Round 4 of the 2023 Hana 1Q K League 1 is the final round of fixtures before the first international break of 2023. Coming up in the top division this weekend there's the so-called 'Football Capital Derby' between Suwon Samsung Bluewings versus Daejeon Hana Citizen, Gangwon FC head to the Steelyard in search of a first win of the campaign, while Moon Seon-min will be looking to build on his brace last time out when Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors take on Daegu FC. For all that and more, we look ahead to the weekend's K League 1 action.
Alternative Match of the Round
Suwon Samsung Bluewings vs Daejeon Hana Citizen, Sun. 19th March - 14:00
A match that is seen by some as the Korean 'Capital of Football Derby' is Suwon Samsung Bluewings versus Daejeon Hana Citizen. The two meet this Sunday for a first league encounter since 2015 with Daejeon unbeaten and Suwon yet to find a win this term. Last time out the Bluewings lost the Suwon Derby 2-1 while Daejeon earned a point in a 0-0 draw at home to Pohang Steelers.
The two clubs have met fairly recently, though, having been drawn together in the third round of the Korean FA Cup in 2021. On that occasion, an Uroš Đerić strike in the first minute had the Bluewings ahead before Bruno Baio levelled just seven minutes later. However, Suwon were able to seal their place in the next round thanks to a 65th-minute strike from Choi Jeong-won. In 2015, all three meetings between Suwon and Daejeon ended 2-1 - two in favour of the Bluewings and one in Daejeon's. The very first meeting of that season on April 26th ended in victory for Daejeon thanks to a brace from Adriano.
Daejeon's five goals puts them among the top scorers in the division so far and is slightly above the team's xG (expected goals) of 4.62. Meanwhile, the Bluewings have found the back of the net two times but this is below their xG of 4.58. The Bluewings will believe that the goals will start to flow sooner rather than later as, so far, they have amassed the second-most shots at goal with 47 and the most headed shots at eight. Most of Suwon's shots have come from outside the area. As for the Purples, Kim In-gyun's busy cameos off the bench have resulted in two goals and the joint-best shooting accuracy in K League 1 at 75%. Brazilian star Tiago Orobó leads the league for combined goals and assists with three (two goals, one assist).
Team of the Round
Gangwon FC (vs. Pohang Steelers, Sat. 18th March - 14:00)
It might not have been the victory the team craved, but a point against Daegu FC last time out was Gagnwon FC's first of the new campaign. Likewise, the goal scored went down as an own goal, but Gangwon are at least off the mark in that regard. While shots on target have come at a premium, Gangwon fans will have at least seen their team have lots of the ball. The Bears are third for passes in K League 1 after three rounds with 1,339 - only Suwon Bluewings and Pohang have made more. In terms of actual ball possession, Gangwon are fourth with 53.8%. Kim Dae-won is joint top in K League 1 for key passes made with three while Yun Suk-young is fifth for the accuracy of passes to the final third with 83.33%. Up next for Gangwon is the trip to the Steelyard this Saturday to take on Pohang.
Player of the Round
Moon Seon-min, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (vs. Daegu FC)
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors earned their first win of the season thanks, in part, to a brace from Moon Seon-min last time out. Jeonbuk overcame newly-promoted Gwangju FC 2-0 with Moon playing 85 minutes and earning his first start of the campaign. Moon had a productive afternoon too; three of his five shots found the target, he showed 85% passing accuracy overall and won 86% of his aerial duels. Overall so far this season, too, Moon has been one of Jeonbuk's busier forward players having dispatched 10 shots - the joint-second most - and the most per 90 minutes at 5.81. Up next for Moon Seon-min and Jeonbuk is the trip to DGB Daegu Bank Park this Sunday to take on a Daegu FC side that's still looking for its first win of the new campaign.
Elsewhere in K League 1 Round 4
Gwangju FC versus Incheon United is one of the matches picked for overseas broadcasting and English commentary on K League TV. It sees two teams going toe to toe in search of their second win of the campaign. Whereas Gwangju lost last time out, Incheon found their first victory of the season thanks to Gerso's first-half strike against his former club Jeju United. Sunday's meeting is the first in the league since 2021 but last season Gwangju ran out 6-1 winners in the FA Cup third round.
On the island, Jeju United are back at home and take on FC Seoul this Saturday. Jeju are yet to win this season while FC Seoul will be looking to bounce back from the unfortunate loss to Ulsan Hyundai last time out. Jeju haven't lost to FC Seoul in the league since August 2019 - a 3-0 win in the capital - and are unbeaten at home against the capital counterparts since July 2017.
Ulsan Hyundai versus Suwon FC, meanwhile, is one of the matches picked for overseas broadcasting and English commentary. Ulsan sit top of the table with three wins from three - the only team to do so - but Suwon FC will be full of confidence following the Suwon Derby victory last time out.
K League 1 Table
Lee Seung-woo, Suwon FC (One game)
Kim Dong-min, Incheon United (One game)
Ha Chang-rae, Pohang Steelers (Two games)
K League 1 Round 4 Fixtures
Saturday 18th March
: Pohang Steelers (1st) vs Gangwon FC (2nd) - 14:00 #GWAvINC
: Gwangju FC (1st) vs Incheon United (2nd) - 14:00 #JEJvSEO
: Jeju United (1st) vs FC Seoul (2nd) - 16:30
Sunday 19th March
: Suwon Samsung Bluewings (1st) vs Daejeon Hana Citizen (2nd) - 14:00 #DAEvJEO
: Daegu FC (1st) vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (2nd) - 14:00 #ULSvSUW
: Ulsan Hyundai (1st) vs Suwon FC (2nd) - 16:00
Where to Watch
Follow all the action LIVE, for FREE, and in HD on TV.KLeague.com