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Preview: Gwangju FC vs FC Anyang

Preview: Gwangju FC vs FC Anyang K League 2 Round 5
League leaders Gwangju FC host the first of four consecutive home games that could see them take an early hold of the K League 2 title race. FC Anyang are this week's visitors having not won in the league since their shock opening day hammering of Busan IPark. 

Last Time Out

Felipe was once again the star of the show as Gwangju claimed all three points at Jeolla neighbours Jeonnam Dragons, their second win in Gwangyang in the space of three days. Bagging seven goals in four, Felipe notched the winner on the hour-mark after Choi Jae-hyun had equalised for the Dragons. Interestingly for the visitors, on form Om Won-sang had to settle for just a solitary minute of action as a substitute after returning from youth international action for the Korean National Team.

Highlights: here

Ukrainian forward Mykola Kovtalyuk came off the bench at half time last Sunday to equalise for Anyang in a 1-1 draw away at Ansan Greeners. Scoring a debut goal, Kovtalyuk ratified boss Kim Hyung-yeol's decision to make a double change at the break to avoid a third-straight defeat on the road. Anyang's remarkable fixture schedule, which includes 10 consecutive away games to kick off the season, is predictably making Kim's job even tougher with his side currently sitting in seventh.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The pair met in Gwangju's penultimate home game of the 2018 campaign in a match dominated by refereeing decisions. Brazilian strikers dominated proceedings as Felipe and Wesley Alex both scored from the spot before the former grabbed the winner with 10 minutes remaining to push Gwangju into fifth.

Last season certainly showed there was little to choose between the clubs with two stalemates sandwiching a 3-2 for Anyang up north in May. Wesley Alex again troubled the Yellow's defence netting a brace to add to Jung Hee-woong's equaliser, with Na Sang-ho's penalty and Doo Hyun-seok's consolation not enough for the visitors. Prior to last season you must cast your eye all the way back to 2014 for a fixture between the two, with Lee Woo-hyung's Anyang coming away with three points in a 2-1 victory.

The Adversary

Preview: Gwangju FC vs FC Anyang K League 2 Round 5 Mykola Kovtalyuk

FC Anyang followed up on their comprehensive 5-1 FA Cup win over Icheon Citizen with a somewhat underwhelming draw with Ansan Greeners in the Line Four Derby. Playing their normal 3-4-3 formation, the visiting side were exposed down the middle on a number of occasions and it was not until Colombian winger Manuel Palacios was switched to the right that Anyang started getting any joy.  They will be encouraged by the debut of 23-year-old Ukranian Mykola Kovtalyuk, however, who made his first league appearance for the club from the bench and scoring the equaliser. Given their recent league form, manager Kim Hyung-yeol might be wise to try something different and start on him on Sunday.

Who To Watch

Being eased into first team action, winger Willyan Barbosa grabbed his first minutes of league action in the win at Jeonnam after impressing on the same ground days earlier. Coming off the bench on the hour-mark, the 25-year-old who was played for reputable teams such as Nacional and Vitoria Setubal in Portugal seems to be settled in well in the South West.

It's hard not to point at Felipe every week with the striker seemingly bulldozing his way through any defence he sets his sight on this season. Former teammate Ryu Eon-jae has been part of a consistently leaky defence, while not falling apart they have managed to concede once in all five matches this season. After hardly featuring in a dismal 2018 under Park Jin-seop, the defender will be hoping to show the Gwangju boss what he missed last season. Starting three of four games so far this term, he is certainly more favoured by his new boss who will be hoping for a first clean sheet.

Prediction

If this fixture was put into a simulator to determine the most likely outcome based on previous form a narrow victory for the hosts would be predicted. Anyang have shown they are no slouches in front of goal after hammering both Busan and then Icheon Citizen in the cup, but the wait for an elusive clean sheet goes on. It will be interesting to see what plan Kim Hyung-yeol comes up with to stop Felipe running riot once more. Even if that plan is partially successful, the youthful exuberance Gwangju possess on the wings this season will continue to be a major goal threat.

Predicted Score: Gwangju FC 2-1 FC Anyang

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