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Preview: Gyeongnam FC vs Incheon United

It has all come down to this at the bottom of the K League 1 table. Gyeongnam FC host Incheon United needing a win to escape the relegation playoff. Whilst Incheon know that a draw will be enough to secure top tier football for at least another year.

Last Time Out

Seongnam FC 1 - 2 Gyeongnam FC

Gyeongnam recorded just their second away win of the season last weekend as they beat already safe Seongnam. Gyeongnam started brightly and took a fifth minute lead via veteran Kim Hyo-gi. However Seongnam leveled late in the half through Seo Bo-min. A draw seemed the likely outcome until a questionable seventy-fifth minute penalty. Serbian Urus Đerić calmly converted to once again give Gyeongnam the lead. Seongnam went down to ten following a Lee Eun-bum red card and Gyeongnam held on for the full three points.


Incheon United 2 - 0 Sangju Sangmu

Incheon United boosted by over ten thousand vocal home fans picked up just their second home win of the season seeing of Sangju by two goals to nil. The first half was pretty even with Sangju going closest hitting the bar. However Incheon took control after the break with substitutes being key. First sub Moon Chang-jin broke the deadlock with fourteen minutes to play, converting a Stefan Mugosa low cross. Then big Nigerian forward Lanre Kehinde confirmed the three points with his first goal in the K League with just two minutes of normal time to play.


Previous Meetings

Incheon United and Gyeongnam FC have clashed three times already this season. Incheon won the first encounter at home 2-1 back in March, whilst the game down in Jinju ended 1-1. The third game played in Incheon in July also ended 1-1.

Gyeongnam last beat Incheon at home just last season, winning 3-0 with Marcão scoring a brace. Incheon just beat Gyeongnam away all the way back in April 2009, with Kang Soo-il scoring the second in a 2-0 win.

Over the years Incheon and Gyeongnam have played each other 30 times with the victories dominated by Gyeongnam. They've won eleven times vs Incheon's five, the other fourteen games have ended in draws.

Team News

This weekends game maybe the final one for Incheon United Manager Yoo Sang-chul who is currently suffering from stage four pancreatic cancer. The support from Incheon fans last weekend certainly boosted the team, and hopefully a solid traveling group will be the twelfth man once again this weekend.

Incheon have no players suspended for this weekends clash. Whilst Gyeongnam will be without defender Park Tae-hong who is suspended.

FIFA 19 Preview



Adversary

Gyeongnam FC had an amazing 2018 season following their promotion back into the top tier, finishing second in the league and qualifying for the Asian Champions League. However fighting on multiple fronts this season has proven difficult, especially after losing star striker Marcão to the Chinese Super League. This league season started slowly and poor away form has seen them drop deep into the relegation battle.

Since the league split Gyeongnam have only picked up four points from the four games, losing to Suwon Bluewings and Sangju Sangmu, drawing with Jeju before beating Seongnam last weekend.

Look out for giant Serbian forward Urus Đerić, who finished last season as the leagues second top scorer whilst playing for Gangwon FC. Since joining Gyeongnam in the summer he has scored nine goals in sixteen games making him the clubs top goalscorer. Also watch out for Japanese attacking midfielder Kunimoto who is often involved in creating the goals for Gyeongnam.

Who To Watch

Incheon United's current top scorer is in-form forward Stefan Mugoša who has fourteen goals to his name so far this season, including nine in his last nine K League games. This form has lead his to be the only Incheon player named in the K League award nominations. He also turned provider last weekend for the opening goal.

Moving into the midfield, Australia summer signing Rashid Mahazi has adapted quickly to life in the K League and was rewarded with a contract extension this month. He is a confident rock in the middle of the park.

Finally at the back, keeper Lee Tae-hee once again made the K League XI of the round last weekend following his clean sheet against Sangju Sangmu. He's come strong just at the right time, especially with previous first choice Jeong San out for the rest of the season.

Prediction

Incheon come into this game having only lost one of their last eight, with a strong away record this season. Gyeongnam on the other hand have only won once in four and are still a point below Incheon.

Overall Incheon only require a draw from this one, but cannot afford to lose. Gyeongnam know that only a win will do but cannot afford to go for broke early in this one. So I see an even and defensive game with goal coming towards the end. Incheon could take the lead with Gyeongnam scoring late equalizer. A draw seems the likely outcome with Incheon safe and Gyeongnam having to play in the relegation playoff against either Busan I'Park or FC Anyang.

Predicted Score: Gyeongnam FC 1-1 Incheon United

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