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Preview : Gyeongnam FC vs. Busan Ipark


The scene of Monday nights encounter between Gyeongnam FC and Busan Ipark, the Asiad stadium. Great facility but the place is like a cavern which can seen by all these empty seats (Source: Busan government)

The Gyeongnam derby is reborn with a Monday night clash between Gyeongnam FC and Busan Ipark with the relegation of Busan into the second division losing the playoff to Suwon FC last season. This derby has a bit of spice added to it as ex-Gyeongnam striker Milos Stojanovic has been signed by Busan after rumours of a somewhat acrimonious exit from Gyeongnam last season. So not just valuable points but personal pride is on the line as well as both teams look to grab a playoff spot this season. Lets preview what this encounter has in stall for us.

Gyeongnam news

Lee Kwan-pyo grabbing his debut goal scoring the winner
midweek for Gyeongnam against Chungju (source: idomin)
The last seven days have been very solid for the Changwon side with two decent results. Last Sunday away at Daegu, the Gyeongnam defence produced a magnificent rear guard effort to come away with a 0-0 draw at the promotion favourites with some chances to win the game later on. To show such defensive fortitude in a tough encounter shows how difficult it will be for opposing defences to break down the Gyeongnam side. Then the team was in Changwon for their first home game since opening day with the election day midweek game against Chungju producing more joy for the home side with an encouraging 2-1 victory. What was pleasing for fans of Gyeongnam was that Romanian striker Christian Danalache got on the scoresheet for the first time this season in the first half and also came close again in the second half with a header cracking the crossbar to deny the foreign striker a brace. Unfortunately the Gyeongnam defence was breached in the 80th minute by young Korean prodigy and ex-Lyon player Kim Shin, on loan to Chungju from Jeonbuk. However, an inspired substitution by manager Kim Jong-boo saw rookie midfielder Lee Kwan-Pyo slot away his first K-league goal in the 84th minute to give the home side three points. So the team goes into this encounter on a high but in two away games so far this season Gyeongnam have failed to score and need to do better on the road if they are to have any hope of making a playoff push. In both away games manager Kim has started with a 4-4-2 but this has proved somewhat ineffective so maybe some tinkering might be needed. They can start to reverse the trend this Monday night in Busan.

Busan news

Milos Stojanovic giving the thumbs up for his Busan.
He will be out for revenge on Monday (source: InterFootball)
Busan was somewhat surprisingly relegated last season and will want to go back up at the first opportunity. However, its form has been mixed so far and has been a complete reversal of Gyeongnam's fortunes doing well on the road while struggling at home. Opening day Busan lost quite badly at home to Ansan 3-1 and last Wednesday it suffered its second home defeat in a row going down to Eland on the end of Belusso brace to suffer its second defeat with a 2-1 loss. Actually Busan have been dreadful at home in the previous 12 months stretching back to their relegation season in the top division and are winless inside the Asian since last July. Busan will surely want to ensure it breaks this streak and doesn't suffer a third home loss in a row this season to get it's promotion push on track. The Busan player to watch out for in this encounter is surely ex-Gyeongnam striker Stojanovic who will want to give his best display and get his revenge against the team where he had problems at the end of last season. Ko Kyung-min is another player who Busan transferred in during the offseason from Anyang grabbing 15 goals in 2015 and who is proven at this level. He has scored in the last 2 games in a row for Busan to show that last season was no fluke and is someone the Gyeongnam defence will need to watch closely.

Past Encounters

Gyeongnam have had some success at the Asiad winning 5 out of the 15 encounters there between the two but Busan have also done well winning 8. This shows that not many games end up a draw inside Busan's home stadium and both teams like to get the win over their close neighbour. In recent times however it has been more of a struggle for Gyeongnam not winning in Busan since 2011 (great win by the way as I was there)  or 5 games with some absolute floggings handed out by the Busan boys including scores of 5-1 and 4-0. I am sure Busan would love to see this trend continue.

Prediction: 1-2

I am certainly showing my bias with this prediction but with past history showing that draws are unlikely it points to a victory for either team. With Busan struggling at home so far and Gyeongnam on the up with two very decent results in the last week as well as Christian having a blinder last Wednesday it is not beyond the realms of possibility. Busan will certainly want to put an end to the home loss streak that stretches back 9 months but the cavern-like atmosphere of the Asiad does not seem to be doing them any favours. Gyeongnam defenders will need to keep an eye out on the two Busan forwards listed above and if they can do that I think the away win is a big possibility. A result here for Gyeongnam would cancel put the -10 point penalty the team recieved at the start of the season. Gyeongnam for the win!!!

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