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Preview: FC Anyang Vs Jeonnam Dragons

Anyang capitulated on Monday night against Busan, but a match verses a resurgent Jeonnam Dragons could be the turning point in their fortunes. With key players back and tactical approaches changing, Anyang are making positive moves. But with a pressure match up against a fellow mid table team, will they have enough to slay the Dragons?

Last Time Out

Anyang started with a new formation against Busan, with the 3-4-3 (wide) being tried. The defence was given the task of playing very stretched and far apart, which looked like a good decision for the first half. Anyang had survived a disallowed goal and been mainly equal against a very competent Busan team. With this being the first test of the new width-based system, it’s fair to say they performed quite well.

However, with half time came some slight tweaks with players either suffering from fatigue or the manager hoping for changes to produce a goal. These changes backfired heavily as Busan used their structure and skillful players to destroy Anyang on the break. Busan’s first goal was from the penalty spot, after a VAR review showed a hand ball. The second Busan goal closely followed. It was a moment to forget for Anyang goalkeeper Yang Dongwon, as a weak shot was poorly judged and bounced under his hands in a crazy fumble. A mistake that could be personally costly with the depth in goalkeeping at Anyang.

With the game now completely turning on its head, Anyang continued their desperate pressure to claw something back. The normally well organised defence was now in pieces. The frantic pace did create chances as Palacios hit the bar and had another effort just go wide of the goal. But with all the pressure and attacking momentum, one Anyang mistake led to a deadly counter as an incredibly well struck goal by Busan’s Lee Jeonghyeop slotted into the bottom corner.

There were some late positives as Palacios made it 3-1 with a header in the last moments of the game, breaking his scoring drought. Anyang have a lot to review and if they can take the positives from the disappointing performance maybe they can adapt for their next test.

Previous Meetings

The last time Anyang played Jeonnam, it was at Gwangyang Stadium in Round 3. At the time both teams were in similar positions in the league with Anyang’s form shifting negatively and Jeonnam seemingly getting their pieces together. Given the changes since then, there might not be much to take from that 1-0 result.

On the other hand, some of the same mistakes Anyang made then are still plighting the team now. Specifically, Anyang’s ability to deal with counter attacks and aerial threats. With the only goal on that day being a cross that was misjudged by the three-man back line that led to an easy goal, Jeonnam will be well aware of this issue and might look to abuse it again in this fixture.

 Team News

Anyang’s attacking players are all fit for the first time since the slide in form. Alex, who is arguably one of Anyang’s most creative players, featured in the latter stages of the last game and should be at least on the bench Sunday. With the formation changes it’s hard to predict an exact starting line-up, but it’s possible we might see some shifts. In particular goalkeeper Yang Dongwon might be swapped after his Monday night blunder.

From a Jeonnam perspective, Fabiano Soares should have the bulk of his squad to be able to pick from as well. With issues around finding a consistent goal scorer, it’s likely they will remain the same or close to line up from the last game in an attempt to build consistency and cohesion between players.

The Adversary

Jeonnam defeated a poor Seoul E-Land side last time out, and leap-frogged Daejeon Citizen into eighth place. They’re now only six points off competing for playoff positions, which is frightening for a team that has been under performing after their drop into K2. Bruno scored his second of the year bringing Jeonnam's team total to 12; highlighting their issue of finding a consistent goal scorer. One positive for Jeonnam is that this game is played away from home, where they’ve only lost three out of the last seven games. Meanwhile, Anyang have only one win and four loses this season at home.

Jeonnam will also be able to cause a lot of problems for a weak and possibly disorganized Anyang defence. With the Dragons' aerial ability and skillful, pacy players on both wings, a repeat of the previous 1-0 score line is more than possible. Watch out for dangerous inter play between the forwards dragging apart the Anyang back line, which could force gaps for Jeonnam to exploit.

Who To Watch

The return of a confident Palacios is the big story line for this game. After finally scoring in the defeat to Busan, Palacios will have shaken the disappointments of recent weeks after going so close numerous times. The Colombian's trickery and intense work rate will no doubt put him in the correct positions to create chances or score on his own. He has had some issues with finishing and choosing the correct decision at the vital moment, but his desire and ability is of no doubt. One of the most consistent performers all season, and with newfound confidence watch for Mr. Reliable to get his fourth goal of the year.


Despite the positive changes that Anyang have made in the build up to this game, the form and defensive problems are too significant. Especially when they’re playing a team like Jeonnam who are going to be trying to exploit the exposed weaknesses. The only hope is that the Dragon’s inability to score goals means a close 1-1 could be possible.

Anyang 1-1 Jeonnam Dragons

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