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Incheon United vs. FC Seoul Preview: Who will get bragging rights?

This weekend sees FC Seoul making the short journey west to face Incheon United in this season's second Gyeongin Derby. The first derby played out in front of a record-breaking crowd on a cold Sunday afternoon in March but finished goalless. Fans from both sides are hoping for more action this time around.

Recent Form

Incheon have won once and lost once in their last five outings. Their most recent home match saw the Blue-Black defeat Jeonbuk with three goals in a dazzling second-half performance. The 3-0 victory was Incheon’s largest of the season, and it came sandwiched between two challenging away games in Pohang and Gimcheon. United played out a 0-0 draw in Pohang and came from two goals down a week later to rescue a point in Gimcheon, meaning they ended the week with five points from three tough matches. The only blot on their record was Lee Myungjoo’s collarbone injury, which required the Incheon captain to undergo surgery. Incheon currently sit sixth in the league with 14 points.

Seoul, meanwhile, have been struggling for form, winning only one of their last five matches. The three-point haul away at Suwon last week put a stop to a run of three consecutive league defeats. Last weekend, they subsequently lost 1-0 at home to Ulsan HD, thanks to a questionable penalty decision in the champions' favour. Seoul currently sit ninth in the league, with 12 points.


What to Watch

The 2024 K League regular season is currently a third of the way through. Each team has played everyone else once, and the table is beginning to take shape. Ulsan and Pohang are leading the pack, with Gimcheon hot on their heels. Everyone else is slightly further back, with only seven points separating fourth-placed Gangwon from bottom club Daegu.

Looking ahead to this match, both Incheon and Seoul have picked up only three wins each. Both teams have scored 15 goals, with Seoul conceding fifteen to Incheon's fourteen. It is fair to say, then, that the two teams are evenly matched, with little to separate them or any of the teams around them.

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Matches like this can make a significant difference come the end of the season. Last year, Seoul missed out on the top-half's 'Championship Round' by just one point; while Incheon missed out on continental qualification by the same margin. Incheon heads into this game on the back of three strong results and performances. Seoul, however, is struggling. Each team will see this as an opportunity to improve their standing and deal a blow to their opposition. A win for the visitors would move Seoul above Incheon; a victory for Incheon would put five points between them and Seoul. Come the end of the season, it is encounters like this that could prove decisive.

With all of this at stake, the locals are going to be turning out in force, too. Seoul sold out their away allocation of around 1,500 tickets in under a quarter of an hour, whilst Incheon have fewer than 6,000 tickets available in the home areas. The last home game - the midweek encounter - drew a five-figure crowd, and all indications suggest that this weekend could be as good if not better. 



Head to Head

Matches between Incheon and Seoul are typically combative affairs, with both teams often preferring to avoid defeat rather than pursuing an all-out victory. When there is a winner, it is usually by a single goal.

There have been 41 matches played between the clubs, with Seoul winning on 16 occasions to Incheon's 13. Last season, each team won a game at Seoul World Cup Stadium, while the points were shared at Sungui Arena.

Incheon's last home victory came in August 2022 with a 2-0 scoreline, while Seoul's most recent away win was in March 2021, finishing 1-0. There has not been a 0-0 draw in an Incheon home match against Seoul since 2013.


Who to Watch

The road to recovery has perhaps been longer than most anticipated for Stefan Mugosa, following his return to Incheon last summer and subsequent injury woes. However, the Montenegrin talisman appears to be returning to his best form, having scored in the last two matches and also provided an assist for Kim Dohyeok's goal against Jeonbuk. He is currently Incheon’s top scorer and has the most goal involvements in the squad. If Incheon are to triumph in the derby, they will need more performances reminiscent of the Mugosa of old.

Where to Watch

The games will be available to stream online at K League TV outside of Korea, and in all the usual places inside. The game takes place on Saturday 11th May and kicks off at 16:30 KST.







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