After suffering the first defeat of the season, Seoul are hoping to bounce back tonight with a win against Gyeongnam at Seoul World Cup Stadium in the 6th round of Korean K1 League.
FC Seoul started off this season well, with a 3-2-0 record up until the start of April, when they fell against Ulsan Hyundai in a 2:1 match. Despite losing their most recent match, Seoul are still in the top 2 with 10 points, which ties them Sangju Sangmu at 3rd place. Looking back at Seoul last 5 fixtures, they defeated Pohang (2:0), Seongnam (0:1) and Sangju Sangmu (2:0), drew against Jeju Utd (0:0) and lost the most recent match against Ulsan Hyundai (2:1). The match against Ulsan Hyundai saw the opener being scored only 14 minutes after the match started, which put Ulsan into a 1:0 lead. That was also the only goal we saw in the first half. At the start of the 2nd half, we saw Choi Yongsoo making a double substitution for Seoul, sending Park Dongjin and Kim Hangil off and replacing them with Pešić and Ko Kwangmin. But this decision did not steer the match the way Seoul wanted. Instead of scoring a goal and equalizing the match, Seoul conceded the 2nd goal in a 73rd minute, which put them 2 goals behind. While they did manage to score a goal of their own in the 91st minute, it came in too late. Final score: 2:0.
Gyeongnam are currently sitting at the 6th place in the league with a 2-1-2 record. Despite starting the season with a win against Seongnam (2:1), Gyeongnam failed to win the next two fixtures against Incheon (2:1) and Pohang (4:1). On the bright side, they bounced back and grabbed 4 points in the last two fixtures, when they faced Daegu (2:1) and most recently Jeonbuk (3:3). The match against Jeonbuk was entertaining, to say the least. The scoring started only 19 minutes into the match, when Kwak Tae-Hwi scored an own goal, thus giving Jeonbuk a lead of one goal, to which they added another goal only 17 minutes later. If that was not enough, Jeobuk scored for the 3rd time in a 52nd minute, which put Gyeongnam 3 goals behind with only 39 minutes to go. Match continued and no goal was on the horizon, until the 81st minute when something clicked in Gyeongnam, who went on to score 3 goals in 81st, 85th and 90’+3 minute, thus equalizing the match by scoring 3 times in 12 minutes. The comeback from Gyeongnam was impressive to say the least, which earned them a well-fought point and a spot in the top 6.
FC Seoul are expected to welcome back Osmar Ibáñez Barba who has been struggling with a knee problem. On the other side, they won’t have Lee Woonghee at their disposal after a knock in the head he suffered in the match against Ulsan. Gyeongnam could miss Jordon Mutch who suffered an injury in the last fixture. On the bright side, Negueba should be back tonight
Despite injuries of key players, Gyeongnam looks strong and well prepared to face off against any team they are put against. If their coach can get them to step into this fixture with the right approach, I would not be surprised if Gyeongnam manages to upset Seoul, who were not too convincing in the last fixture. The main issue is their subpar offensive work, which was ineffective in the match against Ulsan. Despite only suffering 1 defeat this season, Seoul can easily be defeated and we do believe the confident and potent Gyeongnam are the team to prove that.
Prediction: Gyeongnam to win
Odds: 3.36 Pinnacle