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Preview: Daegu FC vs Gangwon FC

Preview: Daegu FC vs Gangwon FC K League 1 Round 15
Fourth placed Daegu FC will host six placed Gangwon FC at DGB Daegu Bank Park on Saturday evening, hoping to keep their momentum alive in the title hunt, while Gangwon FC are looking to bounce back from recent sluggish performances with a victory. Daegu FC columnist Muyeol Jung previews this clash.

Last Time Out

Pohang Steelers 0-2 Daegu FC

Prior to the international break, Daegu FC made a trip to the East Coast to face Pohang Steelers that were grinding their teeth for revenge when they were comfortably dispatched 3-0 in the first meeting of 2019.

Daegu dominated the entire first half with a couple of chances created by Cesinha and Kim Daewon, but none of them was enough to pass through Pohang goalkeeper Kang Hyunmoo. The best chance came to Daegu halfway into the first half when Brazilian forward Cesinha perfectly struck half-volley from outside the box when a cleared ball fell to him but the Sky Blues' skipper's strike was palmed away by the Pohang shot stopper.

In the second half, Daegu remained in possession, but their efforts were a bit too far from goal. About ten minutes before time, Pohang almost opened the scoring when Jung Jaeyong’s effort went wide by only a few centimetres. However, one critical error made by the Steelers’ goalkeeper Kang cost the home side three points. Kang failed to catch a routine cross which fell to former Buriram United forward Edgar who comfortably put it away in an empty net.

Just three minutes later, Daegu added a second of the night through some fine team play. Right wingback Jang Sungwon delivered a quality cross to Edgar, who hammered it to the net with a signature strong header. Daegu managed to hold on after two critical chances created by Pohang's Ha Changrae and Wanderson in stoppage time.

Highlights: here

Suwon Samsung Bluewings 1-1 Gangwon FC

Suwon Bluewings hosted Gangwon FC at Big Bird in the hope of their second win in a row at home, while Gangwon came into the fixture to bounce back from two consecutive defeats.

Just six minutes into the first half, the visitors comfortably took the lead through an early goal from towering forward Uroš Đerić. He promptly headed the rebound in after his first header had hit the woodwork. Afterwards, the game went wide open for both teams. The hosts created two goal scoring opportunities when Dejan and Adam Taggart had shots blocked by defender and saved by former Suwon goalkeeper Ham Seokmin. The visitors were also able to respond well with a few dangerous chances created by Uroš Đerić and Cho Jaewan.

The second half remained in a very similar fashion to the first half. Nearly half way through the second half, Suwon found an equaliser in the end. Korean international left-back Hong Chul looked for Han Euikwon inside the box who found the net. Afterwards, both sides pushed for the win, but failed to add more on that night.


Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Daegu FC and Gangwon FC have clashed with each other 35 times and Daegu are ahead of Gangwon with 16 wins, nine draws to Gangwon’s 10 wins. However, head to head records were very close until the end of 2017 season but since then, Gangwon FC have been unable to pick up a point against the Sky Blues from the last six meetings. On Daegu turf, Andre’s side have had the upper hand with nine wins and five draws to Gangwon’s three wins.

This season, the latest meeting was held in Gangwon’s Songnam Stadium on 27th April when Daegu FC emerged as 2-0 winners through goals from Jung Seungwon and Edgar. Daegu had to play without their key asset Cesinha who ruled out due to a hamstring injury, but the visitors showed that they were not a team that relies solely on Cesinha.

Team News

During the international break, Daegu FC's first team went down to Busan where they had a training session for a week after a few days of much-earned rest. A squad of 22 players comprised of regulars such as Edgar, Cesinha, Kim Daewon, and Hong Jungwoon and three new faces Oh Hoosung, Ye Byungwon, and Kim Taehan from the reserve team took part in the training with a few regulars excluded because of international duty or injury.

First of all, Korean international Jo Hyeonwoo was with Korea Senior National team where he completed the full 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Iran at Seoul Wold Cup Stadium. Also, Daegu youngster Ko Jaehyun has been away with the Korea U20 National Team which made it to the final of FIFA U20 World Cup for the first time.

In the meantime, the club officially announced that Japanese midfielder Tsubasa, has returned to Japan for an operation after he suffered a torn ACL injury in the K League game with Suwon. Apparently, he will miss the remainder of the season, which is a huge blow for the citizen club. Another imported asset, Dario is not on the list for training camp with rumours circulating that he is about to leave Daegu this summer.

Meanwhile, the reserve team remained at home and played an international friendly against J.League side Cerezo Osaka on 6th June where a few familiar faces from the first team featured to maintain their match fitness; Jung Seonho, Park Hanbin, Ryu Jaemoon, and Park Byunghyun. The match ended in 2-1 loss for Daegu, but it was a good chance for some players to get some decent minutes and experience against a strong Cerezo side. Edgar’s understudy Jung Chi-in, who assisted Cesinha’s goal in 2-1 win over Incheon, didn’t make the squad for the friendly, which implies that he must be injured.

 Edgar is Daegu FC's top scorer this season with six goals but ended his mini goal drought by scoring two goals against Pohang.
Coming into the fixture against Gangwon, Daegu have no players suspended and the majority of the first team who took part in the training session should be available for selection. After Daegu’s exits from AFC Champions League and FA Cup, the citizen club are able to focus on K League only, and will likely to play in their usual 3-4-1-2 formation. The hole which Tsubasa has left behind him in the middle is expected to be filled with Hwang Soonmin or Ryu Jaemoon.

Between the sticks, Korean international Jo Hyeonwoo will be positioned as usual despite any possible fatigue issues he might have following his busy schedule and the rumours which have surfaced about a potential move to the Bundesliga. In a post match interview after the friendly against Iran, Jo said: “I have nothing to say further. I am in talks with my agent, and I will return to Daegu and get ready for the next match while I am waiting” when asked about the rumour. Also, Daegu youngster Ko Jaehyun won’t be available due to the final of FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland.


The Adversary

Kim Hyunwook is in action against Daegu FC
Gangwon FC, touted as the favourite to be relegated ahead of this season, are now ranked in six-place, however, they are winless in their last three games with a draw and two losses. Gangwon’s main formation is 4-3-3 with full backs pushed high up the pitch. Despite a 1-1 draw against Suwon Bluewings in the previous game, Kim Byungsoo's side's attacking was very sharp and dangerous with a plenty of meaningful chances, particularly the combination of Kim Hyunwook, Cho Jaewan and Uroš Đerić were standout figures throughout the match. The back four boasts of former Korean international full back Yun Seokyoung, Cyprian central defender Valentinos, Kim Ohkyu, and former Pohang and FC Seoul right-back Shin Kwanghoon who generally looked solid against the Bluewings, but their inability to neutralise counterattacks is something which Daegu can capitalise on.

For the game against Daegu, the club have no players suspended, but Lee Jaeik and Lee Kwangyeon will not be able to play due to international duties for Korea U20 National Team.

Prediction

This season Daegu FC are still unbeaten at home in the league and a fully recharged Andre’s boys will likely  add another three points to their tally considering the teams' strengths and current form.

Predicted Scored: Daegu FC 2-0 Gangwon FC

See also: K League 1 Round 15 Preview

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