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FC Seoul - Western Sydney Wanderers Preview

Goal.com logo Goal.com 14-03-2017

FC Seoul's Dejan Damjanovic believes the K League champions are recovering from their poor start to 2017 as they prepare to host Western Sydney Wanderers in the AFC Champions League (ACL).

Seoul registered their first win of the campaign on Saturday, with Damjanovic scoring the winner in a 1-0 triumph away to Gangwon in the K League.

Hwang Sun-hong's side conceded six goals in their opening two matches in the ACL's Group F - only slightly better than the Wanderers, who have let in nine goals to sit bottom of the standings ahead of Wednesday's clash in the South Korean capital.

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On the same day Western Sydney were crushed 5-1 by Shanghai SIPG last month, Seoul lost 5-2 at Urawa Red Diamonds.

Damjanovic has argued that the turning point for Seoul was when they trailed at half-time in their domestic opener against Suwon Bluewings.

Seoul fought back to secure a 1-1 draw against Suwon before knocking off Gangwon over the weekend.

"It feels good to score my first goal in the league [for this season]," Damjanovic said after the victory over Gangwon.

"I felt huge responsibility for the past few matches but the whole team woke up since the second half of the match against Suwon and we got a good result today.

"I believe the team will fully come back in two to three weeks."

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The Montenegrin striker has scored twice in Seoul's past three games in all competitions and has been nominated as a danger man for Western Sydney by Wanderers defender Brendan Hamill, who played against Damjanovic during his time in South Korea from 2012 to 2014.

"Maybe he's the sort of player who goes under the radar a bit outside Korea, but however you judge the quality across Asia he's up there with the best. We'll have to be on our toes to stop him, we know that," Hamill was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

"He's a top-class player – in fact when I moved to Korea in 2012, he was one of three players I was told were particularly highly regarded, one of the others being Sasa Ognenovski.

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"Damjanovic has been at Seoul for a long time and he's really seen as a god by the fans there, they love him. His statistics tell you why because he's a prolific goalscorer." Western Sydney will need to turn their ACL form around soon if they're to challenge for a berth in the knockout stages.

The Wanderers haven't won in four games in all competitions and have been held scoreless on three occasions in that period.

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