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Preview: Gyeongnam FC vs FC Seoul

K League 1 Preview: Gyeongnam FC vs FC Seoul

The slump that Gyeongnam is enduring sees them heading on a concerning trajectory downwards, a far cry from last season. A rebound victory might be all they need to arrest the slide, but when can they expect one? While the upcoming international break may offer them some time to rest and regroup, they first have to deal with a high-flying FC Seoul side that threatens to make things worse before it can get better. 



Last Time Out

Sangju Sangmu 1-1 Gyeongnam FC
Gyongnam were held to a 1-1 draw at Sangju Stadium. It was encouraging that the Reds finally earned a point in the league after losing the last five matches, with the last time Gyeongnam won in the league being against Daegu on March 30.

Gyeongnam FC tried to score against Sangju, but Sangju pushed the visiting team hard, with Park Yongji's breaking runs and Yoon Bitgaram's key passes. As a result, the military were awarded a penalty and Yoon Bitgaram seemed to make it easy with a neat goal. However, Luc Castaignos and Kim Seungjun led the Gyeongnam’s attack in an attempt to level the match. Unfortunately, while Kim Seungjun’s initial effort was deflected by the goalkeeper, Kim finally assisted Lee Youngjae’s mid-ranged goal and levelled the match.

During the second half, the Reds dominated from the beginning to try and score a winning goal. Negueba and Luc led the attack with Kim Seungjun, however, their lack of finishing skills held them back. Gyeongnam's eagerness was on display up until the end of the match, but it failed to bear fruit. Shortly before the end of the game, Negueba was taken off the field with a knee injury while chasing the ball. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, leaving Gyeongnam with regret for not taking their chances.

Highlights: here

FC Seoul 3-1 Seongnam FC
FC Seoul solidified third place with a pleasant victory by inviting Seongnam FC to Sangam. At the beginning of the game, the visiting team pushed the home team hard, but Seoul's goalkeeper, Yu Sanghun, saved the side. Alibaev and Pešić also missed chances to score a goal to lead the game.

As soon as the second half started, Park Dongjin's strong shot led to a goal. Right after that, Osmar's alertness during a corner kick helped him to capitalise and force the ball into the net. In the 71st minute, the game went 3-0 as Pešić received a pass from Alibaev and pushed the ball neatly between the goalkeeper's legs. However, Seongnam FC didn't give up until the end and Mathias scored in the 92nd minute, though it was too late to change the outcome of the game. In the end, the game ended 3-1, and Seoul earned three points at home.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The latest match between the two teams was a league game at Seoul World Cup Stadium in early April. Seoul earned three points in the match with a 2-1 win, but Gyeongnam had made them nervous by attacking the home team until the last minute.

Despite the fact that their recent 10-game head-to-head record of two wins, six draws and two losses, the two teams are clearly on opposite tracks this season. In the league table, Seoul is third from the top, yet Gyeongnam is third from the bottom. Through this match, Seoul may be able to move up to the top of the league. The Reds, on the other hand, could fall to the bottom of the table if they lose this match and results elsewhere do not go in their favour.

Team News

Gyeongnam FC has been having a poor season so far with one draw and five losses in the last six league matches. Manager Kim Jongboo might be feeling a lot of stress and pressure. Players' injuries are likely to be largely attributed to the accumulation of fatigue from playing in the ACL and the league at the same time. It's a pity for Gyeongnam FC, which has a thin squad, but I think it's fully anticipated.

Almost all of the key players are on the injury list. Negueba was ruled out this season when he hurt his knee just before the end of the game with the Sangju. Kunimoto has to wait at least another month to recover from his injury. Bae Kijong is also expected to miss the match due to a knee injury. Also, Luc Castaignos, who showed a good performance with Kim Seungjun in the last match, will miss the match due to a wedding in his home country.

In the case of the away team, FC Seoul will seek victory to keep up close to first and second place through this match. Seoul has scored 10 goals in its last six league matches, with three victories. The attacks, led by Park Chuyoung and Pešić, have been doing well in recent rounds. Although FC Seoul doesn't have many away wins, they will test Gyeongnam's goal with the Serbian striker's sharp offence. Also, it is positive news for the visiting team that Gyeongnam have allowed the most goals in the league so far.

Who To Watch

Kim Seungjun


Luc Castaignos is off to his country and Bae Kijoing is likely to miss the match. Now the pressure is on Kim Seungjun, yet he is an active forward who can overcome the pressure and has the ability to bother FC Seoul’s defenders.

Kim Seungjun is a player who is used to doing his job one on the field in any circumstances. If the manager Kim Jongboo decides to use the 4-4-2 formation in the upcoming match, Kim Seungjun will lead the attack with either Park Gidong or Ko Kyungmin.

Prediction

Objectively analysing the match, FC Seoul should win the coming up match easily by showing them why they are ranked as a 3rd on the league table. Since Gyeongnam’s key players are out, Seoul can easily earn three points on their visit to Changwon. However, if the home side can somehow show a solid defence and resolve the game trough efficient counterattacks, they might cause Seoul unexpected difficulties.

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