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Can Gangwon get the upper hand on the Bluewings once more?


After a disappointing loss to Suwon FC saw Gangwon crash back down to earth, the Bears will now travel to the blue side of the city, looking for a win that would see them gain momentum amidst their survival ambitions. The home side are without a league win in 10, meaning now is just as good a chance as ever for the visitors to claim an important scalp.

Recent Form

Suwon Samsung Bluewings have done little to show their top-half mettle recently, with a 1-0 loss against Jeonbuk breaking a streak of two consecutive draws. With the Bluewings’ last victory coming in May, they will need to show swift signs of improvement should they want to stay in the upper-echelons of the table.

On the other hand, Gangwon go into proceedings with, as has been the norm this season, mixed form. Their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Suwon FC was turgid, slow and lacking spark, but impressive recent wins against the likes of Daegu and this week’s opposition have shown that Kim Byung-soo’s side do have it in them to be competitive with any opponent. With two wins, two losses and a draw in the last five, it's unpredictable as to which incarnation of the Bears will show on Tuesday.

Team News

Unfortunately for the home side, they come into this fixture with a few issues. Although Jung Sang-bin is now available after serving his suspension, Park Kun-ha may have to compete without Kim Gun-hee (although his return is imminent) and Choi Seung-geun, while Kwon Chang-hoon also remains a doubt.

Kim Byung-soo, however, comes into proceedings without much difficulty. Although the fitness of Kim Dong-hyun is unknown after his injury last week, Han Kook-young looked promising on his return. And, after competing for the reserve team last week, the Bears’ foreign summer signings, as well as midfielder Seo Min-woo and striker Vladimir Siladji, should all be able to play a part if needed.

Head-to-Head

Overall, Suwon Samsung Bluewings have a far greater head-to-head record than their opposition, but this season fortunes have shifted. After a 1-1 stalemate in the beginning portion of the campaign, Gangwon have beaten their opponents twice - once 3-0, the other 2-0 in the FA Cup - emphatically breaking a winless streak which stretched across seven games. On Tuesday, the travelling Bears will hope it’s a case of same again.

What to Watch

Can Suwon finally return to form?

Considering at one point it looked as though the Bluewings could mount a push for Champions League football, the drop-off for Park Kun-ha and co. has been farcical. With losses to Incheon, rivals Suwon FC, Gangwon and Seongnam during this unenviable run, it’s obvious something has to change should the 6th placed side want to have any hopes of being competitive come the league split. Given Tuesday’s opposition have the worst away record in the division this season, they have a perfect opportunity to finally change their luck.

Will Gangwon make it a three-peat?

Currently sitting just one point above bottom-placed FC Seoul, consistency has been hard to come by for Gangwon this year. Yet, in spite of their unreliability, they’ve shown something of a knack for getting one over on this week’s adversaries. With two consecutive victories (and clean sheets) against the Bluewings, they may just find the winning formula once more, and in the process gain momentum at a crucial point of the season.


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