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Daegu FC look to enter break with win against FC Seoul

During the international break, a rescheduled R15 fixture between Daegu FC and FC Seoul is to be played at DGB Daegu Bank Park. Before the Sky Blues jet off to Uzbekistan for their ACL 2021 play off, can they finish the first half of the season with another win at home? Or will the struggling capital side hit the ground running after a bitter defeat in the Super Match? K League United's Daegu FC correspondent Muyeol Jung previews the clash.

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Daegu FC
Daegu’s unbeaten run has been nearly two months now stretching over 10 games in all competitions and it will be a shame for them that the League enters the ACL break. Last weekend, Kim Soobeom’s own goal sealed the Sky Blues three points at home and moved them up to third place in the table. While Lee Jinyong was suspended last time out, Serginho completed his fourth full time in a while, showing a better performance.

As it stands, Lee Byungguen’s side are four points adrift of the leaders Ulsan Hyundai and they can mathematically move up to second depending on Jeonbuk’s game in hand.

FC Seoul
Park Jinsub’s side are currently sitting 11th in the table with four games in hand due to Covid-19 restrictions and looking to bounce back as soon as possible. However, they are without a win in ten games in all competitions with below-par performances. Last weekend, they hopelessly lost to their rivals Suwon Bluewings 3-0 at home in the Super Match.

Team News

At the moment, three Daegu players in Jeong Taewook, Jung Seungwon and Kim Jaewoo are away for the Olympics Team's training camp in Jeju. However, according to the local news, the club and the Olympic Team's gaffer Kim Hakbeom has agreed to them returning to Daegu for this Sunday's game. Accordingly, they will likely start the game as usual unless they have any issues.

In midfield, U22 player Lee Jinyong will return from his one-game suspension. However, he might have to play with Serginho. Although there's no official news, it is believed that veteran midfielder Lee Yongrae is away for a coaching course.

Meanwhile, three FC Seoul players in the Olympics Team, Yoon Jongkyu, Kim Jinya and Cho Youngwook are also expected to fly off to Daegu for the game based on Daegu's situation.

However, Korea international attacker Na Sangho will miss out the visit to Daegu due to a hamstring injury.

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What to Watch

One more victory at home before a big stage
It is going to be the last league game for the Sky Blues before they fly off to Uzbekistan for their second appearance in the Asian Champions League. There is no doubt that it is such a great honour and privilege for Daegu to represent K League in the continental competition, however, on the other side they will be undoubtedly feeling gutted at the same time that the league entered such a long break when they have been in particularly brilliant form.

This Sunday's game is quite special to the fans as well. Unfortunately, with the ACL hosted in a centralised venue, many fans won't be able to witness some historical moments in person. Also because of the competition, they will have to wait for 45 days until the next league action and 56 days until their next home game.

Manager Lee Byungguen also made it clear that he wanted to add as many points as possible before the break, expressing his concerns about possible uncertainties in the second half of the season due to squad depth and three key players possibly called up for the Olympics from July.
Daegu boss Lee Byung-geun casts an eye over his squad against Gangwon
What are realistic targets for FC Seoul before the summer transfer window opens?
With the summer transfer window due to open on 23rd June, FC Seoul will have to play at least three games in hand until mid July before they can realistically bolster their squad with new signings. Until then, manager Park Jinsub desperately has to find a way through this crisis with what he has at his disposal.

Their biggest concern is up front. With 15 games played, the capital side have only one goal per game. Their concern has been even deepened with the team's top scorer Na Sangho out with injury. In the Super Match, former Arsenal forward Park Chuyoung completed the full game, but didn't record a single shot.

The gaffer occasionally did some experiments for changes by switching to two attackers, playing youngster Kang Sungjin or Jung Hanmin or playing defender Hong Joonho up front. However, none of his experiments have been successful yet. It appears they will only have to have faith in themselves and pull harder together at the moment.

Meanwhile, there is perhaps a ray of hope. Although, Ki Sungyeung and Osmar have been on similar role in midfield, the top quality players are still in good health, playing a big part in the build-up, distributing the ball to attackers such as Cho Youngwook or Aleksandar Paločević who hit the bar last time out. They are also capable of directly threatening goal from distance. In defence, the discovery of Lee Taeseok is something exciting for them. The son of former Korea international Lee Eulyong has been a boost with some aggressive performances on the left flank.

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