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Preview- Gyeongnam v Seongnam


The reds welcome a vastly improved Seongnam outfit down south for a fixture that should be an entertaining affair.  Gyeongnam are yet to be unbeaten during their league campaign, an amazing feat of 17 games without a loss.  Seongnam have gone under the radar recently and are also unbeaten in 8 games and are sneakily working their way up the league into the playoff position places.

(Photo credit:- Naver sports)

Last Time Out

After two games on the road in succession, Gyeongnam will be happy to be able to return to familiar stomping grounds.  Gyeongnam thought they had the game won after a last minute Choi Jung Jun header up at Asan.  But the police outfit never know when to give up and they levelled a minute later in stoppage time through substitute Kim Hyun to rescue a point for the yellows.

Gyeongnam have failed to win in 2 games picked up two draws, the first time this season this has happened.  There is no need to be concerned as the performances are still good.  Every team when facing Gyeongnam raise their game.  The southerners are the league leaders after all and are there to be shot at.  Every Challenge side wants to be that team to finally break Gyeongnams 17 games unbeaten streak.

Seongnam, a team of great pedigree are fresh from a magnificent away victory against Busan I Park 2-1 last Monday night.   Busan are formidable at home, so to go there and turn them over on their own patch was a great feat and one to not be sniffed at.  Seongnam don't score many and are the lowest scorers in the league with a measly 12 goals after 17 games.  On the other hand their defence are rock solid and have only conceded 13 goals this campaign.  A stat, exactly the same as their weekends opponents.  Both sides don't concede many goals.  But the table doesn't lie,  Gyeongnam have scored 31 goals and are top, 9 points clear and Seongnam are 5th in  the league due to their diffency in front of goal.

Team News

The home sides manager Kim Jung Boo has a decision to make, if to bring back regular center back Ivan Herceg for the game who was rested for the away trip to Asan.  A member of the Gyeongnam supporters group told me that he was dropped for fitness reasons.  The partnership with Park Ji Soo has been unbelievable this season.  It will be an interesting dilemma for the gaffer as Ivan replacement Cho Byung Kuk was class against Asan and he is a former player of Seongnam.  Other than this Gyeongnam have a full strength side to choose from and can call upon new signing Kang Seun Jo who has returned from Daejeon on a 3 year contract.  The reds are looking to go 12 points clear at the summit.  Marcao is after signing a new contract for the club after an offer was made for him from an un named Chinese super league club.  He stated during the week he turned it down as he wanted to get Gyeongnam promoted and ply his trade in the K League classic for the foreseeable future.

Seongnam are a team on the up and in the week signed ex Daejeon and Gyeongnam center forward Kim Dong Chan from Thai side BEC Tero.  There is a good reason for this signing as the magpies unfortunately lost their best center forward Hwang Ui-jo to the Japanese league and join up with his new team mates at Gamba Osaka FC midweek.  They also released Australian midfielder Dario Vidosic and Brazilian striker Danilo Neco.  They are in re building phase for their push for the playoffs.  A time of change for Seongnam, but it doesn't have seemed to have affected their on the field performances.  Their famous win over Busan was marred slightly by their towering Croatian center back/midfielder Marin Orsulic who was red carded in injury time, so he will miss the game.

Who To Watch

The obvious choice here is the K League Challenge top scorer Marcao for the one to watch here.  I was looking forward to the battle he would of had with Orsulic.  So now Seongnam will have a second choice center back in, to have the daunting task of marking the big man.  The Brazilian hasn't found the net in his last two games, but he is always in and around the box causing problems to free up space for others to score.  He is a constant threat from set pieces as his size causes all sorts of problems.  Another attribute that he doesn't get enough credit for, is his ability with his feet and when he drives at players he is very quick and when he gets a gallop on, no defender is catching him.

Prediction

This could be a low scoring affair as both teams don't concede many.  But with home advantage and with new signing Kang Seun Jo back giving the side a lift after successive draws on the road, I think the reds with nick it.  But it'll be close.

Gyeongnam 1-0 Seongnam (Marcao)


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