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Preview: FC Seoul vs Gangwon FC

league 2023.05.26   I   hits 552

After two games without victory, FC Seoul will be looking to get back to winning ways this Sunday when they host 11th-place Gangwon FC in Round 15 of the 2023 Hana 1Q K League 1 season. The away side could well come into Sunday's fixture with some confidence, though, following their midweek FA Cup triumph over Gimpo FC.

Recent Form

With two wins, two draws and one loss in their last five, FC Seoul have very much hit a steady stride in terms of results. Back-to-back winless games didn't manage to move An Ik-soo's men below second, but they do currently find themselves level on points with Jeju United and Pohang Steelers. Thus, home comforts may be vital on Sunday should FC Seoul wish to successfully consolidate their strong league position.

As for Gangwon, they earned a respectable 0-0 draw to Pohang Steelers last time out, breaking their run of three consecutive losses. The Bears haven't scored in their last four league games, and are now just three points ahead of bottom-placed Suwon Samsung Bluewings. Nevertheless, Choi Yong-soo did lead his side to an exciting 3-2 cup victory on Wednesday, so could look towards that game to serve as inspiration going into this weekend's clash with his former club.

Team News

For FC Seoul, they're without Kang Seong-jin, Lee Seung-joon, and Cho Young-kwang due to their national team commitments for Korea at the U20 World Cup. This does mean An Ik-soo doesn't have to factor in the U22 rule in his team selections for now, which could be good news for the likely returning Aleksandar Paločević.

On the other hand, Gangwon are already looking buoyed by the return of Lee Jeong-hyeop. The 31-year-old was a massive help in guiding the Bears to three second-half goals in their midweek cup tie, with his substitute appearance showing just how much Choi Yong-soo has needed a reliable, experienced target man at his disposal. As for absentees, Lee Seung-won is away captaining Korea's U20 side in Argentina, so remains unavailable until the tournament's end. With Gangwon having one player with the U20 Korea side, they only need to name an under-22 player on the bench.


This fixture is one fairly evenly contested. FC Seoul have won 15 of the 34 meetings, losing 10 times and drawing nine. Last time out though, it was Gangwon who emerged victorious, thanks to a dramatic Lee Woong-hee injury-time winner. However, Sunday's hosts will feel they should've came away with a point in that game, considering their dramatic last-minute equaliser was ruled out before VAR could intervene. With that being said, such hardships may give FC Seoul motivation to get one over on the Bears, who haven't won at Seoul World Cup Stadium since April 2021.

Who to Watch

Lim Sang-hyub, FC Seoul

Though most defences will be weary of the league's top goalscorer, Na Sang-ho, when it comes to playing FC Seoul, for Gangwon's back three their fear will likely be in facing off against his wing partner, Lim Sang-hyub. The 34-year-old scored two of his three goals this campaign against the Bears, with both coming in similar fashion from well-worked corners. The experienced attacker hasn't scored since, though, and will no doubt be eager to find the net any way he can this weekend.

Yu Sang-hun, Gangwon FC

It hasn't been the easiest of seasons for Yu Sang-hun. The 34-year-old goalkeeper found himself out of the starting lineup with Lee Gwang-yeon preferred instead, and was then brought back in. However, Gangwon's first-choice keeper produced a stellar showing against Pohang Steelers last week, completing four vital saves, while looking like his confident self again. Unless Choi Yong-soo decides to rotate, Yu Sang-hun should get a chance to continue his solid form up against his old club.

Where to Watch

FC Seoul vs Gangwon FC kicks off at 16:30 KST on Sunday, 28th May. Follow the action LIVE, for FREE, and in HD on TV.KLeague.com.

Nathan Sartain
K League United Columnist