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Preview: Gyeongnam FC vs Gangwon FC

K League 1 Preview: Gyeongnam FC vs Gangwon FC


The games keep coming thick and fast this summer.  High fliers Gyeongnam FC play a Gangwon outfit this Wednesday evening who are beginning to spring back into life. This game is being billed as 'The Battle of The Golden Boot' as Uros Đerić and Marcão face off.  Both players are having quite remarkable seasons, with 22 and 21 goals respectively, but who will be adding to their goal tallies this midweek?



Match:  Gyeongnam FC v Gangwon FC
Venue: Changwon Football Center, Changwon
Kick off: Wednesday, August 22nd  19:30 (KST)

Last Time Out



Pohang 0-3 Gyeongnam


Quite simply, this was the Marcão show.  The striker bagged himself a hat trick with all 3 goals all scored from about 5 yards out.   The Reds opted for the combination of Marcao, Kunimoto and Kim Hyo-gi up top and they tore the Steelers to shreds with their inventiveness and movement in the final third.  Marcão opened the scoring after 24 minutes when he followed up a scuffed effort from fellow Brazilian winger Paulinho to tap the ball over the line.  He deservedly doubled the advantage for the away side with 16 minutes remaining after a truly wonderful team move ended with over lapping full back Choi Jae-soo getting free down the left wing and laying it on a plate for the striker to finish with aplomb.  He completed his hat trick on the 85 minute mark with a guided finish from a substitute Jo Jae-chul's lovely cut back from the right hand byline.

Gangwon 7-0 Incheon

The scoreline says it all really.  What ever Marcão can do the day before, Đerić can certainly match it, but even do one better.  He managed to score four goals in this game.  The match in all honesty was over as a contest by half time.  The home side were three goals to the good and in total cruise control.  Brazilian Mauricio wanted to get in on the act and bagged himself a brace for his efforts.  Hwang Jin-sung was also on target for the home side.  Incheon threw in the towel after the fourth went in and Gangwon improved their goal difference as a result significantly.

Previous Meetings



Gyeongnam and Gangwon have already played each other twice this season.  The Reds travelled north and beat the home side 3-1 with Marcão in amongst the goals yet again with a brace.  Gangwon then travelled south the game before the world cup break and came away from the Changwon Football center with all 3 points with a late winner from who else but Đerić.  In total games played between the two sides, Gyeongnam have won 11 times with Gangwon just winning the five times.  Nine games have ended with the honours being shared.


Team News



The home side will be without rookie and regular starter Kim Joon-beom in the middle of the park as he picked up his third caution of the campaign against Pohang last Saturday and will have to sit this one out through a one game suspension.  His energy will be missed in the hole just behind the front three of Marcão, Kunimoto and Kim Hyo-gi.  The Reds' manager will have to shuffle the pack to compensate for his absence.  Negueba came off the bench against The Steelers last time out.  He has played a lot of games in this heat and was rested with this game in mind. I expect him to start on Wednesday. The rest of the squad are all fit and raring to go.

The Adversary


Kim Byung-soo has had an instant impact on Gangwon’s fortunes, winning two games out of two since taking over as head coach, including a seven-nil hammering of Incheon United at the weekend. But just as impressive is that Gangwon are yet to concede a goal under him, recording back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season. He’s played Lee Beom-young in goal for both games and dropped Han Yong-soo who has had a poor start to his Gangwon career after joining from Pocheon in the summer. Apart from that, he has varied his tactics in both matches, going for a back-three against Jeonnam Dragons, and a 4-3-3 against Incheon, with Oh Beom-seok moving into midfield for the Incheon match. It’s too early to tell whether these two wins are just a new manager bounce, but as Kim Byung-soo has a reputation for building a good team over time rather than getting instant results, a good start may give him the platform to build something special in the long term at Gangwon. Kim Byung-soo’s two wins did come against the K League’s worst two sides, but a good result against Gyeongnam could really make fans believe that qualification for the Asian Champions’ League is possible. The other talking point in this match is of course the golden boot race. With four goals in his last two games, Gangwon’s Uros Deric is slightly edging it, but on current form, both Deric and Marcao look likely to break the 30-goal mark this season.

By Steve Price (Gangwon columnist)

One To Watch


Park Ji-soo


Park Ji-soo is Gyeongnams' most improved player this season.  He always had a mistake in his game over the past few seasons but he has been immense this campaign, becoming a mainstay in Kim Jung-boo's defense.  He is a tall, strong and athletic center back who reads the game very well and he is deceptively quick across 10 yards.  A no nonsense type of defender who isn't afraid to put his head in where it hurts.  He will have his hands full on Wednesday though.  He will have the task, I am sure, of man marking Đerić of Gangwon.  It should be an intriguing battle.  He has been known to pop up with some vital goals for the club as well.  Most notably this season he scored the winner in stoppage time against Incheon United with an acrobatic finish following a corner to win the game for Gyeongnam 3-2.  He can be menace for opposing defenders to mark at corners.

Match Prediction


Typhoon type conditions are forecast for Wednesday, so this may be a key factor in how this game pans out, with which side can play to the conditions the best.  It could, on the other hand, turn the game into a total lottery with the wind and rain playing a key factor in how the two teams play.  Saying this I think with home advantage and, with an extra days rest behind them, I am going with a Gyeongnam win.

Predicted Score: Gyeongnam FC 2-1 Gangwon FC



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