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Preview: Suwon FC vs Gyeongnam FC

Preview-Suwon FC vs Gyeongnam FC
A buoyant Suwon FC welcome an unbeaten Gyeongnam FC outfit for the first midweek fixture of the season.  Fresh from handing out a drubbing to Chungnam Asan last weekend the home side will be in a confident mood heading into the clash.  The Reds also picked up their first three points of the campaign with a narrow victory away against FC Anyang.  Gyeongnam FC columnist James Edrupt previews this one.

Match- Suwon FC vs Gyeongnam FC
Venue- Suwon Sports Complex.  Suwon.
Kick off- May 27th, Wednesday.  7:30pm.

Last Time Out

FC Anyang 2-3 Gyeongnam FC

This game, as reported in the preview for this clash, can be a feisty affair if history has anything to go by.  Last Sundays' game was no exception.  Seven yellow cards were dished out and Gyeongnam had new signing Yang Hyuk-jin shown his marching orders for a second yellow card offense after he raised his foot in a challenge with Anyang's Lee Seon-geol.  It was a very open game and the bottom-placed side was gifted the lead on twenty-two minutes when young debutant defender Kang Ui-bin paid the ultimate price by trying to pass his way out of defense.  His pass on the right side of the box in-field was intercepted by Anyang's playmaker Lee Jeong-bin who he found himself in, and through on goal.  He cooly stroked the ball passed the advancing Son Jung-hyun to the home side's delight.   The away side piled on the pressure and got back level when center-forward Uros Deric opened his account for Gyeongnam just nine minutes later.  A well-placed struck penalty past Yang Dong-won drew the game level.

The game was evenly poised as the second half began and it was Gyeongnam who were to get their noses in front and it came from winter signing Hwang Il-soo after 74 minutes.  The ball was fired into his feet on the edge of the area, and with minimal back-lift he rifled the ball into the top right-hand corner to take the lead.  Yang Hyuk-jin was then sent for an early bath just two minutes later and it was a back to the wall job for the away side.  However, the Reds were to break away on 82 minutes and a hopeful looking cross into the box from Hwang Il-soo landed perfectly at the feet of wing-back Kim Hyeong-won and he struck the ball down low past Yang in the home sides net.  The game was far from over with the man advantage, and the ever influential Lee Jeong-bin doubled his tally for the afternoon by getting free in the box and heading in with just three minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish.  Unfortunately for FC Anyang it was not to be and the Changwon based side held on to pick up their first three points of the season and remain unbeaten.  The defeat leaves Anyang with a record of three straight defeats to start their 2020 K League 2 campaign.

Chungnam Asan 0-5 Suwon FC

Suwon FC as the scoreline suggests ran riot at the Yishunsin Stadium.  The first of the goals was a fantastic effort scored by winger Mo Jae-hyun on 23 minutes.  Who, with his back to goal, flicked the ball over the defender's head, took a few touches then smashed the ball home from the edge of the box.  It was to go from bad to worse for the home side with Japanese forward Masatoshi Ishida doubling Suwon's lead just four minutes before the break finishing well from a route one punt upfield by Yoo-hyun that was flicked on by North Korean striker An Byong-jun.  A classy strike by the forward.

Then it was the aforementioned man of the moment An Byong-jun to take the game away from Asan's grasp with a quickfire double in just five minutes shortly after the interval on 47 minutes.  The first was again route one but this time it was all his work capitalizing on a hesitant Asan defender and he burst clear and buried the finish past the hapless Ham seok-min.   It was turning into an embarrassment now for the home side and from yet another defensive misplaced pass on the 52nd-minute mark, An picked up the ball and from fully 25 yards picked his spot and struck the ball sweetly arching away from the keepers grasp.  Suwon were not finished yet and ten minutes from time substitute Brazilian Danilo Alves got in on the act, flicking in with his head after a volley came into the box from a half-cleared corner.

Previous Meetings

Suwon and Gyeongnam have only faced off eight times in the K League with Suwon FC having the slight upper hand winning three of them, with The Reds winning just two, and three ending in draws.  If history is to go by it's very hard to separate these two teams.  The matches have always been very closely contested.  There is an expectation this Wednesday won't be any different and the trend should continue.

Team News

Gyeongnam head into the clash with one of their key players suspended in Yang Hyuk-jin.  His reckless high challenge last time out means he picked up a second yellow card, and a one-game suspension.  His first red card in his nine-year career to date.  Captain Ha Sung-min missed out against FC Anyang with a calf knock but he did travel north, so he is with the squad.  Both Nick Ansell and Dutchman Luc Castaignos were unused substitutes last Sunday so they were kept fresh and could feature in some capacity.  Experienced winger Bae Ki-jeong didn't feature at all as at 38 years old, he struggles to play two games in four days.  The defender turned striker Park Chang-min who has impressed since joining the club in the winter from Gangwon went off with what looked like a shoulder injury against Seoul E-Land a fortnight ago.  No word from the Reds camp on the length of his layoff.  Uros Deric came off twelve minutes into the second half to save his energy for this clash.  The rest of the squad is fit and raring to go.

The Adversary

Brazilian midfielsder Marlone is a dead-ball specialist for Suwon FC
Suwon FC goes into this intriguing clash brimming with confidence after the demolition they handed out to Chungnam Asan on Sunday evening.  With the score-line being so emphatic and them having a four-goal cushion by the 52nd minute Suwon gaffer Kim-Do-hyun had the luxury of taking off key personnel like An byong-jun and Mo Jae-hyeon.  Key player, Brazilian Marlone was in fine form and will be hoping to keep up his transition into his new side this Wednesday.  The swagger in which Suwon knocked the ball around was for all to see.

They will come up against much sterner opponents in Gyeongnam on Wednesday night.  If they can continue with their shoot on sight policy they seemed to be applying with great accuracy, it should be a fun one to tune in for.  The partnership of An and Ishida looked very promising and will cause any center back pairing a tough time in K League 2 this season. 

What To Watch

Uros Deric has started the season quietly by his lofty standards, but his goal against FC Anyang last time out would have boosted his confidence significantly.  He is starting to build up his match fitness and his understanding of his new role in manager Seol Ki-hyeon system is starting to reap its rewards.  He was brought off on the 55th-minute mark on the weekend with Wednesday in mind.  He needs to be wrapped up in cotton wool to maintain his fitness throughout the campaign.  He was back to his dominant self against the center-back pairing of Kim Hyong-jin and Choi Ho-jung for Anyang.  I expect more of the same against a Suwon FC outfit who can be susceptible to set-pieces.

An Byong-jun has to be a man to keep your eyes on this Wednesday night.  He is a player who is in red hot form right now and is the joint leading goalscorer in the league with four goals from three games alongside Andre Luis of Daejeon Hana Citizen.  He possesses raw power and can be lethal in and around the penalty area.  Gyeongnam hasn't been the best defensively this season letting in four goals in their first three matches so An will be chomping at the bit for kick-off in midweek.  His link-up play around the box is improving week by week and he doesn't get enough credit for his aerial prowess when heading the ball.  The Changwon based outfit will have their work cut out if he is to continue his rich vein of form.

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With Suwon being somewhat of the surprise package this season, it's quite difficult to predict what will happen here.  It's third versus fourth and with Gyeognam's new manager Seol Ki-hyeon just starting to make his mark on his team this game will be a closely contested affair.   Both teams are playing with confidence and will think they can take the three points off one another.

Suwon FC 1-1 Gyeongnam FC

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