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Preview: Gwangju FC vs Suwon FC

Preview: Gwangju FC vs Suwon FC K League 2 Round 21
Gwangju's spectacular collapse drew attention from across Asia last weekend as they conceded seven away to in-form Anyang. While still boasting a six-point lead at the top, Park Jinseop's side will want to extinguish their rivals hopes of an upcoming blip. All eyes will be on them this Saturday evening as Kim Daeeui's Suwon come to town boosted by a much-needed win on the road against Daejeon Citizen last time out. 

Last Time Out

FC Anyang 7-1 Gwangju FC

Everything seemed rosy in the Gwangju garden until two early Anyang goals seemingly knocked all the confidence out of the Yellows. Having conceded just eight goals in 19 prior league fixtures, Gwangju capitulated under the hands of an Anyang side claiming their fifth straight victory. Kim Sangwon and Lee Jeongbin had the Purples two-up inside twenty minutes before Doo Hyunseok appeared to engineer the beginnings of a comeback stealing in at the back post. That was as good as it got for Gwangju however, conceding a third soon after to Ku Bonsang before Anyang embarrassed their opponents striking four in the last 15 minutes. Manuel Palacios' seventh in stoppage time meant that the Yellows had conceded almost as many goals in one game as they have since the opening day and cemented Anyang's position in a play-off place, sitting 11 points off the summit.

You can watch the highlights here

Daejeon Citizen 2-4 Suwon FC

Suwon got the better of a topsy-turvy tie away at struggling Daejeon, who yet again put in a spirited performance but came away with nothing. In an even encounter, it was the visitors who were more clinical and stole the win in second-half stoppage time. Baek Sungdong had cancelled out Aurelian Chitu's opener to take things to the break level before youngster Cho Yumin gave Suwon the lead on the hour. Daejeon looked to have salvaged a point thanks to Park Sooil but An Byongjun's eighth of the season stole the points for Suwon with Baek Sungdong grabbing his brace five minutes later with an inch-perfect free-kick. Baek's first goals in 15 were timely considering Kim Daeeui's side were on the back of losing four consecutive defeats and had slipped out of the play-offs due to recent form. Suwon have Anyang to play following their trip to Jeollanamdo amid a tough run of fixtures.

You can watch Suwon's highlights here

Previous Meetings

Historically Gwangju have the advantage with 10 victories in 19 meetings, while Suwon have taken three points on just five occasions.The pair met just four weeks ago with Gwangju running out 2-0 victors thanks to strikers from Doo Hyunseok and Felipe. Doo's 25-yard effort cannoned back off the post on 65 minutes to deflect goal-ward off the back of helpless Suwon keeper Park Hyungsoon. Solid at the back throughout, it took until the sixth minute of injury time for Felipe to put some gloss on the scoreline, latching onto Eom Wonsang's flick on to force his way through the back line and dink home from close range. The Yellows also won on Suwon's last visit south thanks to first-half goals from Felipe and Rustam Ashurmatov. Suwon's 2-0 victory at the Guus Hiddink stadium last October, was also the first time they had scored at the ground since 2013, a run stretching back five matches.

The Adversary

Having just taken on Busan IPark two weeks ago, Saturday's clash and hosting Anyang in early August means that Suwon will have played against the KLeague 2's top three inside four games. To make matters worse for the play-off contenders, they have just come off the back of a run of three defeats against the same three teams. The importance of the late win in Daejeon could take on even further importance should they struggle once more against top sides. While there's no shame in losing to the best in the division, manager Kim will no doubt have been relieved to see his side bag four last time out after going four games without scoring. Dropped to the bench, Chisom Egbuchunam was prolific before his side's spell of poor form and will be desperate to get back to a goal-scoring glut that saw him net six in five. Competing with An Byongjun, who bagged his first in four at Daejeon, Suwon broke well at pace and looked particularly dangerous from set pieces last time out.  Midfielder Cho Yumin is absent on Saturday through suspension with Kim Jongkook most likely to come in and replace him.

What To Watch

With Felipe being the sole provider up front this season thanks to the lack of support from understudies Cho Jooyoung and Kim Jugong, Gwangju brought in former Pohang Steelers man Choi Hoju from Ansan Greeners this week. Sneaking in just before the transfer window slammed shut, Yellow's boss Park highlighted Choi's link-up play and positional sense as the reason for signing the 27-year-old. It will be interesting to see whether last week's heavy defeat brings about a knee-jerk change in style and formation, with Park presumably thinking Choi would work well as a two with Felipe up front. You would expect the boss to stick with what has worked for the vast majority of the season and perhaps introduce new signing Choi from the bench. However, with last weekends defeat being by such a heavy margin, Park may want to shake things up.

Choi Hoju (R) in action for Ansan Greeners this season.

Prediction - Gwangju FC 1-1 Suwon FC

Suwon may sniff the scent of a wounded beast in Gwangju and hope to take advantage of their morale-shattering defeat in Anyang. Looking to get their season back on track, the visitors showed their ability to soak up pressure and pounce on the break against Dajeon. With this in mind, the Yellows may be tempted to slightly alter their game play and play a more cautious brand of football. A draw wouldn't be too disastrous of a result for either side, allowing both teams to settle after both were involved in goal fests last weekend. A combined tally of 14 goals in the pairs last outings could mean that they will take a defence-first approach. I believe we're in for a low-scoring draw.

[READ: K League 2 Round 21 Preview]

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