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playoffs

Preview: Busan IPark vs Gyeongnam FC

It's the return of the so-called "Gyeongnam" derby. So-called of course because Busan is not technically part of Gyeongnam-do, but I digress. The two former K League Classic sides will meet at the Asiad in a bid to get their K League Challenge campaigns on track. A win for Busan would see them close the gap to the top to 3 points (currently Ansan with 12). A win for Gyeongnam would see them cancel their 10 point penalty and be at 0 points.
Courtesy of busanipark.com



Busan Team News

Not a whole lot really following the 1-2 loss to Seoul E-Land on Wednesday. I'd expect a few of the rested players like Ko Kyung-min and Stojanovic to come back in. It will also be interesting to see if Koo Sang-min continues in goal now that his clean sheet streak has been broken. Choi Young-joon has largely stuck with the same group, but perhaps he'll rotate a bit here? Choi has also switched back and forth between a 4-3-3 and 3-4-3. I suspect he'll go back to the 4-3-3 for this one.

It's been curious that Busan has really struggled at the Asiad (0-0-2 with 2 scored and 5 conceded) while been "solid" on the road (2-0-0 with 2 scored and none conceded). The quality of opposition probably has something to do with since the two losses at home were to Ansan (1st) and Seoul E-Land (2nd). Hopefully we can reverse that home record with a win!

Potential starting lineup for Busan

Gyeongnam Team News

Gyeongnam has been in the headlines over the past year for all the wrong reasons. First the governor threatened to disband the team after they were relegated, then they struggled badly in their first Challenge season, and finally it was discovered that the then club president Ahn Jong-bok had bribed referees during the 2013-14 seasons to help the team get favorable decisions. Yikes... For that last issue the club was handed a 10 points deduction and fined $70K.

The club has actually been doing okay early on, and if it weren't for that points deduction, Gyeongnam would actually be above Busan in the table on 7 points. Instead of re-hashing info on Gyeongnam's current state, I'll just give you this link to Matthew Hannah's Gyeongnam perspective preview.

Final Thoughts

Just remember the kick off is a slightly odd (for Korea) time/date. It's on Monday, at 8pm KST at the Asiad. Hopefully all the wet and windy weather that's sweeping through the country will be gone by then, and those who venture to the Asiad will have pleasant conditions.

Busan has, in recent encounters, tended to get the better of Gyeongnam, particularly at the Asiad, but those days seem long ago. Busan has fallen a long way since then in terms of quality. Here's hoping that Stojanovic is raring to go after his reportedly acrimonious departure from Gyeongnam last season, and that Ko Kyung-min can keep his scoring streak going!


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