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Preview: Gangwon FC vs Daegu FC

K League 1 Preview: Gangwon FC vs Daegu FC

Gangwon FC look to bounce back from a disastrous week which saw them get knocked out of the FA Cup and lose ground in the race for a top four finish. A home game against bottom-of-the-league Daegu FC is the ideal chance to get back to winning ways. Daegu themselves will be desperate for points to keep up with a resurgent Incheon United. Steve Price and Jung Muyeol preview Gangwon's match against Daegu on Sunday.


Last Time Out

After a painful 2-1 defeat to Gimhae in the FA Cup last Wednesday, Gangwon traveled to Suwon to try and gain some ground on the Bluewings in the race for the top four. Despite my previous criticisms of Gangwon's defense, they were very sturdy in the first half, and were unlucky to go in 1-0 down at the break after Yeom Ki-hun curled a free kick in off the post to give Suwon Bluewings the lead.

In the second half, Gangwon's usual attacking talent deserted them despite the introduction of top scorer Uroš Ðerić for Jung Jo-gook at half time. Gangwon's best chance of the game came when Jeong Seok-hwa, who replaced Moon Chang-jin on 66 minutes, hit the crossbar with a curled shot from outside the box. Suwon had the better chances of the second half, and Gangwon goalkeeper Lee Beom-young was forced into making several good saves to keep the away side in the game. But Gangwon's attacking play looked completely out of ideas, and five minutes from the end, they brought on defender/midfielder Valentinos to play as a second targetman and resorted to route one football. The excellent Lee Beom-young got caught out right at the end of the match after copying Manuel Neuer's goalkeeping style for Germany against South Korea. Gangwon lost the ball and Dejan lobbed Lee from a long way out to put the final result beyond doubt.

Previous Meetings

These two sides met back in April, when Gangwon huffed and puffed against Daegu's defense but couldn't find a way through, and ended up losing the match 2-1. Kim Gyeong-joon gave Daegu the lead, finishing off a lightning-quick counter attack. Gangwon did eventually get past Daegu's defense and their rock of a goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo, equalizing on 76 minutes. With Daegu down to ten men for the last twenty minutes of the game it looked like Gangwon could grab all three points, but some sloppy defending meant Kim Jin-hyuk was able to give Daegu the lead five minutes from time to pick up a valuable three points for the bottom club.

Team News

No midweek games this week means Gangwon won't have to rotate and can play their strongest side on Saturday, but manager Song Kyung-seop may persist with starting with Jung Jo-gook up front and then bringing Ðerić into the game later on against a tiring defense. With no last minute signings before the transfer window closed, Gangwon are likely to field a similar starting eleven to the team that took on Suwon on Saturday, especially as their defense looked quite solid for once.

The Adversary

Two defeats in a row after bagging seven points from three games tastes bitter. In the previous round, Daegu dropped down to the bottom again and are two points behind 11th place. Given the fact that it was against Jeonbuk, arguably the strongest side in the K League, a 1-3 home defeat was not a bad result.

However, Daegu are suffering from a goal drought and have critical problems at the back. At the moment, Daegu’s Brazilian trio are not working well. Edgar and Cesinha were sidelined last game due to injuries, while Ze Roberto started the game, but has still failed to score in the league. He was frequently seen clumsily going down to the ground to get a free kick, which fans didn't like. Former Jeonbuk player Cho Suk-jae usually comes on the pitch as a substitute, but hasn’t made much difference at the club yet. Since the World Cup break, the attackers are ruled out or remain goalless, wtih four out of six goals scored by defenders.

Along the back line, Captain Han Hee-hoon returned to his place with Hong Jung-woon and Kim Jin-hyuk, but failed to protect Daegu’s goal. The first goal in particular was a mistake by Kim Jin-hyuk, who just provided space to his opponent. The other goals were from set pieces and Daegu needed more concentration and marking. In goal, Choi Young-eun looked a bit nervous in the first few minutes, but he grew in confidence eventually by making some great saves.

In the upcoming two games, Andre is likely to put out the strongest side possible as the two matches seem like ones that Daegu are more likely to win. According to his interview after the last game, Cesinha is likely to return here, but Edgar still remains doubtful. In order to replace him, youngsters like Jung Seung-won or Ko Jae-hyun could start with Ze Roberto. At the back, it is unclear who will complete the back three with Han Hee-hoon and Hong Jung-woon. It seems that Andre’s been deeply thinking which player is better out of Kim Jin-hyuk, Kim Woo-suk and Park Byung-hyun. Between the sticks, Choi Young-eun will play in Jo’s place while he is away for the Asian Games. The other places will be taken by regular players as usual.

-Jung Muyeol

One To Watch


Moon Chang-jin made his second start of the season for Gangwon on Saturday and looked like the team's best attacking threat in the first half, showing a level of technique and vision that is only matched by Jeong Seok-hwa, who replaced him midway through the second period. If the two of them were on the pitch together then Gangwon would look very exciting going forward.

Prediction


Despite last weekend's shutout and subsequent defeat, Gangwon had been scoring goals with ease. Given Daegu's lowly position in the table, in addition to their defensive frailty, the home side will likely see this match as an easy opportunity to get things back on track.

Predicted Score: Gangwon 3-1 Daegu

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