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Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Gwangju FC


Forces of change are afoot in both camps this winter as Gwangju head to Daejeon Citizen having already lifted the KLeague 2 trophy. Despite Jeonnam Dragons best efforts to spoil the party last Sunday, the Yellows will be in jubilant mood while Daejeon welcome a new regime in what could also be Lee Heung-sil's farewell.

Last Time Out

Daejeon Citizen 1-1 FC Anyang

Off to a disastrous start the Purples back line failed to track the well-timed run of Mo Jae-hyeon after just six minutes. Latching onto a great ball down the left wing, Mo clipped the ball past onrushing keeper Kim Jin-young. Kim pulled off an incredible save on 16 minutes to deny starlet Cho Kyu-sung's header as Anyang continued to dominate the first half. Destined for another home defeat, Matheus Antonio seemed clear through on goal before being hacked down by Choi Ho-jung on on 72 minutes. After VAR consultation Choi saw red and the game began to turn with Antonio involved in the equaliser just 10 minutes later. Cutting inside from the left he laid it off to Kim Seung-seop to fire low and hard into the bottom corner from the edge of the box for a share of the spoils.

                      
Gwangju 1-2 Jeonnam Dragons

Bruno Baio stunned a celebratory World Cup stadium giving the Dragons the lead after just seven minutes from Jeong Jae-hee's ball into the box. Jinking his way past Willyan on the byline, Jeong's cross found it's way to Baio to bundle home from eight yards. Choi Jun-hyeok took control of some scrappy play in the middle of the park on the half hour with Lee Si-young's cut back finding Doo Hyun-seok in space to crash home a thunderous strike off the bar. Making three changes early in the second half, Jeon Kyeong-jun clearly saw an opportunity arise to take the derby bragging rights. After Kim Tae-youn's header flashed just wide for the hosts, Dragon's boss Jeon's bravery paid off through substitute's Kim Geon-ung's 56th-minute flick at the near post from Kim Young-uk's corner.


Previous Meetings

Daejeon have been one of the only side's this season to stifle Gwangju's free-flowing attacking threat yet have also failed to find the net against the Yellows themselves. All three 2019 meetings haven't featured high on the entertainment scale with the Purples limiting Park Jin-seop's attacking talents to scraps. Both matches in Jeollanamdo ended in stalemates while Felipe sealed a smash-and-grab victory for Gwangju. November last year saw the pair meet at the same venue in the play-offs. Notable for Lee Seung-mo's injury, Daejeon progressed 1-0 thanks to Aurelian Chitu's strike.

                                        [READ: Daejeon Citizen complete takeover]

The Adversary

There may be an odd atmosphere around the Daejeon dressing room this Saturday. With uncertainties in the air surrounding the incoming investment from Hana Financial Group, Lee Heung-sil's position is under serious scrutiny. If rumours are to be believed, former Pohang Steelers and FC Seoul manager Hwang Sun-hong could take charge during the off season as Citizen look for an improved 2020 on and off the pitch.
Kim Tae-hyeon and Park In-hyeok both picked up bookings against Anyang marking an end to their respective seasons. however veteran midfielder An Sang-hyun will return from suspension and is expected to slot back into midfield. Last week's game saw Park Su-chang brought into the starting eleven and pushed into a more advanced role, while Yoo Shin-young enjoyed a first start since August.


What To Watch

One interesting take from Daejeon's line-up against Anyang was the unexplained absence of talisman Chitu. If the Romanian striker is set to be sidelined once more, manager Lee at least has Matheus Antonio finding his goal scoring form. Following his summer move from Brazil, the 24-year-old has bagged five in his last five after only netting once in his previous 10. Making his way into the league's best 11, Antonio found plenty of space between the lines. Meanwhile, Gwangju's number nine and golden boot hopeful Felipe

                           [LISTEN: KLUPod | K League 2 Final Round]

Prediction

Daejeon Citizen 1-1 Gwangju

With Gwangju subconciously taking their foot off the gas following last weekend's title celebrations there's an air of after the lord major's show for the Yellows. They will have to be at their professional best coming up against the potentially rejuvenated Purples looking to impress new ownership. In the end quality may balance out with endeavour and neither side will be too upset with a point considering it will have no effect on their final standing in the table.

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