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Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs Ansan Greeners

Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs Ansan Greeners
This Saturday sees Jeonnam Dragons take on Ansan Greeners at the Gwangyang Football Stadium, in the K League 2. Only three points separate the two teams currently sitting in 7th and 8th place respectively. KLU's Joshua Higgins previews the K League 2 early kick-off.

Match: Jeonnam Dragons vs Ansan Greeners
Venue: Gwangyang Football Stadium
Kick-off: 4th July 2020, 18:00 KST
Form: Jeonnam: WLLWW   Ansan: LDWLW

Last Time Out

Jeonnam Dragons 4 - 0 Gyeongnam FC

When the half time whistle blew, this one had 0-0 written all over it, in this third round FA Cup tie. A lack of chances and quality from either team looked as if both managers should be thinking about who will be on penalties after 120 minutes, but manager Jeon Kyung-jun must have said something at half time to wake the Dragon, as they came roaring out and were 1-0 to the good after just three minutes, thanks to a Kim Hyeon-uk finish.

Julian Kristoffersen brought his tally up to three, after converting his second penalty of the season on 61 minutes, and is currently the South Jeolla team's top scorer. Park Chan-yong put the game beyond all doubt when he put away the third goal in the 69th minute, with new boy Oleg Zoteev adding the fourth, on only his second appearance for the club, late into the game on 85 minutes.

Four goals from a team that can't score, four goals in 45 minutes from a team that has managed only five goals in their eight league games this season. The Dragons abandoned their usual 4-3-3 formation and chose to adopt a 3-4-3, giving them more width and more men up top, and after Wednesday's result it's quite possible we will see this formation a lot more going forward from them.


Daejeon Hana Citizen 2 - 0 Ansan Greeners

Daejeon were undoubtedly the favorites in this FA Cup encounter due to their superior league position, and the fact they had already faced each other in K League 2 this year, which resulted in a 1-0 home win for Daejeon.

But the citizen club had to work for this win against an Ansan team that has had relatively good results of late. The first goal came well into the second half  on 57 minutes thanks to Park Jin-seob, and the second was only added late in to injury time from Yun Seong-han.

The plus for the Greeners is that they can now focus 100% on the league and will try to put this loss behind them as soon as possible.

Previous Meetings

Following Jeonnam Dragons' relegation to K League 2 after the 2018 season, and that Ansan was only established in 2016, the teams have only played each other a total of four times, with the Greeners coming out on top with three wins to the Dragons one, scoring a total of eight times across those games and only conceding three.



That solitary win for the Dragons came on the last game of last season when the Dragons denied the Greeners the chance to sneak in to a play off position. Bruno Baio was the driving force behind that win, scoring a brace to end the hopes of the Ansan faithful, despite a late resurgence and consolation goal from Lee Chang-hun in the 96th minute.

Team News

Both teams named relatively strong line-ups in their clashes with K League 2 opposition on Wednesday, seeing it as too good an opportunity to advance to the next round, so we may see some rotation this weekend.

The Dragons will most likely want to continue with a similar eleven that finished that 4-0 demolishing of Gyeongnam, whereas the Greeners will have have to think hard about facing a team that had successfully changed formation and tactics in just the game before.

Neither teams have any new injury concerns to worry about, and the Dragons may welcome back Jo Yun-Hyeong after his dismissal against Daejeon Hana Citizen in round seven, causing him to miss the Suwon FC game.


The Adversary

It's still early days for Ansan's development as a football club, in their three seasons they have had finishes of 9th, 9th, and 5th. Last season, then manager Lim Wan-sup got the Greeners to within a whisker of the playoff positions, which earned him a move to K League 1 club Incheon United.

Currently sitting in 8th position is perhaps a ranking more comfortable to the Greeners, despite that decent finish last year, judging by the quality of their squad. This season Kim Gil-sik's side has failed to impress too much but they did pick up a good win away at Seoul E-Land in Round seven, although that was arguably down to E-Land's catastrophic mistakes, rather than a good performance.

Expectations wouldn't have been too high against more established clubs such as Jeju United and Gyeongnam, but the Greeners would have certainly have seen this as a game that can be won after Jeonnam's recent poor league form, but the FA Cup results may have changed that. They will be hoping new signing Felipe Augusto, who has been enjoying more game time and influence in their latest few games, can truly kick-start his K League career this weekend.

What To Watch

The Dragons racked up four goals against Gyeongnam, their biggest win since April 2017, when they beat Ulsan 5-0, and the first time scoring four goals or more since August 2018. Surely this change of formation will give manager Jeon Kyung-jun the confidence to deploy those tactics again with the belief that, counter to what has been accepted this season, his team can score goals against worthy opposition.

So, what to watch: a likely new found confidence in the Dragons, with the belief that they can, and will, score goals.

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Prediction

The Dragons have faced tough opposition the past few games in Bucheon, Daejeon, and Suwon, so they will be grateful to play a team who are, like them, further down the table.

Just as the Dragons should take faith in their most recent performance, Ansan should probably be wary of, and not underestimate, what confidence can do to a team in football.

Full-time Prediction: Jeonnam Dragons 2 - 0 Ansan Greeners


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