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Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Gwangju FC

Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Gwangju FC
Still without a win in their last nine, Daejeon Citizen face the unenviable task of taking on automatic promotion favourites Gwangju FC this Saturday night. The Purples find themselves languishing at the wrong end of the table as one of K League 2's chronic underachievers this term. Gwangju, meanwhile, will be looking to maintain their four point cushion over Busan IPark at the top of the table.

Overview

Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Gwangju FC K League 2 Round 17
via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Asan Mugunghwa 1-0 Daejeon Citizen

A Kim Reo goal four minutes before the interval was enough to seal Asan Mugunghwa's third win in their last five, and subsequently condemn the Purples to their fourth defeat in five. A long ball into the channel from Ju Sejong set Kim Reo up in a one-on-one situation with fledgling centre back Lee Jungmoon. Lee, however, failed to get the ball under control, allowing Kim to nip in and fire into the far corner from an acute angle.

It was a much-changed Daejeon team, with a shift to a back three and wingbacks and Aurelian Chițu playing in the hole behind Kim Seungseop and Park Inhyeok, as caretaker gaffer Park Chul srambles for a winning formula. Alas, it wasn't to be for Citizen who crashed to their seventh defeat in nine.

Highlights: here

Suwon FC 0-2 Gwangju FC

Gwangju's dominance at the top end of the K League 2 table continued on Monday night with a 2-0 away win over fellow promotion contenders Suwon FC. After a fairly even first half, during which both teams had their fair share of looks on goal, the visitors to Castle Park got their noses in front on 63 minutes via a fortuitous own goal from Suwon goalkeeper Park Hyungsoon.

A long ball forward was only partially cleared via the head of Suwon's Kim Youngchan and into the path of Du Hyunseok on the right flank. The 23 year-old forward did well to work his way into a central position before exchanging passes with Felipe to set himself up for a shot on goal. Du's strike hit the far post, bounced back onto the goalkeeper Park before nestling in the back of the net.

Gwangju doubled their lead in time added on, Felipe showing power and determination to beat two Suwon defenders before threading the ball past an on-rushing Park Hyungsoon.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Daejeon boast of a decent record against Gwangju in recent seasons having gone unbeaten against their South Jeolla counterparts in each of the last four meetings thanks to two wins and two draws. The most recent meeting between Daejeon Citizen and Gwangju FC was in April this year when the two sides played out a 0-0 draw.

Gwangju's last visit to Purple Arena was in the K League 2 Promotion Playoff semifinal last November when an Aurelian Chițu strike on 68 minutes sent the Purples into the final against Busan. In regular league action, Daejeon picked up a 2-1 away win last September despite trailing by a goal to nil heading into stoppage time. Goals from Park Inheok and Aurelian Chițu gave the Purples a crucial win.

Overall, there have been 22 previous encounters between the Purples and the Yellows, Daejeon have five wins to Gwangju's three and three draws. At Purple Arena, Daejeon have five wins and three draws and have lost just three times at home to Gwangju.

Team News

Daejeon Citizen are still awaiting on the returns of both left back Jeon Sanghoon and central midfielder Shin Hakyoung, the former Gyeongnam duo have both been ruled out through injury. Centre back Yoon Shinyoung has also been absent from the matchday squad in recent weeks, despite being near ever present for the Purples. Caretaker gaffer Park Chul may stick with Lee Jungmoon despite the youngsters mistake which lead to Asan's winner at the weekend. Alternatively, U20 World Cup finalist Lee Jisol could make his return, as could attacking midfielder Kim Seyun.

For the trip to Yi Sunsin Stadium, Park Chul shifted from a 4-1-2-3 formation to a 3-4-1-2 with an untested back three of Lee Jungmoon, Jang Juyoung, and Yoon Kyungbo. The defeat at Asan was caretaker manager Park Chul's fourth in charge and third defeat in four.

Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Gwangju FC K League 2 Round 17
Daejeon Citizen lineup versus Asan Mugunghwa, K League 2 Round 17.

The Adversary

Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Gwangju FC K League 2 Round 17
Gwangju FC, lead by manager Park Jinseop, are unbeaten in the league in 2019.
Gwangju FC sit atop the K League 2 table, four points clear of Busan IPark. Heading into Saturday's match at Purple Arena, the Yellows have won three on the spin, are unbeaten all season in the league and have won 10 games from 16.

Manager Park Jinseop has been faithful to his 4-1-2-3 formation with Felipe down the middle, flanked by Kim Junghwan on the right and either Willyan or Du Hyeonseok on the left. In recent weeks a midfield three of Choi Junhyuk as the holding midfielder, and the experienced duo of Park Jungsoo and Yeo Reum in the middle.

Given Felipe's goal-scoring prowess, leading the K League 2 charts with 13 goals from 12 appearances from an expected goals of 7.79, Gwangju find themselves at the K League 2 summit due to their defensive stability. Compared to their opponents, Gwangju have a better record for defensive duels having won 23.8% compared to 20%, 46% compared to 41.8% for aerial duels, 55 interceptions per 48 per 90 minutes, as well as 22 clearances compared to 14 per 90 minutes.

Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Gwangju FC K League 2 Round 17
Gwangju FC lineup versus Suwon FC, K League 2 Round 17.


What To Watch

Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Gwangju FC K League 2 Round 17

With 13 goals in 12 starts, Brazilian forward Felipe is seemingly destined for the K League 2 MVP award come the end of the season. The 27 year-old, who has 20 goals in 27 appearances for the South Jeolla side dating back to last season, stands at six feet three inches (193cm) tall and has proven to be a formidable asset for Gwangju gaffer Park Jinseop.

Daejeon's back four, or five as was the case in the 1-0 defeat to Asan, is likely to be somewhat inexperienced and lacking in height or physical presence when the two sides take to the field on Saturday evening. Lee Jisol, fresh from his U20 World Cup heroics, has made just 13 career appearances and stands at just over six feet (183cm), Yun Kyungbo has just 12 career appearances to his name, also stands at around six foot tall, whilst Jang Juyoung, who made his K League debut last time out, is five feet eight inches (177cm).

However, one individual who the Purples could be looking to to combat Felipe is Lee Jungmoon. Lee can play as a central midfielder or a centre back and has been dubbed the Yonsei Univesity Paul Pogba due to his sizeable frame (six feet four inches/194cm) and ability on the ball. Seeing the 21 year-old up against the league's leading scorer is going to be an interesting battle.

Prediction

Daejeon are without a win in nine matches, sit second bottom of the league, and have mustered just 11 goals all season - just six since these two sides last met in mid-April. The visitors on the other hand have netted 16 in that time and remain unbeaten in the league. Gwangju are strong favourites for this one - away win.


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