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Can Gangwon dust themselves off for the visit of Jeju?


After a dismal display away from home against Gwangju, Gangwon will be looking to get back to winning ways this Sunday to avoid fears of yet another poor run of form. Meanwhile, after eight games without a win, Jeju will be hoping that they too can address their issues.


Recent Form

Like they have for a large portion of the campaign, Gangwon have resembled a consistently inconsistent outfit recently. Their 3-1 loss to Gwangju was amongst their worst performances this year, with no player aptly pulling their weight aside from goalkeeper Lee Bum-soo, who arguably kept the scoreline respectable. Before that though, a 2-1 away victory over Seongnam showed some positive signs, all of which manager Kim Byung-soo will be desperate to replicate this weekend to steer clear of slipping to just one league victory in the last twelve attempts.

After not playing in almost two months, Nam Ki-il will be hoping that an extended break has done his Jeju side the world of good after a poor run of form hit the squad in May. Picking up just two points in their last five games, the Tangerines will be looking to come out on top on their return to action, and in the process climb back up towards the top-half they've spent a total of 12 rounds as a part of. 

Team News

Fortunately for the Bears, the only absence their squad faces coming into this fixture is that of Kim Dong-hyun who is currently participating in the Olympics. Other than that, Kim Byung-soo has a relatively clean bill of health to choose from, even if Lim Chai-min and Ko Moo-yeol are still coming off the back of lengthy injuries. Expect at least one of the two to feature heavily given the side's recent troubles in both attack and defence, with the likes of Shin Chang-moo favourites to be rotated. As of right now, none of the club's new signings are expected to start, although striker Lee Jeong-hyeop may find his way onto the bench.

On the other hand, Jeju will be without Kang Yoon-sung given his participation in the Olympics, whilst the fitness of  Lee Jung-moon is still in question. Nevertheless, Nam has plenty of options to choose from, and will hope that the likes of high-scoring Joo Min-kyu can guide his team to victory.

Head-to-Head

After a 1-1 stalemate in the first tie between the clubs since 2019, both teams will want to try and one-up the other, with the initiative for the home side being that they can leapfrog their opposition should they emerge on the winning side. With a mixed bag of results when these teams meet (ten wins for Jeju, eight for Gangwon, and four draws), it's bound to be a fixture that is close to call.

What to Watch

Pressure on Kim Byung-soo


Just like he has many times throughout this season, Kim Byung-soo cut a forlorn figure on the touchlines this past Wednesday. He helplessly watched his team get dismantled with ease, and failed to impact the game with any of his substitutions or tactical tweaks. Another campaign filled with misplaced optimism looks likely to be on the horizon for Gangwon, and with recent controversies surrounding the manager, pressure may soon fall on the man trusted to guide the Bears to success.

Can Jeju get their form back?


At one point this year, Jeju found themselves in third place. They were flying high, fresh from excellent results against Suwon Samsung Bluewings, Incheon, and FC Seoul. Additionally, the group appeared to be a formidable group of players, and a side more than capable of mixing it up at the apex of the table. However, their slide in form has been rather drastic, the cohesion and chemistry seen earlier was no longer present, and subsequently the Tangerines find themselves down in eighth place. With just four wins in total this season, the draw specialists of the division will be expecting to convert some of their stalemates into hard-fought triumphs.

Who to Watch

Ko Moo-yeol


Despite missing a penalty in midweek, Ko Moo-yeol appeared to be the only attacker who posed any kind of threat for Gangwon. The experienced forward is still finding his feet after a relatively long absence, but will hope to be afforded a chance to start the game against Jeju to prove his value. If he can find the kind of form he had just before his unfortunate absence began, there's no reason why the 30-year-old won't be integral to changing the fortunes of Gangwon in the weeks to come.

FNR

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