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2024 Hana Bank K League 1 Round 5 Preview

league 2024.03.31   I   hits 240

2024 Hana Bank K League 1 Round 5 Preview

Match of the Round

Daejeon Hana Citizen vs. Ulsan HD - Tue. 2nd April, 19:30

Still looking for their first win of the season, Daejeon Hana Citizen take on the only team yet to taste defeat in 2024, reigning champions Ulsan HD. Daejeon suffered a 2-0 away loss to Incheon last time out, while Ulsan had to settle for a point away to title rivals Jeonbuk following a pulsating 2-2 draw in Jeonju. For Daejeon, it's quite the contrast to when these two sides met at this stage of the previous campaign, earning a 2-1 win to halt the Horangi's perfect start to the season. Last year, this fixture produced entertainment with a 3-3 draw at the Munsu sandwiched between a 2-1 Daejeon win and 1-1 draw. 

Ulsan are the division's top scorers so far this term with nine from four matches while Daejeon have managed just three goals. The Horangi are also the most accurate shooters in the division with 55.6% of all attempts on goal finding the target. Daejeon are fifth in this regard with 42.9% so will be keen to turn shots on target into goals given their perilous position in the table. 

The two teams' possession stats may lend some indication as to how they'll approach the game - Ulsan 53.3% possession, Daejeon 46.2%. Against Incheon, however, Daejeon had most of the ball but it was the only match so far this season they failed to have one single counterattack with Incheon executing their game plan (three counterattacks, two shots). There should be goals, though, as the two teams have the highest expected goals values - Ulsan 7.91 and Daejeon 6.74, both with seven conceded. At the other end, Ulsan have an xG of 6.05 (nine scored), while Daejeon 4.03 with three scored.

Team of the Round

Gimcheon Sangmu (vs. FC Seoul, Wed. 3rd April - 19:30)

An emphatic 4-1 away win over Suwon FC on Saturday rocketed newly-promoted Gimcheon Sangmu up to the top of the table. Gimcheon took the lead early on with Kim Hyeon-wook scoring his fourth in as many matches before Lee Joong-min bagged a quickfire brace. Yu Kang-hyun on his Gimcheon debut converted a late penalty to put the gloss on a near-perfect away performance. Chung Jung-yong's men now head to the capital to take on FC Seoul for what will be the first meeting between the two sides since 2022. Gimcheon earned draws in both of their visits to Sangam that year, 2-2 in May and 1-1 in October. Wednesday's clash, though, is between the teams with the fewest shots despatched so far this term but Gimcheon are the second-most accurate.

Player of the Round

Gerso Fernandes, Incheon United (vs. Gwangju FC, Wed. 3rd April - 19:30)

A first goal of the season and an assist in Incheon United's 2-0 win over Daejeon Hana Citizen on Saturday earned Gerso Fernandes his first goal contributions of the season. Gerso was on hand to convert from close range to make it 1-0, showing his predatory instincts in the 18-yard box before scorer turned provider early in the second half to play in Hong Si-hoo. It proved to be a productive afternoon for Gerso with both of his two shots finding the target, he recorded 83% passing accuracy, had five touches in the box, made four progressive runs, and completed all three of his attempted passes into the 18-yard box. The former Jeju United forward has recorded the most touches in the box so far this term with 20. Up next for Gerso and Incheon is Gwangju away on Wednesday. Gerso has a good record against the Griffins, scoring two in four appearances and losing just once.

Elsewhere in K League 1 Round 5

Pohang Steelers are back at the Steel Yard on Tuesday looking to make it four wins in a row when a wounded Suwon FC make the long trip to the east coast. Suwon suffered a 4-1 loss at home to Gimcheon last time out and so will be looking to make amends while Pohang, having scored two well beyond the 90 away to Jeju on Saturday, will be riding on a high.

Two defeats on the spin leaves Jeju United still stuck on one win for the campaign. Visitors to the island on Wednesday, however, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors are still looking for their first league win of the campaign. The Green Warriors were, however, able to rescue a late draw against the reigning champions Ulsan.

Gangwon FC, too, are looking for their first win over the campaign and host a Daegu FC side that earned theirs last time out. Two straight draws has Gangwon in 10th while Daegu have shot up to eight following the 2-1 away win over Gangwon.

K League 1 Round 5 Fixtures

Tuesday 2nd April 2024

#POHvSUW: Pohang Steelers (2nd) vs. Suwon FC (6th) - 19:30 [ENG]
#DHFCvULS: Daejeon Hana Citizen (12th) vs. Ulsan HD (3rd) - 19:30 [ENG]

Wednesday 3rd April 2024

#JEJvJEO: Jeju United (9th) vs. Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (11th) - 19:30 
#GANvDAE: Gangwon FC (10th) vs. Daegu FC (8th) - 19:30 
#GWAvINC: Gwangju FC (4th) vs. Incheon United (5th) - 19:30 
#SEOvGIM: FC Seoul (7th) vs. Gimcheon Sangmu (1st) - 19:30 [ENG]

Where to Watch

Follow all the action LIVE, for FREE, and in HD on TV.KLeague.com.