In the final round of fixtures before 'Final Round', FC Seoul host Daegu FC looking to secure a place in the top six while also exacting revenge for the 6-0 drubbing the Sky Blues dished out to the capital club earlier in the campaign. Seoul's recent revival under caretaker manager Kim Ho-young has put them in contention for a place in the top half but they must better Gangwon FC's result to do so. Daegu, meanwhile, with former FC Seoul club legend Dejan Damjanović helping to lead the charge, are gunning AFC Champions League qualification once again after the midweek win over Seognam FC, the Sky Blues' first in seven outings.

Last Time Out

Incheon United 1-0 FC Seoul

Despite the Super Match win last Sunday, FC Seoul fell to defeat against relegation-threatened Incheon United on Wednesday night in the second Gyeongin Derby of 2020. Song Si-woo notched his second of the campaign in the 78th minute after coming on as a sub at half time. Seoul thought they had taken the lead themselves, though but VAR intervened. Yun Ju-tae's cross from the right was fumbled by goalkeeper Lee Tae-hee into his own goal. But an on-rushing Jung Hyeon-cheol was adjudged to have impeded Incheon defender Kim Yeon-soo in trying to shepherd the ball in and, after VAR review, the goal was chalked off. Instead, it was the hosts who sealed the points. Song Si-woo exchanging passes with Elías Aguilar before slotting the ball under Yang Han-bin.

Highlights: here

Daegu FC 3-2 Seongnam FC

An enthralling encounter at DGB Bank Park saw Daegu FC pick up their first win in seven matches, largely thanks to a dazzling Dejan Damjanović display. The Montenegrin got Daegu off the mark inside 10 minutes with a glancing header from a Cesinha cross. That was before scorer turned provider and Dejan was able to return the favour for the Sky Blues' second of the night; Cesinha getting on the end of a tidy through-ball from Dejan before finding the top corner emphatically in the 37th minute.

The Magpies began a comeback though, first through defender Lee Chang-yong who headed home from a Kim Dong-hyun corner with half time approaching. Na Sang-ho brought the game level with a thunderous strike from 18 yards after some quick footwork on the stroke of the hour. However, Dejan restored Daegu's lead with another header, this time nodding in Jeong Seung-won's cross from the right, just four minutes after the Magpies had brought themselves level. Daegu held on and claimed a valuable three points that guarantees them a top six finish.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The last meeting between FC Seoul and Daegu FC was one to forget for the capital club, but a club record win for the Sky Blues. Lee Byung-geun's Daegu side ran out 6-0 winners at DGB Daegu Bank Park back in June and even found themselves 3-0 up before half time.

Cesinha put Daegu ahead on 10 minutes before Kim Dae-won made it two with a clinical finish. An unfortunate Park Chu-young own goal on 41 minutes sent the hosts in at half time three-goals-to-the-good before Kim Dae-won added his second and Daegu's fourth on 52. Another own goal, this time by Jung Hyeon-cheol who bundled home the rebound from a saved penalty, made it five before FC Seoul's all-time leading scorer Dejan made it six.

The last ten encounters have resulted in four Seoul wins to Daegu's two and four draws. However, due to the aforementioned 6-0 Sky Blues win, Daegu have outscored Seoul with 16 goals to 14. Overall, there have been 40 meetings, Seoul have the edge with 17 wins to 11 for Daegu and 12 draws. In the capital, there have been 20 meetings, Seoul winning 12 and losing just five with three draws.

Team News

For FC Seoul, Ki Sung-yueng is ruled out due to injury. Ki was named on the bench for a fourth match in a row and was introduced at half time on Wednesday's defeat to Incheon but pulled up 20 minutes later. It has been reported in the press that it is not a re-occurrence of a ankle injury that delayed his second FC Seoul debut but a muscle problem. Caretaker manager Kim Ho-young does have plenty of options in the centre of the park, though, especially with Han Chan-hee and Osmar returning from injury. Meanwhile, Han Seung-gyu will be hoping for a recall having dropped to the bench for the midweek clash with Incheon.

[READ: K League 1 Round 22 Preview]

Daegu FC have 20-year-old defender Jo Jin-woo back from suspension who missed the midweek visit of Seongnam FC after accumulating five yellows. Former FC Seoul striker Dejan Damjanović started his fourth game in two weeks on Wednesday night, scoring and laying on an assist and will be keen to make an impact again this Sunday. Defender Hong Jung-woon is a long term absentee with an ACL injury, while versatile midfielder Hwang Soon-min has a fatigue fracture and Kim Sun-min is a doubt.

What to Watch

Battle of the counter-attacks

Both teams like to soak up pressure and hit teams on the counter-attack. Daegu played this way under previous manager Andre Gaspar and, given they have all the tools to hurt teams in this way, have stuck to this way of playing under Lee Byung-geun too. The Sky Blues have break-neck speed with the likes of Kim Dae-won and leading assist maker Jeong Seung-won, and the direct nature of Cesinha. 

Away from home, Daegu will be expected to play this way, but stopping them from doing so is another matter entirely. The difference could purely come down to which team has the players to put the chances away. Helping the Sky Blues in this endeavour are the likes of Dejan, who now has eight for the season and two assists, and Edgar Silva who has five goals and three assists. FC Seoul, meanwhile, also like to hit teams on the break but their numbers are a little more modest compared to Daegu. Han Seung-gyu and Yun Ju-tae the capital club's leading scorers with three each but in the capital club's 4-2-3-1, the likes of Cho Young-wook, Jung Han-min and Kim Jin-ya will be used to stretch Daegu

Interestingly, both sides have had just 44% possession on average throughout the course of the season. Daegu are second in K League 1 for shots and fourth for crosses which helps paint a picture as to what they like to do once in possession. Seoul, however, have shown that they do know how to defend, despite having shipped the most goals in the division. Since Kim Ho-young took over at the beginning of August, Seoul have conceded the third fewest with just eight and have made the most interceptions. 

Where to Watch K League

[READ: September 2020 K League Newsletter]

Paul Neat
Managing Editor