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Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Gwangju FC

Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Gwangju FC K League 2 Round 8
League leaders Gwangju FC arrive at the Wa Stadium on Saturday evening looking to put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack. Ansan Greeners welcome the southerners, having being beaten by second placed Busan IPark 3-0 in the previous round, ending a recent run of form for the Green Wolves.

Last Time Out

Ansan’s run of good form was halted with a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Busan IPark on the South-east coast. Having picked up impressive wins against Asan and Bucheon, it appeared that Lim Wan-seop had finally cracked the system, after a run of just one win in 10 going back to last season.

Busan did the damage with two second half goals from Lee Jeong-hyeop and Brazilian midfielder Rômulo. Most worryingly for the Greeners was conceding a third in injury time as Lee Dong-jun completed the rout. A result on the south-east coast was always going to be a big ask, and taking the promotion chasers to half time all-square was a great effort, echoing a recent run that had seen Ansan take seven points from the previous three games, however the second half capitulation sets off alarm bells that some complacency might be setting in again.

It was a strong side on paper by Ansan, but provided a reality check as to where exactly the squad is at this time, and the challenges facing the club in becoming genuine play-off contenders. That said, Ansan lie in 8th position, just one point behind 4th place Asan.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Ansan actually came out the better of the two sides in 2018, winning two and drawing one of the meetings. However it was the final game of the 2018 season that is most telling, as the Green Wolves were gubbed 4-0 in South Jeolla. Gwangju have scored most of their goals in the opening fifteen this season, and Ansan will have to keep Gwangju at bay at least until then to avoid another hammering.

Team News

Leading scorer Vintecenco remains suspended after picking up his second VAR retrospective red card away at Bucheon two weekends ago. Kim Jin-rae sits on two yellow cards and needs to be careful having been one of Ansan's best new acquisitions this season.

The Adversary 


Park Jin-seop’s Gwangju, who remain unbeaten in nine games in all competitions this season, know that another victory in Ansan could give them a substantial cushion to Daejeon Citizen in third. Racing to 15 points from seven to sit at the league’s summit, Daejeon are also the only side to stop the Yellow’s scoring this term. Tinkering with his starting eleven in recent weeks, Park's chopping and changing at the back does not seem to have affected their defensive resolve either.

Stabilising midfielder Choi Joon-hyeok will return to contention for a midfield spot from suspension. Working well with Gwangju legend and captain Yeo-reum, Choi may also be joined by Lee Hee-gyeon who saw 30 minutes off the bench last weekend in his recovery from an ankle injury. Integral to the Yellow’s fluid attacking style in the opening games of the season including a fantastic display out wide against Seoul E-Land on match day one, the fresh legs of youngster Lee could help stretch Ansan on the break.

Considering his barnstorming start to the season it's only natural that attention from all K League 2 fans revolves around star striker Felipe. With nine goals in seven this term the Brazilian has proved hard to stop and bagged once more in last week's victory over Suwon. Felipe's headline grabbing goal glut does mask a cause for concern for Gwangju, with no other forward-minded players finding the net in the league so far. That scoring mantle has been taken up by a couple of defenders however, with Rustam Ashurtmatov heading home his debut goal for a club that appears just as potent from set pieces as last season.
-Peter Hampshire

Prediction

Ansan were roundly beaten by a better side last time out, but they have taken some big scalps recently, and another big performance here can help them kick-on, particularly with bottom-club Jeonnam visiting the Wa on Wednesday. gwangju however are unbeaten for a reason, and it will take some stopping doing to stop them taking all three points on Saturday

Predicted Score: Ansan Greeners 1-2 Gwangju FC

K League 2 Round 8 Preview: here

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