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Preview: Gyeongnam FC v Daegu FC


High flyers Gyeongnam FC who lead the way in the K League 1 with four wins from four games, will be hoping to make it five on Saturday afternoon. Slow starters Daegu FC will be making the short trip south to try and get their league campaign up and running and stop The Reds firmly in their tracks. Daegu have had a rough start to their season thus far and sit second from bottom in the table.  
(image via GyeongnamFC.com)



Last Time Out

A top of the table clash and the 'Game of The Round' greeted Gyeongnam FC last Sunday. Gangwon FC were their opponents and The Reds came away with a very creditable 3-1 victory. Marcao was making all the headlines again with a brace from the Brazilian hit man, taking his goal tally up to six in just three games.  It has been an amazing start to his K League 1 career. The match was not short of controversy though with VAR playing a huge part all throughout the game, particularly with Marcao's second goal.  In the build up to the goal, The Reds left back Lee Jae-myeong appeared to cross the ball from out of play into the striker.  Marcao smashed the ball into the roof of the net to put Gyeongnam 2-1 to the good.  The referee Park Byung-jin deliberated for what seemed an age before awarding the goal to stand, much to the disappointment of the home players and fans in attendance.  A late goal to seal the victory by late substitute Kim Hyo-gi wrapped up a valuable three points for the visitors.

Daegu had a home tie against fellow strugglers Jeonnam Dragons last weekend which ended in a 1-1 stalemate, which in hindsight didn't really help either side in their efforts to climb up the table.  Daegu finally got their first goal of the campaign and what a brilliant goal it was as well.  Scored by Hwang Jae-won, the midfielder drilled a left footed pile driver from around the 25 yard mark that flew into the top corner, making for a potential goal of the season contender. The game was heading for a home win until Daegu hit the self destruct button with ten minutes to go. In the 81st minute their attacking full back Oh Gwang-jin raised his foot in a 50/50 challenge and caught the Jeonnam player high on his leg. A second yellow for Oh and Daegu had to play the last ten minutes with just ten men. Jeonnam made their extra man advantage count just four minutes later, when from a corner Choi Jae-hyun was left completely unmarked and he put it away to take a share of the spoils.

Previous Meetings


Daegu won promotion into K League 1 back in the 2016 season, so for two seasons the two sides have not pitted their wits against each other. In meetings prior to their promotion, games between the sides have always been close encounters with the odd goal just separating the sides. However, they did get drawn against each other in the Korean FA cup last season, in which Gyeongnam came out on top, winning 2-1 with a late Bruno winner proving to be the match clincher in Daegu.

Team News

A full clean bill of health for the home side in this one as the league leaders look to keep their lofty position in tact. Gyeongnam's manager Kim Jong-boo returns to the touch line after a three game dug out ban was issued for his use of bad language towards the 4th official after Marcao received his marching orders in the opener against Sangju Sangmu. TV cameras have been firmly on him in recent weeks, watching in the stands amongst spectators.

Gyeongnam manager Kim Jong Boo sitting amongst supporters whilst serving his touch line ban. (Image via Kleague)
The away side Daegu make the short hour journey south and will have to do without the services of their attacking 30 year old right back Oh Gwang-jin whose sending off last week means he will miss the clash and serve a one match suspension. He is quite a big loss for them as his energy down the right hand side has been a key factor in the way Daegu go about their business. Daegu have some dangerous players in their side though. Brazilian trio of Caion, Jean Carlos and recently returned from injury Cesinha can cause any side in the league problems so the home side will have to be alert to the threats caused by them.

Who To Watch

Negueba

The obvious choice here again would be man of the moment Marcao, the leading goal scorer in the league. However, I will choose his sidekick and the one who he has formed a great partnership with Marcao in the opening part of the season. Fellow countryman Negueba has been the unsung hero in his debut season in the Korean top flight. With bags of energy on the left hand side of midfield, he doesn't stop running all game and his delivery into the box is always dangerous.  He is a menace to mark and he will keep the Daegu right back on his toes all game this Saturday.
Negueba and Marcao: The deadly duo that have been key to Gyeongnams early season success 
(Image via K League)

Prediction

Gyeongnam have been good defensively all season, only conceding three goals, whereas Daegu have only scored one goal all season. This should be a home win but football is a funny old game! Daegu will come to contain the home side and play on the break. They will try to hit Gyeongnam on the counter using their quick Brazilian players.

However, Gyeongnam should win this game, with their home form being so strong and with a full strength squad available for the manager to choose from.

Predicted Score: Gyeongnam FC 3-1 Daegu FC

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