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scouting

Gangwon look to build momentum at home to Suwon Samsung Bluewings

After fighting back from two goals down to salvage a draw against Jeju, Gangwon will be aiming to amplify their small improvements when they host Suwon Samsung Bluewings on Sunday. The visitors come into the game with ample motivation of their own though, hoping they can put consecutive disappointing home defeats behind them and return to winning ways.

Recent Form

Gangwon come into proceedings in uninspiring form. Winning just one of their last five in the league, the club find themselves drifting lower in the table week by week, hanging just three points above bottom-placed Seongnam. Nevertheless, a resurgent fight back against Jeju last time out showed that this is a side who have what it takes to beat the drop, and in the process return to their mid-table comfort zone.

For Suwon Samsung Bluewings, there will be some quiet concerns going into Sunday's fixture. They've failed to pick up a single point since the restart, losing to both Incheon and Suwon FC. They'll be expecting better this time out, especially if they wish to hold onto third place.

Team News

After an injury to Han Kook-young last week, Kim Byung-soo has something of a problem in the centre of midfield. With Kim Dong-hyun at the Olympics, the most likely choice is for Seo Min-woo and Hwang Mun-ki to play together in the centre of the park. But given the partnership's relative inexperience, they could be made the target of a motivated Suwon Samsung Bluewings. Aside from that though, the Bears have a clean bill of health, and could look to involve Shin Chang-moo and Kim Dae-won more heavily after impressive cameos against Jeju.

On the other side of the coin, the Bluewings come into proceedings with a few issues. Doneil Henry misses out whilst being a part of the Gold Cup, whereas other players such as Yang Sang-min, Kwong Chan-hoon (Olympics), Han Seok-hee and Kim Gun-hee are all still expected, or confirmed, to be unavailable.

Head-to-Head

Generally, Gangwon's record against Suwon Samsung Bluewings is turgid. The Bears have failed to beat their opponents in three years, a winless streak which stretches across seven meetings. However, a 1-1 draw earlier in the season may just inspire some semblance of confidence in Kim Byung-soo's group. And with points a must for the struggling squad, in addition to the Bluewings' dip in form, anything could happen.

What to Watch

Are Gangwon in danger?

It's hardly a revelation that this season has been one of strife for Gangwon. Any time a glimmer of hope enters it's quickly blocked by something hopeless, with the Bears now stuck in ninth place. All teams below Kim Byung-soo's men have at least one game in hand on them, and with just three points between bottom and ninth, things could rapidly turn bleak. This Sunday, the provincial club has to show that they can push back against their hardships, and in the process gain a stranglehold on their unpredictable season.

Can Suwon get back to winning ways?


Comfortably in the top-half of the league, and at one point looking like firm title-challengers, Park Kun-ha will hope that he can get his side playing how he did before the break - the game before their two-month interval saw them emphatically beat FC Seoul 3-0 - and relieve their current woes. Any potential silverware bid is far from dead yet, so it's important for the Bluewings that they get an all-important victory on Sunday and build their momentum back.

Who to Watch

Seo Min-woo

Despite starting his season in the fourth tier of Korean football, Seo Min-woo has re-emerged as someone worthwhile to Gangwon. His performances are consistently solid, and the 23-year-old is slowly beginning to stake his claim as a regular starter. With Han Kook-young likely to miss out and Kim Dong-hyun unavailable, this is Seo's chance to shine.


FNR








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