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Unstoppable Daegu FC square off against struggling Gangwon FC at home

Unstoppable Daegu FC are set to welcome a shattered Gangwon FC to DGB Daegu Bank Park this Sunday, hoping to continue the title race. Meanwhile, the Bears are in desperate need of a League win. K League United's Daegu FC correspondent Muyeol Jung previews the clash.

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Daegu FC
This Wednesday, Lee Byungguen's side edged past Gimhae City FC in FA Cup and booked their place in the last eight. By doing so, the Sky Blues are now undefeated in nine games with eight wins and a draw. It was positive that some peripheral players earned game minutes and match experience, while key players such as Jeong Taewook, Hong Jungwoon, Jung Seungwon enjoyed a well-deserved break. Two Brazilians Edgar and Cesinha had to feature as substitutes in the midweek's action.

Gangwon FC
Kim Byungsoo's Gangwon FC also had a midweek FA Cup game at home by hosting K League 2 side Seoul Eland and advanced to the quarter finals after a 2-0 win. However, before the Cup win, they were going eight games without a win in the league. To find their last league win you must go back to 10th April when they absolutely smashed Daegu 3-0 at home.

Team News

For the hosts, majority of their best XI will be available for Gangwon's visit to Daegu after some sweet breaks in the midweek. However, there will be a forced change to the line up as youngster Lee Jinyong will miss out this Sunday's game due to suspension. Accordingly, defender Jo Jinwoo or midfielder Oh Husung is likely to start to fulfill U22 quota.

Meanwhile, the visitors Gangwon FC are in a dire situation ahead of a trip to Daegu. At the moment, they have very limited players available due to numerous injuries and suspensions. Uzbekistan defender Rustam Ashurmatov is not able to feature after picking up his fifth yellow card.


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Another stepping stone in the title race?
Since their first meeting this season that ended 3-0 up to Gangwon in April, both sides have gone down a completely different path so far. The Sky Blues have been flying high, unbeaten, whilst the Bears have no sign of getting out of a slump in the league.

On the Sky Blues's impressive run, manager Lee Byungguen spoke to the press that the loss to Gangwon eventually served as a turning point for the team. He added: "It was a moment we were pulling more together and we gelled more internally with the well timed-return of players from injuries."
Daegu will play against Gangwon in another sell out.
In order for the Sky Blues to get closer to the top of the table, their next two home games against Gangwon and FC Seoul are extremely vital ahead of the lengthy ACL break. This coming summer will be felt much tougher for the Daegu's lads who have little depth in the squad. They also will have to fight in the league without the services of some key players due to the Olympics from July.

Can Byungsoo Ball turn a cup win into a league win?
Gaffer Kim Byungsoo is often praised by his players for creative football and unique philosophy and his lads always say they enjoy their time with the gaffer. Likewise, he also never puts blame on his players even when Vladimir Siladji had a penalty kick saved by Yang Hanbin in stoppage time, which surely would have been the winner.
Can Gangwon FC take another group picture in Daegu? 
However, his football and maybe his job are now in a real danger. Although they tasted a long-awaited win in the FA Cup with some forced changes, realistically things are considerably against him and his side due to their massive injury issues. Did he take any hints out of the cup win? Can the genius manager find his way through this crisis this Sunday?

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