firepower for any team to deal with and with Jeju coming off back to back lackluster performances on the defensive end, it could be another long day out if they can't manage to tighten things up in the back.  They have looked disorganized with key players out, something that will have to be addressed in training ahead of the match.

Who to Watch

Cesinha - Daegu FC

Cesinha is congratulated after scoring against Incheon.
While his Brazilian counterpart is up for Player of the Month honors for the month of April, Cesinha remains the most vital cog to Daegu FC's counter-attacking style of play.  Back among the goals last week, he will look to be a major factor once again as his side continues their climb up the table.  He has contributed four goals and one assist to the campaign thus far and will look to add to those numbers this weekend.  In six career appearances against Jeju, Daegu have won twice, drawn three, and lost one, with him notching two goals and two assists.

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