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scouting

Can Gangwon get a much needed away win against Seongnam?


Following on from a defensively poor display and subsequent defeat to Suwon Samsung Bluewings, Gangwon will be expecting better when they travel to Seongnam on Sunday. The hosts have somewhat picked up their form lately, though, meaning this won’t be a simple task for the Bears.

Recent Form

Although bookended by two 3-1 losses to top-half teams, Seongnam have been an improved side in their last five games. Their draws against Daegu and FC Seoul showed signs of resilience, whilst a 1-0 win away to 7th-placed Incheon allowed the Magpies to cross the 30-point mark. Although their midweek defeat to high-flying Suwon FC came in disappointing fashion, there’s certainly enough signs that Kim Nam-il’s squad have what it takes to beat the drop this season as they enter the final stretch before the league split.


Gangwon, however, are yet to find their footing after the forced COVID break put a pin in their upturn in fortunes. And, although their loss to Suwon Samsung Bluewings showed enough attacking flair for there to be some semblance of confidence going forward, the dogged defending matched the Bears' bottom-placed status. Should they wish to pick themselves up, an end to sloppy, preventable defeats has to be the first order of business.

Team News

Seongnam are likely to be without defender Richard Windbichler and long-term absentee Lee Jae-won, but should find themselves buoyed by the return of midfielder Kim Min-hyuk, who played a part in his side's midweek outing. Elsewhere, Fejsal Mulic will look to continue his strong form, and hope to score in his third consecutive game after goals against Incheon and Suwon FC.


On the other hand, Gangwon have a clean bill of health going into this fixture. With a lot of his squad suffering from inconsistencies though, Kim Byung-soo will have anything but an easy time picking his preferred eleven. With that being said, reliable hands Lee Bum-soo and Rim Chang-woo, in addition to captain Lim Chai-min, will all most likely find their way into the lineup, with the likes of Ko Moo-yeol and Shin Se-gye other likelihoods.


Head-to-Head

There’s a rather even head-to-head record in this fixture, with Seongnam winning on ten occasions, Gangwon on nine, and the two playing out six stalemates over the years. In the last five meetings there has been three draws, two of which were scoreless, and one win for either team, both by a single goal margin. With the most recent victory going to Gangwon, the Bears will hope they can be the ones to build some momentum seldom seen in matchups between the sides.

What to Watch

Can Seongnam solidify themselves?

After managing to pick up five points in their last five but only winning once in their last eight games, Kim Nam-il has an easy goal from now until the end of the regular season: push on. With winnable games against Gangwon and Jeju coming up before the division separates in two, any points the Magpies can pick up will be beneficial in their quest for safety.

Will Gangwon change their tune on their travels?

Picking up just 9 points from a possible 42 on the road, the Bears have been anything but strong away from home this season. However, one of their two victories whilst on their travels this year was against Seongnam back in June, meaning Kim Byung-soo and co. have something to work with going into this clash. With Gangwon eager to get themselves off the foot of the table, they’ll want to make it a double over Seongnam, and in the process pick up their first away victory in five attempts.


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