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ACL Preview: Chiangrai United vs FC Seoul

FC Seoul take on Chiangrai United in Match Day three of the 2020 AFC Champions League this Friday night. After a resounding 5-0 win over the Beetles on Tuesday, Seoul's destiny is in their own hands. A second win over the Thai League 1 champions would put Lee Won-jun's men firmly in the driving seat for second place.

Overview

via Soccerway


Last Time Out

FC Seoul 5-0 Chiangrai United

Tuesday's first ever meeting between the two sides ended with an emphatic 5-0 win for FC Seoul. On-loan Jeonbuk midfielder Han Seung-gyu gave Seoul the lead in the first half, sweeping the ball home from inside the box with 20 minutes on the clock. Less than 10 minutes after the restart and youngster Jung Han-min had the capital club 2-0 up with what was his first goal in ACL, second as a professional, squeezing the ball in from an acute angle. 

A quickfire brace from Yun Ju-tae with goals on 67 and 71 minutes had Lee Won-jun's men in total control -- Yun's first, a left footed daisy cutter from the edge of the area, the second a real poacher's goal tapping home a spilled Osmar fre kick. Then, to cap off a comprehensive display, another of Seoul's fledgling stars Lee In-gyu made it five in time added on.

Highlights




Reaction

Yun Ju-tae: "It was a game where we really needed the three points. We got the win so I am very pleased. I haven't been able to score too many goals [this season] but I am thankful that the team was able to get the win. Now we have three more group stage games left. We need to prepare well so that we can win."

Lee Won-jun: "Yun Ju-tae's biggest strength is his shooting. I told him that, if a chance falls to him in and around the box, to not be afraid of having a go. We picked up a big win today but we now have to focus and prepare for the return fixture."

Team News

Caretaker manager Lee Won-jun made a couple of changes from the defeat to Beijing Guoan, bringing in youngsters Yang Yu-min and Kim Jin-sung, Han Seung-gyu was preferred to Han Chan-hee, while also switching Yang Han-been for Yu Sang-hun in goal. But, with emphatic cameo appearances from Yun Jun-tae and Lee In-gyu, who both bagged in the 5-0 win, Coach Lee may have something to think about for Friday's second game. Meanwhile, centre back Kim Won-gun came on in the second half for what was the 28-year-old's first appearance since May 2019 following an injury-plagued last couple of seasons.

Absent from FC Seoul's ACL squad are: Adriano, Alibaev, and Ki Sung-yeung through injury while Ju Se-jong and Yoon Jong-gyu have been excluded as a precaution having been involved in COVID-19-struck Korean National Team squad.


Meanwhile, Chiangrai could be able to call upon Brazilian striker Bill who missed Tuesday's clash through injury. Meanwhile, the likes of Poomkaew, Tiatrakul, Malison, Singmui, and Sawasdee will be hoping that their second half cameo appearances were enough to persuade stand-in gaffer Emerson Pereira to name them in his first XI.


The Adversary


Chiangrai United currently sit second in the Thai League 1, six points behind BG Pathum United despite having played two games more. Chiangrai have eight victories - four home and four away, two draws and four defeats from 14. The 22 goals scored makes Chiangrai only the fifth best scorers in the division.

Leading the team's scoring charts is Brazilian striker Bill who has eight for the season. Bill is in his third season with Chiangrai and bagged 14 in the league last year, the second-best tally of his career, as the Beetles lifted the Thai League 1 title. Behind Bill, who has been absent through injury, are Chotipat Poomkaew, Akarawin Sawasdee, and Jaja who all have three goals. Jaja is a name which might be familiar with K League fans despite the Brazilian having an ill-fated spell with Seongnam last year during which he failed to make a single appearance. Lee Yong-rae is another player who will be familiar amongst K League fans. Lee was a Suwon Bluewing 

Founded in 2009, Chiangrai are entering the AFC Champions League group stages for the first time in their history. To date, the Beetles' only previous wins in ACL came in the qualification stage in both 2018 and 2019, beating Bali United after extra time in 2018 and Yangon United last year. However, after securing their first ever Thai League 1 title, Chiangrai secured a place in the group stages.

Eulji Lewis  

What To Watch

FC Seoul's youngsters



The average age of FC Seoul's starting XI during Tuesday's 5-0 win was 26.5 with four players under the age of 22. The average age of the whole 21-man squad is 25.6. One of the silver linings from this season is the amount of youngsters which have come through the ranks to make their professional debuts. Jung Han-min for instance who scored Seoul's second on Tuesday. The 19-year-old has impressed this year during what has been a breakout season for Seoul's number 37.

Prediction

Seoul will be full of confidence heading into Friday's match and will be looking to put in another positive display. Caretaker manager Lee Won-jun may look to rotate his squad a bit but after Tuesday's performance, knows that he can trust whoever comes into the side. FC Seoul 3-1 win.



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