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Jeonnam Dragons vs Gangwon FC

K League 1 Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs Gangwon FC
The K League's two out-of-form sides, Jeonnam Dragons and Gangwon FC, face each other on Wednesday night. Jeonnam prop up the table, level with Incheon on 16 points, while 8th-placed Gangwon have just changed their manager. Needless to say, both sides could do with a win. Steve Price previews the clash.


Last Time Out

Neither side covered themselves with glory last weekend, although they did both face tough opposition with Jeonnam taking on Gyeongnam and Gangwon playing Jeonbuk Motors.
Jeonnam's defense kept Gyeongnam at bay until half time, well... almost. A lucky deflection dropped to Paulinho in the middle of the penalty area in added time in the first half and he slotted the ball home to give Gyeongnam a one-nil lead at the break. Gyeongnam then brought on the big guns, and star striker Marcao took less than 20 minutes to get on the score sheet, getting in between the goalkeeper and the defender to head the ball in on 63 minutes. Jo Jae-cheol cut inside from the wing and rounded a defender before shooting from close range to finish off the game with his goal in the 81st minute making it three-nil. That defeat was Jeonnam's fifth on the bounce in the league.

Gangwon fared little better against league leaders Jeonbuk. Losing to Jeonbuk is nothing to be ashamed of, but the manner of Gangwon's defending was more than embarrassing and Jeonbuk could have easily won by a larger margin. Hong Jeong-ho got the league leaders off the mark with a free header on six minutes. Kim Shin-wook added a second on 63 minutes, barely having to move, and actually slightly ducking down, to head home from close range under very little pressure from his marker. Tiago hammered a free kick underneath the wall to make it 3-0 before Oh Beom-seok scored a stunning consolation goal late on.

Previous Meetings

These two sides met in the first game back after the World Cup break. Gangwon's new signing Han Yong-soo will probably want to forget his debut for the club, it was his stray pass that was intercepted for Kim Young-wook to give Jeonnam an early lead away from home. Park Jong-soo got an equalizer for Gangwon on 63 minutes, but they couldn't push on and find a winner so the game finished 1-1.


Team News

The big news for Gangwon is that manager Song Kyung-seop left the club following the Jeonbuk game. His replacement Kim Byung-soo is well regarded in coaching circles, and has been given the raw materials of a decent side. The first thing he will have to do is cut out Gangwon's defensive errors, and he could reintroduce some of the players like Dylan McGowan who had fallen out of favour under the previous manager. His preference for a passing style of football will certainly be refreshing after Gangwon's stagnant play in Song's last few games in charge.

Jeonnam made plenty of changes for their last match but they didn't work out. They may well opt for a 4-5-1 formation again to blunt Gangwon's attack.

One To Watch


Moon Chang-jin has impressed since returning to the club and was criminally underused by Song Kyung-seop. With a new man in the dugout who appreciates a player with an eye for a killer pass, Moon Chang-jin may get his chance to show the K League what he can do.

Prediction

With a new manager, anything can happen, but I think it'll take Kim Byung-soo more than three days to fix Gangwon's leaky defense.

Predicted Score: Jeonnam 2 - Gangwon 2

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