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Preview: Daegu FC v Gyeongnam FC

Preview: Daegu FC Vs Gyeongnam FC K League 1 Round 11
K League 1 strugglers Daegu FC host top flight newcomers Gyeongnam FC on Saturday for a game which has the potential to have goals aplenty at Daegu Stadium. Daegu are on a bad run of form with four straight losses. Their counterparts are now coming good again after a dip in form themselves and make the short trip north on the back of an unbeaten mini run of two games, winning one and drawing the other, and so can head into the clash this Children's Day with added confidence.


Game: Daegu FC v Gyeongnam FC
Kick off: Saturday, May 5th. 14.00 KST
Venue: Daegu Stadium,  Daegu.

Last Time Out


It was top versus bottom as Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors hosted Daegu FC on Wednesday night. Given Jeonbuk's form, a rugby score was perhaps on the cards, but to the Sky Blues' credit, they dug in well but still came away empty handed following a 2-1 loss. Both Jeonbuk's goals came before the interval, the first of which was a classy goal from Brazilian winger Lopez after just three minutes after a wonderful mazy run into the Daegu area. He then calmly slotted the ball passed Korean National Team goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo. 

The basement team held on valiantly until just before the break when the Green Warriors managed to double their lead through attacking midfielder Lim Sun-young, who has been in great form of late. The ball broke to Jeonbuk's number five in the box who finished with aplomb, bending the ball into the far left hand corner.

Daegu came out in the second half and knew they had nothing to lose and so went for broke and it very nearly came off. A great goal by attacking midfielder Park Hanbin reduced the deficit on the 60 minute mark thanks to a cool finish after a 30-yard bursting run on the edge of the home side's box.  In the end, Jeonbuk ended up quite comfortable winners but it was hard to tell at times why and how Daegu are propping up the K1 at present.

Gyeongnam played out a goalless draw with K league powerhouses FC Seoul at the Changwon Football Stadium. It was by no means a drab 0-0 game, though, as chances fell throughout for both teams, the home side in particular who will wonder just how they weren't at least a goal to the good after Seoul had to withstand a barrage of attacks in a 20 minute period leading into half time. Seoul 'keeper Yang Hanbin was the hero, diving full length on a few occasions keeping the home side at bay. 

Gyeongnam did have to endure a tough period in the first 15 minutes after the interval when the away side grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and piled on the pressure. Chances for Anderson and others were somehow kept out by a combination of the home side's 'keeper Son Jung-hyun and defenders putting their bodies on the line. The game was played out with both teams running on empty.

Previous Meetings


Gyeongnam have the upper hand here in previous meetings between the two sides. The most recent was as early as just under a month ago with the game ending in a 1-1 draw. Daegu took an early lead through a towering header by defender Hong Jung-woon only to be pegged back with thirty minutes remaining through a Bae Ki-jeong tap in.

The two sides have met only 31 times with Gyeongnam winning 18 and Daegu winning on just nine occasions, the remaining four games ended as draws.

Team News

Daegu

The home side will still have to do with out the services of attacking midfielder Kim Jin-hyeok whose straight red card against Jeju means he will have to serve the last match of his two-game ban against the Reds. Daegu can however welcome back striker Jung Chi-in who was also sent off in the same game He had received his marching orders after a second yellow card and has served his respective one match ban on Wednesday against Jeonbuk but had only just returned from a two-game ban after being shown a straight red during Daegu's 2-1 win over Gangwon in round seven. Brazilian forward Caion has been pictured returning to his native Brazil, sparking rumours that his spell with the club has come to an end. The 27-year-old has been absent with a hamstring injury, whilst fellow forward Jean (abdominal) is also a doubt.


Gyeongnam

In similar fashion the away side's Brazilian winger Negueba will be serving the last game of his ban after receiving a straight red card away to Incheon. The Reds have a few players only one yellow card away from a one game ban; leading marksman Marcão and defensive lynch pin Ha Sung-min, the two players most likely to hurt Kim Jong-boo's side if they were unavailable.

There were some evidently tired legs against Seoul on Wednesday and so manager Kim Jong-boo may have to shuffle the pack somewhat with his squad. Attacking midfielder Kwon Yong-hyun looked the part coming on for a half-hour cameo so he may be pushing for a starting berth this weekend. The rest of the squad remains ready to go bar Lee Jae-myeong who is out for the season with a cruciate ligament injury. Commanding Croatian centre back Ivan Herceg was on the bench against Seoul, he could be ready to make his breakthrough into the starting eleven after not being seen in and around the squad so far this campaign.

Who To Watch


Kim Hyo-gi

Gyeongnam's Kim Hyo-gi in action against Incheon United. (Image via K League)
The small and stocky attacking midfielder/striker is crucial for Gyeongnam in how they operate in the final third. A prolific goal-scoring record in middle school and high school, he learnt his trade playing in the hole whilst with Ulsan Hyundai, he then made the move north and signed with K League 2 side FC Anyang. This is where his qualities caught the eye of manager Kim Jon-boo. 

With three goals so far this season coming on from the bench initially, and then starting some games, he has proven to be a very good foil to work off Marcão in the attacking third. He is an intelligent player and, quite like the Japanese wonder kid Kunimoto, has a low centre of gravity. Kim scored one of his three goals of the season away to Pohang Steelers with a truly remarkable scissors kick and could be one to keep your eye out for this Saturday.

Prediction


It's a bit of a local derby this one with only an hour or so separating the two sides on the highway.  Daegu will be desperate to get their season off and running sooner rather than later but the North Gyeongsang side just don't score with only seven goals to their name. And, with twenty-one conceded manager Andre Gaspar will be looking for ways to shore up their defence. Gyeongnam have only failed to score in three games this season and have players in the side that know nothing else but to attack. This won't be as straight forward as the league table suggests but I think Gyeongnam might just have too much for the Sky Blues.

Daegu FC 1-2 Gyeongnam FC 







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