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Preview: Daejeon Citizen Vs Gwangju FC

Preview: Daejeon Citizen Vs Gwangju FC K League 2
A run of  six games without a win has resulted in Daejeon Citizen falling to ninth in the K League 2 table. This Saturday the Purples play hosts to Gwangju FC, a side that are on an unbeaten run of six with three wins that has seen them climb into the top four. With how tight the second tier is this term, a win for Citizen could move them up to seventh. Gwangju, though, have beaten Daejeon at Purple Arena once already in 2018.
(image via K League)

Overview

From Soccerway

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land 1-0 Daejeon Citizen

In what was seen as a crucial game for the Purples with a win seemingly like an absolute necessity if Ko Jongsoo's men were to keep their pursuit of the playoffs alive, Daejeon fell to a 1-0 away defeat to fellow strugglers Seoul E-Land at Jamsil last Saturday. A Choi Chiwon strike in the 70th minute for E-Land sealed the points and moved In Changsoo's men into seventh, Daejeon slipped to second-bottom of the table.

Highlights: here

Gwangju FC 3-1 Seongnam FC

Gwangju continued their good form by displacing the league leaders by three-goals-to-one at Guus Hiddink Stadium last weekend. The Magpies took the lead in the 16th minute through Choi Byungchan before former Daejeon Citizen defensive midfielder Ahn Youngkyu levelled for Gwangju. Kim Donghyun put the hosts in front on 69 minutes before K League 2 leading scorer Na Sangho made it three with just two minutes remaining, converting from the penalty spot.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Daejeon welcomed Gwangju to Purple Arena on the 3rd June for what became quite an eventful 90-plus minutes for both sides. Daejeon were reduced to 10 men when Uzbek midfielder Shohruh Gadoev was given his marching orders on 49 minutes. Things went from bad to worse for the Purples when Gwangju had the chance to get their noses in front from the penalty spot. However, stand-in Citizen custodian Lim Minjyeok produced a stunning save to keep Gwangju at bay. Eventually, it was the hosts who went on to draw first blood when winger Kim Seungseop put the Purples in front on 85 minutes with a tidy finish from an angle. However, Lee Hando levelled with a 91st minute header before Na Sangho scored a spectacular half volley in the third minute of stoppage time to completely turn the game on its head.

Earlier in the campaign, Daejeon came away from Gwangju World Cup Stadium will all three points thanks to a 1-0 win, Gadoev with the goal in what was the first meeting between the two sides in three years.

Daejeon Citizen and Gwangju FC have faced each other on 18 occasions, the Purples have eight wins compared to Gwangju's six and four draws.

Team News

For Daejeon Citizen, debuts could be handed to new signing Sanzhar Tursunov, the Uzbek international midfielder signed from Al Kharitiyat earlier this week, as well as striker Lee Geoncheol who signed on loan from Jeju United. Kim Jinyoung remains as Daejeon's only long term absentee, the 28-year-old goalkeeper is recovering from a knee injury and is not expected back in action any time soon.

For Gwangju, Felipe could make his full debut having come on as a substitute against Seongnam last time out. Cho Juyoung and Jeong Dongyun recently departed, however, joining Incheon United. K2 leading scorer Na Sangho will be unavailable due to the 21 year-old's inclusion in the South Korea squad for the forthcoming Asian Games.

The Adversary

Gwangju have been quietly going about their business since the World Cup break, remaining unbeaten in six with three win and three draws. Such a run has propelled the South Jeolla side up to fourth and into the playoff places. After finishing bottom of the K League Classic last year, now K League 1, after a two year stay back in the top flight, Gwangju will be determined to get back to the big time as soon as possible. Wonderkid Na Sangho leads the K2 scoring charts with 11 goals for the season, enough to earn himself a spot in the South Korea squad for the Asian Games. 

Tactically, Gwangju set up with a back four and either a midfield four with Lim Minhyeok playing behind the main striker in Na Sangho, or, as per the 3-1 win over Seongnam, as an attacking midfielder in a diamond. The last time these two sides met Gwangju lined up in a 4-1-4-1 which has been the preferred system for three of the last six outings - the 3-0 home win over Seoul E-Land, and draws with Busan at home and Suwon away. Gwangju's last away win was the 1-0 victory over Bucheon, for which manager Park Jinseop fielded a 4-3-3 formation with Lim Minhyeok deployed as a wide forward with Na Sangho through the middle, Kim Minkyu on the right and Kim Donghyun in the centre of midfield.

Gwangju lineup vs Daejeon K League 2 R14

Who To Watch

Kim Donghyun


Whilst Na Sangho may be taking the plaudits for his goalscoring prowess, central midfielder Kim Donghyun ought to be given credit for Gwangju's recent form, also. The first year professional has made 20 appearances for Gwangju this term and has five assists to his name, putting him amongst the league's best. Last time out Kim scored his first professional goal in the 3-1 win over Seongnam and will be one for Daejeon to keep tabs on come Saturday night.

Prediction

Daejeon are on a poor run of form and need results quickly if they are to start to turn things around. However, manager Ko Jongsoo has added some more quality to his attacking options by bringing in Uzbek international midfielder Sanzhar Tursunov, given the 31 year-old's experience, might be what the team has been lacking. Gwangju have been in great form recently but the loss of Na Sangho to international duty is a huge blow. Na has scored in four of Gwangju's last six and so others will need to step up in his absence. That said, confidence will be high with or without Na Sangho and so an away win is far from beyond Gwangju's capabilities.

Daejeon Citizen 0-1 Gwangju FC



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