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Preview: Gyeongnam FC vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

Preview: Gyeongnam FC vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Gyeongnam FC have been the surprise package in the K League this season and the game this Sunday, against run away leaders Jeonbuk, will continue to test their metal against the best there is in Korea.  The Green Warriors travel south and will be out for revenge after losing to the Reds just over a fortnight ago on their own patch.  This Sundays clash is first verses second and has all the ingredients to be a tasty affair.
(Image via K League)

Game: Gyeongnam FC vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
Venue: Jinju Stadium, Jinju.
Kick off: Sunday, September 2nd.  19:00 (KST).

Last Time Out

Suwon Bluewings 1-0 Gyeongnam FC

Gyeongnam travelled north and lost in a very competitive contest against Suwon Bluewings thanks to a great strike from the unlikely right boot of Bluewings centre back Kwak Kwang-seon after 74 minutes. A misplaced pass was intercepted on the half way line, as Kwang-seon nipped in front of Gyeongnam striker Kim Hyo-giHe marauded through uncontested to the edge of the area where he unleashed a shot that took a slight deflection off the re-treating centre back Kim Ji-soo and into the top corner, leaving the away team's goalkeeper Kim Beom-soo flat-footed.

Earlier in the game the away side had had a great opportunity to be in front on 62 minutes.  A penalty was given to the Reds, and with normal spot kick taker Marcão suspended, fellow Brazilian Negueba stepped up to put Gyeongnam ahead.  The winger's penalty was saved down to Shin Hwa-yong's right to keep the score at 0-0.  The game was played in a surreal atmosphere as the home supporters held a "no cheering" protest throughout the ninety minutes showing their dissatisfaction on how the team was playing and the tactics used by then-manager Seo Sung-won.  He has since resigned from his post on Tuesday this week.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 0-3 Suwon Bluewings

An Asian Champions League quarter final first leg clash between two power houses of Korea pitted their wits against each other on Wednesday evening with a truly remarkable scoreline being the outcome.  If truth be told, Suwon Bluewings fully deserved their victory on the night.  Bluewings played with great organisation throughout and limited Jeonbuk to very few chances over ninety minutes.  Granted, the home side had the majority of the ball but Suwon were compact and each and every player knew their role very well.  All three goals came in the last 15 minutes as the game became more open and legs got tired.  Dejan was to capitalise on this and his brace settled the first leg on his own. His first was a typical poachers effort sliding in at the back post following a quick break away down the right by Bosnian playmaker, Saric.  His cross from the left was inch perfect for the Montenegrin.  Just seven minutes later Dejan was to send the away fans into raptures with a strike on the turn which low into the corner.  To put the icing on the cake, substitute Han Eui-Gwon's thumping header from another pin point cross from Saric with five minutes remaining put the away side in dreamland.  The Bluewings take a commanding 3-0 lead into the second leg to be played at the Big Bird in three weeks.

Previous Meetings

These two sides have faced each other twice this season with both teams taking three points.  In the first game Jeonbuk really put on a show, winning 4-0 and blew Gyeongnam away in the first half by scoring three.  The second game was played as recently as early August and it was the Reds who took home the spoils with a solitary Kunimoto strike on 82 minutes.

If history was anything to go by Jeonbuk have dominated this fixture.  The sides have faced off 28 times with Jeonbuk winning 17 times, Gyeongnam have won seven times with just four games ending in a draw.

Team News

The home side will still be without first choice goal machine and centre forward Marcão, who serves the last game of his two match suspension for his adjudged elbow to the face of Gangwon's Cypriot centre back Valentinos.  The rest of the team have a full bill of health.  Manager Kim Jung-boo has a slight selection headache with all his squad members in good form and champing at the bit to play against the League's best team.  The small striker line up of Kim Hyo-gi and Kunimoto didn't really cause Suwon Bluewings a lot of problems last week so the manager may have to switch up his tactics slightly to make the home side more potent in the final third.

Jeonbuk, on the other hand, have a list of players either out injured, suspended or representing South Korea at the Asian games.  Veteran forward Lee Dong-gook accumulated his third yellow against Sangju last week and will miss the game, serving a one game suspension.  First choice goalkeeper Song-Beom-keun, young centre back Kim-Min-jae and defensive midfielder Jang Yun-ho are all with the Korea squad preparing to play Japan in the final of the Asian Games.  Centre half Hong Jeong-ho picked up an injury against Sangju and hasn't been seen near the first team since.  Brazilian winger Tiago has an unspecified problem and hasn't been in the first team squad for a few weeks now.

One to Watch

Paulinho (L) in action against Suwon Bluewings (Image via K League)


The Brazilian winger/attacking midfielder has taken his time to settle into the pace of the K League somewhatAfter his last few performances, however, some promising signs have began to emerge from his game. Paulinho a player who you can never begrudge his willingness to work for the team, he did however just lacked that cutting edge or his decision making when it mattered frustrated his team mates.  His game over the past few weeks has been taken onto another level and his understanding on how Gyeongnam play has been great.  His link up play with fellow countryman Negueba as well as with Kim Hyo-gi is starting to blossom.  The manager has shown a lot of faith in the playmaker, starting him in the majority of games since he signed for the club.  He opened his account for the Reds last week against Gangwon as well in his ninth game for the southerners.  If he can add more goals to his game he can be a good weapon in around the final third for manager Kim-Jung-boo.


Jeonbuk will be hurting from losing heavily midweek to Suwon Bluewings.  This might have angered the beast in them to come to Gyeongnam and put on a show.  On the other hand the defeat might have shot the squad of all confidence and they travel south with a nervy bunch of players low on belief.  Gyeongnam suffered their first loss in 11 games last week also against the Bluewings.  It was a spirited performance nevertheless and if Negueba had have converted his spot kick the spoils would have been shared.  Sunday's game could have goals in it, perhaps a high scoring score draw.

Gyeongnam 2-2 Jeonbuk Motors


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