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Preview: FC Seoul Vs Gyeongnam FC

Preview: FC Seoul Vs Gyeongnam FC
FC Seoul host Gyeongnam FC this Saturday for what will be the second meeting between the two teams in the space of four days. In the FA Cup on Wednesday Gyeongnam and Seoul needed penalties to decide who would advanced to the fifth round after a 0-0 draw. But it's back to league action where Gyeongnam are proving to be quite the force, sitting in second. A win for Seoul would go some way in atoning for the Gyeongin Derby defeat to Incheon. Gyeongnam, meanwhile, will be hoping to fend off any challenges from the chasing pack with a win at Sangam. 
(image via K League)

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

On Wednesday evening at Changwon Football Center in Gyeongnam, the Reds hosted FC Seoul for the fourth round of the KEB Hana Bank FA Cup. After 120 minutes without a goal the tie was decided by a penalty shootout. Whilst his opposite number Lee Beomsoo denied Seoul with a couple of impressive saves in normal time, Yang Hanbin stole the shootout show by saving two penalties for Seoul.

Using the ABBA system, Gyeongnam took first but Woo Jusung saw his spotkick saved. Seoul took the next two with Kwak Taehwi and Hwang Kiwook converting before Brazilian winger Negueba fired home for the hosts. Kim Jungboo must have been thinking 'mamma mia, here we go again' as Choi Youngjun was denied by Seoul custodian Yang Hanbin to keep the score at 2-1.

Centre back and Asian Games-bound Hwang Hyunsoo was denied by Gyeongnam goalkeeper Lee Beomsoo Seoul before Lee Sangho scored to make it 3-1. Gyeongnam's Marcao stepped up last and, if his team were to keep the shootout alive, had to convert but the Brazilian ballooned his kick over, ensuring that it was the visitors who booked their place in the round of 16.

In the league, Seoul lost 2-1 away to Incheon United last Sunday, despite taking the lead in the first five minutes through a Lee Sangho header. Nam Jaejun levelled shortly after before Korean National Team winger Moon Seonmin turned the game on its head in the 87th minute.

Gyeongnam, meanwhile, drew 2-2 at home to Suwon Bluewings. Cho Jaecheol had the Reds in the lead with just two minutes on the clock before Lee Jongsung levelled five minutes shy of the interval. A Waguininho header shortly after the restart had the Bluewings in front but an own goal from Kwak Kwangseon ensured that the spoils were shared.

Previous Meetings

Wednesday's FA Cup tie aside, the last six league meetings between FC Seoul and Gyeongnam have ended in stalemates. A 0-0 draw in Changwon at the beginning of May was the first league meeting between these two sides since 2014. During Gyeongnam's relegation season the two teams played out two 1-1 draws and a 0-0 with the last league meeting at Sangam being one of the 1-1 draws. Jin Kyungsun gave Gyeongnam a 60th minute lead before current club captain Go Yohan equalised on 77 minutes.

The last time either side were able to take all three points was in 2012 when Seoul ran out 3-0 winners in Gyeongnam, Dejan with two and a Jung Jogook strike for what was then Choi Yongsoo's men. Seoul's last home win over Gyeongnam was earlier that year, a Park Heedo strike proving to be enough to seal the win. That season, Seoul won all three league encounters, the first was a 2-1 win at Sangam. Ha Daesung and Sergio Escudero for Seoul after Kim Doyeop had given Gyeongnam the lead.

Team News

Bojan Matić could make his league debut after joining from Serbian top tier outfit from Mačva Šabac. The Serbian striker made his first team debut in the penalty shootout win over Gyeongnam on Wednesday, lining up along side Evandro in a 3-5-2 before being substituted in the second half.

However, Jung Hyeoncheol will miss out through suspension, the former Gyeongnam midfielder picked up his third caution of the season in the Gyeongin Derby defeat to Incheon last Sunday. Centre back and vice captain Lee Woonghee will also miss out having been dismissed in the same game. Defenders Park Dongjin and Kim Wonkyun, as well as Lee Sangho and Go Yohan are all one scribble in the referee's notebook away from suffering the same fate.

For Gyeongnam, Marcao is expected to be restored to the starting lineup having began the FA Cup tie on Wednesday on the bench. The 2017 K League Challenge MVP came on at half time but ended up missing the decisive spot kick that sent FC Seoul through to the fifth round. The Reds have no suspensions to be concerned with and gaffer Kim Jungboo has, aside from full back Lee Jaemyeong whose season is over with an ACL injury, a relatively full squad from which to choose from.

The Adversary

Gyeongnam sealed their promotion back to the top tier at a canter last year, finishing 11 points clear of Busan IPark in the then-named K League Challenge. Towering centre forward Marcão lead the scoring charts with 22 league goals and is in the running this term too with 13 from 17 appearances. Heading into this weekend's fixture both teams have the same amount of home wins with four but, what has separated Gyeongnam from the rest of the pack, is the ability to pick up results on the road. The Reds have won five away from home, four more than Seoul, and haven't lost on their travels since April, the 3-1 defeat to Suwon Bluewings.

Interestingly, the average time that Gyeongnam score the first goal in an away match has been in and around the 58th minute mark whereas the average time Seoul concede the first goal at home is on 54 minutes. Overall, most of Gyeongnam's goal come in the second period and over sixty percent have come after the hour mark, thirty-two percent of goals have come in the last fifteen minutes.

Who To Watch

Marcão


Already in double figures for the season, Marcão has taken to life in the top tier like a duck to water. The 24-year-old has 13 thus far, four of which have given Gyeongnam the lead in games that they have gone on to win. Furthermore, the league's second highest scorer's goals help to make up for eight points alone, not to mention braces in 2-0 and 3-0 wins over Daegu and Incheon respectively. After his penalty miss in midweek, Marcão will be keen to get on the scoresheet come Saturday and may well bring the best out of an in-form Yang Hanbin in between the sticks for FC Seoul.

Prediction

The midweek penalty shootout win will have given Seoul a bit of a confidence boost but it is also worth noting that neither team could find the net in over 120 minutes. Marcão is likely to be added to Gyeongnam's starting lineup having initially been a substitute in midweek but Seoul's joint top scorer Anderson Lopes was conspicuous by his absence following the on-field spat with captain Go Yohan. Much like the last six league meetings, a draw would be the most likely outcome.

FC Seoul 1-1 Gyeongnam FC



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