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Preview: Gangwon FC vs Pohang Steelers

Preview: Gangwon FC vs Pohang Steelers K League 1
Both Gangwon FC and Pohang Steekers started the season brightly but come into this game on a bad run of form, with Pohang losing four of their last five matches and Gangwon losing five of their last six games. A cagey game could be on the cards as both teams look to kick-start their campaigns. Steve Price previews this mid-table clash.

Game: Gangwon FC vs Pohang Steelers
Venue: Chuncheon Songam Sports Town
Kick Off: 16:00, Sunday, April 29

Last Time Out


Both sides will be looking to bounce back from midweek losses. Gangwon lost two-nil at home to top of the table Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. The result was expected, but Gangwon’s performance was more sluggish than normal and they were regularly dispossessed by Jeonbuk. It was the first time this season that Gangwon failed to score, and once again, their goals conceded came from being unable to deal properly with crosses. The first goal came from a corner set-piece routine that left Jeonbuk's star striker Adriano unmarked to tap the ball into an empty net, the second came from a scramble after a Jeonbuk cross from 20 yards out, with McGowan too slow to react to the danger for Gangwon.

The home side's best chance came with twenty minutes to go when a Valentinos header was pushed onto the bar, but Jeonbuk had the better of the chances overall and could have won the game by a greater margin. Gangwon goalkeeper Lee Beom-young, replacing the suspended Kim Ho-jun, made several great saves, including tipping an Adriano shot onto the post in the first half, and Lee Dong-gook volleyed the ball against the post right at the end of the match. Gangwon on the other hand didn't really produce any clear-cut chances.

Pohang lost one-nil at home to Jeju United, with Jeju defender Oh Ban-suk getting the only goal of the game, heading home a free kick on 62 minutes. Pohang hit the post towards the end but could've lost by more with goalkeeper Kang Hyun-moo making a couple of good saves to keep the score at just 1-0.

Previous Meetings


Neutrals will be hoping for a repeat of the last game between these two sides. Back in September, they met at the Steelyard and Pohang’s Lulinha opened the scoring on 15 minutes. Gangwon equalized before taking the lead through Moon Chang-jin early in the second half, but then Pohang stormed back into the game with goals from Yang Dong-hyun, Shim Dong-woon, a second by Lulinha, and a last minute goal by Lee Sang-ki to run out 5-2 winners.

Team News

Goalkeeper Kim Ho-jun will be absent once again with the former Jeju United custodian due to serve the second of his two-match ban. The 32-year-old was dismissed during Gangwon's 4-1 win over Jeonnam Dragons in round eight.

In other, more positive news, Gangwon’s latest addition is something all K League fans will cheer on. The club has built a new temporary stand behind the goal at their Chuncheon stadium, making the matchday experience better for anyone who treks out to Gangwon’s stadium.

No suspensions for Pohang Steelers manager Choi Soon-ho to be concerned with, Australian defensive midfielder Connor Chapman served his one-match ban and made a return to the starting line up for the defeat to Jeju United.

Predictions


Gangwon’s attack has plenty of goals in it, and Pohang’s defense is nowhere near Jeonbuk’s level so I can see the home side scoring a few on Sunday.

Gangwon FC 2-1 Pohang Steelers

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