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Preview: Gwangju FC vs Gimpo Citizen


With few games remaining at their World Cup Stadium, Gwangju host Gimpo Citizen in the FA Cup 3rd round. Both teams are enjoying mixed form in their respective leagues and play to face either Gangwon or Gangneung in Round Four. 

Last Time Out

Gwangju FC 0-2 Pohang Steelers

Looking for a third straight home win, Gwangju entertained an inconsistent Pohang side who were missing their star man Aleksandar Paločević. Park Jin-seop's side made a bright start as Felipe's head connected with Lee Min-ki's cross to produce a fine save from Kang Hyeon-mu after just nine minutes. Recalled back into the side, Yoon Pyeong-gook fumbled Kwon Wan-kyu's cross to allow Manuel Palacios the opportunity to open the scoring prior to the break. While Gwangju fought to overturn their deficit, the visitors afforded Song Min-kyu far too much time in the box to pick his place with a curling right-footed effort.



Gimpo Citizen 1-1 Cheongju

Gimpo extended their unbeaten run to five games thanks to Lee Ki-je's second-half equaliser. Sitting in mid table with six points from six games, Ko Jeong-woon's side surrendered their lead on 18 minutes with a strike from Ha Jae-hyeon, which Gimpo keeper Lee Sang-wook should really have done better with. Brought on at the interval for Kim Ki-rim, Jeon Hyun-ouk pinged an inch-perfect cross into the box to be met by the head of Lee Ki-je in the 50th minute. Neither side could find a winner with Gimpo coming close from a late corner.


Previous Meetings

This will be the first competitive meeting between the two sides. After edging past Jeonnam Dragons and then Andong Science University on penalties last season, the Yellows were knocked out of the 2019 FA Cup by Suwon Samsung Bluewings. Gimpo have already featured in this season's tournament, requiring extra time to defeat K4-side Paju Citizen 4-2.

Team News

Tinkering was the order of the day in Gwangju's back line on Friday night. Park Jin-seop regularly changed his back four last season without much change to his side's rhythm. However, perhaps the line-up against Pohang saw one too many changes with Yoon Pyeong-gook culpable for the Steelers' opener and Lee Eu-deeum's quality from set pieces severely missed. While Lee Min-ki was heavily involved, you naturally lose some balance having a right-footed player at left back having to cut back onto his preferred foot. Lim Min-hyuk entered the field early in the second half as the Yellows tried to salvage a point. Lim will be expecting to start against K3 side Gimpo in a more attacking line-up. Winter signing Marcos Urena will also be craving a start alongside Kim Ju-gong. The Costa Rican is yet to score for his new club.

The Adversary

Gimpo Citizen finished third in Korea's fourth tier last season behind Gyeongju Citizen and FA Cup semi-finalists Hwaseong. Thanks to the league's restructuring efforts, Gimpo now reside in K3 and have enjoyed a mixed start to life in the new 16-team league. Having played the top four in their opening six games, Ko Jeong-woon will feel his side are capable of moving up the table once some kinder fixtures come their way. Winning at a highly-fancied Gyeongju HNP two weeks ago thanks to goals from Yun Sang-hyeok and Ko Min-sung, Gimpo are unbeaten in five having scored in every game but one this season. Last season the citizen club showed their defensive organisation winning six games in a row by a one-goal margin each time. Kim Yang-woo stands as the team's current top scorer, having bagged twice on the road already this season.

Lim Min-hyeok will be hoping to start this weekend

What To Watch - Gwangju's second string

Much has been made of the return of Gwangju's wingers Willyan and Eom Won-sang from injury this season to coincide with their upturn in fortunes. Should their back up choices out wide Kim Ju-gong and Kim Jeong-hwan be afforded their chance to shine, it could be of much help to their league form. A good performance in the cup could also provide Urena with a confidence boost. Considering the two-league gap between the Yellows and Gimpo, manager Park may as well rest Felipe who registers as the second-most fouled player in K League 1. Heo Yool, who recently joined U19 national team training, could see action from the bench.


FNR

Prediction - Gwangju 2-0 Gimpo Citizen

Despite pretty much the same squad struggling in a memorable clash with Andong Science University last season, Gwangju's players hoping to impress for a push towards a K League 1 start should see them edge past Gimpo. It will all depend on attitude. 

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