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Preview: FC Seoul vs Gyeongnam FC

Preview: FC Seoul vs Gyeongnam FC K League 1 Round 6
FC Seoul take on a resurgent Gyeongnam FC this Saturday in K League 1 Round 6 in the hope of bouncing back from Tuesday's away defeat to Ulsan Hyundai. Gyeongnam, however, fought back from three goals down to earn an unlikely point against the Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. Seoul haven't been able to beat Gyeongnam in each of the last five meetings at Sangam, the last win over the Reds dates back to 2012.


via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Ulsan Hyundai 2-1 FC Seoul

FC Seoul suffered their first reverse of the season thanks to a 2-1 away defeat to Ulsan Hyundai at the Munsu Stadium on Tuesday night. American midfielder Mix Diskerud put the Horangi in front with just 15 minutes on the clock, finding the bottom corner with a neat finish 18 yards out.

At half time, Choi Yongsoo made a double substitution, Park Dongjin and Kim Hangil off, Pešić and Ko Kwangmin on. Things didn't get much better for Seoul, however, as Júnior Negrão doubled Ulsan's advantage with a composed back post header with 73 on the clock, guiding home a wonderfully teasing cross from the left. Seoul did manage to pull one back though, Park Chuyoung getting off the mark for the season with a close range strike in the 91st minute with what turned out to be scant consolation.

Highlights: here

Gyeongnam FC 3-3 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Three goals down at home with 52 minutes played, Gyeongnam looked dead and buried and on course for their third league defeat of the campaign. However, an extraordinary fight back with little under 10 minutes to go saw the Reds earn an unlikely point.

Kim Seungjun got the comeback up and away, finding the net in the 81st minute - the 24 year-old's second of the campaign. Then, with five of the 90 minutes remaining, English central midfielder Jordon Mutch narrowed the deficit, finding the net with a close range finish from an acute angle. Incredibly, in time added on, veteran striker Bae Kijong sent the Changwon faithful into raptures with a dramatic late equaliser - his third strike in the last two games.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Aside from a penalty shootout victory in the fourth round of the FA Cup, FC Seoul failed in their attempts to contain last season's K League 1 dark horses. In Changwon at the end of September, the Reds sent what was then Lee Eulyong's men back to the capital without a single point for their endeavours following a 2-1 win. Kim Hangil gave Seoul the lead on the stroke of half time only for Marcão to level just after the hour mark. Then, in the dying embers, Bae Kijong popped up to fire home a late winner.

At Sangam last July, the most recent time that these two sides met in the capital, Gyeongnam emerged as the victors in a 3-2 win. Marcão gave Gyeongnam the lead inside 10 minutes with an audacious overhead kick before goals from Anderson Lopes and Go Yohan, with a goal apiece either side of half time, turned the game in is head. However, 10 minutes after the restart, Choi Youngjun restored parity before Marcão bagged his second and Gyeongnam's third four minutes from time.

From 31 previous meetings, FC Seoul have 13 victories to Gyeongnam's eight and 10 draws. At Sangam, Seoul have seven wins, Gyeongnam three. However, Seoul's last league win over Gyeongnam dates back to November 2012, a 3-0 win in Changwon. Seoul's last home win over their South Gyeongsang counterparts was October of that year, winning 1-0 thanks to a Park Heedo strike in the 30th minute.

Team News

Having missed the first five matches of the season with, following Tuesday's defeat to Ulsan, Osmar Ibáñez Barba looks set to make his long awaited return. The Spaniard had been recovering from tendinitis in his right knee but is said to be very close to a return. However, centre back Lee Woonghee was stretchered off during the Ulsan loss, the former Daejeon Citizen defender took a knock to the head from teammate Kim Wonkyun. Captain Go Yohan is one booking away from serving a one-match ban.

FC Seoul lineup vs Ulsan Hyundai, K League 1 Round 5

The Adversary

Gyeongnam FC were unable to win their second straight home match, yet the team produced more late drama. The draw to Jeonbuk, which was expected to be very difficult due to injuries to Negueba and Luc Castaignos, ran as expected until the 80th minute. From then magical moments from the home team began to unfold. Choi Bokyung's mistake was punished by Kim Seungjun to make it 3-1 before Jordon Mutch's first  K League narrowed the deficit further. In time added on, Gyongnam's super substitute Bae Kijong scores to create a draw.

The match ended in a draw, but Jordon Mutch appeared to pick up an injury just before the end, Gyeongnam potentially losing another key player. But fortunately, Negueba could play against FC Seoul according to manager Kim Jongboo. However, since the match following Saturday's trip to the capital is away in the ACL, Gyeongnam will perhaps be expected to play a cautiously. Another fortunate thing is that manager Kim Jongboo can finally return to the touchline. In the second round match against the Incheon United, Coach Kim had been disciplined after a verbal exchange with the referee after the match. Lee Yeongik, the assistant manager, had been acting as a caretaker manager.

The line-up for the match against FC Seoul is expected to be in a 4-4-2 formation but with a couple of personnel changes. Like the last games, the Reds will try not to allow goals in the first half, and is expected to put in substitutes in the few games, there has been a strategy of making changes in the second half. Just as the Englishman Jordon Mutch made a difference as a substitute against Jeonbuk, this time Negueba is expected to take over the role.

Though the team is suffering from the injuries of key players, their mental strength and team work still remain strong. This away game in Seoul will not be easy, but Gyeongnam fans will trust the tactics of manager Kim Jongboo and the mentality of the players.
-Chris Jun Yong Park 

Gyeongnam FC lineup vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, K League 1 Round 5

Who To Watch

Park Chuyoung, FC Seoul

Park Chuyoung opened his account for the season on Tuesday night, sliding into convert Ko Kwangmin's low cross in the 91st minute. Whilst the goal was scant consolation, Park getting off the mark will have done wonders for his confidence. The 33 year-old managed just four goals last term and was largely frozen out. However, under Choi, the former Monaco and Arsenal is seen as integral and a leader within the dressing room.

From the four games which Park has started, expected goals ratios have improved and were has high as 0.37 versus Sangju Sangmu, rising from 0.04 against Pohang on the opening day. Park has a 69% pass completion rate, 74% in terms of long passes, and 74% of all dribbles have been successful.

Bae Kijong, Gyeongnam FC 

Bae Kijong (R) has three goals in his last two appearances for Gyeongnam
Veteran striker Bae Kijong is in fine goal-scoring form having come off the bench against both Daegu and Jeonbuk to earn his side valuable points. Against Daegu, Bae was introduced at half time and eventually went on to score a late winner with two of his three shots finding the target. On Wednesday night at home to Jeonbuk, the former Daejeon Citizen, Suwon Bluewings and Jeju United man, bagged a brace. In the 39 minutes which Bae was on the pitch, the 35 year-old had two shots, both of which beat Song Bumkeun in between the sticks for the champions. Over the course of the season so far, Bae Kijong has a pass completion rate of 78% and an expected goal ration of 0.43.


If Choi Yongsoo can get his team selection and tactics right then his side have every chance of getting a positive result. Should Osmar make his long awaited return then the former club captain will at least add some composure to the middle of the park. However, question marks of Seoul's forward line remain. The Park Dongjin experiment has yielded very little whilst Yun Jutae was largely ineffective away to Ulsan on Tuesday and so Coach Choi will have a decision to make on who to start.

Gyeongnam will make the trip to Sangam full of confidence and, if the Reds play like they did in the second half against Jeonbuk, could walk away with all three points. Away win.

K League 1 Round 6 Preview: here

Aleksandar Pešić Interivew: here

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