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Preview: Daejeon Hana Citizen vs Gyeongnam FC

Preview: Daejeon Hana Citizen vs Gyeongnam FC K League 2 Round 14
Daejeon Hana Citizen welcome Gyeongnam FC to Purple Arena on Saturday with the hope of reclaiming top spot in the Hana 1Q K League 2 table. A Purples win and a defeat for Suwon FC away to Bucheon FC 1995 would be enough, but Saturday's visitors to Daejeon World Cup Stadium may have other ideas. Gyeongnam FC may only have picked up three wins so far this term, but are only three points behind the playoffs heading into this Round 14 clash.

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Chungnam Asan 1-2 Daejeon Hana Citizen

At a wet and rainy Yi Sun-sin Stadium in Asan, Daejeon Citizen emerged as victors in a 2-1 win over K League 2 strugglers Chungnam Asan. A Kim Seung-seop header got Daejeon up and running on 35 minutes before an Andre Luis penalty on 54 doubled Daejeon's advantage. Former Purple Park Jae-woo was sent off as the right back was the last man back when Andre fell to the deck. Swedish forward Philip Hellquist narrowed the defecit for the hosts on 63 minutes to ensure of a nervy finish but Citizen held on to claim the three points.

Highlights



Gyeongnam FC 1-0 FC Anyang

Gyeongnam, meanwhile, picked up what was just their third win of the season and second at home, by easing past FC Anyang in a 1-0 win. The Reds' first win of the campaign came against the Violets, also with just one goal separating the two teams. On this occasion, Baek Sung-dong grabbed the game's only goal in the 52nd minute, his fourth of the campaign.

Highlights



Previous Meetings

The two sides played out a 2-2 draw earlier in the season with Daejeon having to rescue a point despite holding a 1-0 lead heading into the last five minutes against a 10-man Gyeongnam team. Park Jin-seop put Daejeon in front with 47 on the clock with a goal which appeared to be enough to earn the Purples all three points. However, a frantic end to proceedings saw the game get turned completely on its head; Park Chang-jun on 85 minutes before a calamitous own goal from Yun Kyung-bo gave the hosts the lead. However, Daejeon were awarded a penalty in time added on which was duly tucked away by Andre Luis.

Due to Gyeongnam's two-year stint in K League 1, the previous meetings prior to the aforementioned was back in 2017. Daejeon finished bottom of the table during what turned out to be a disastrous anniversary year. Gyeongnam, meanwhile, were runaway K League 2 Champions. Daejeon picked up a 2-1 win in the most recent meeting at Purple Arena on 16th September 2017, Hwang In-beom and Levan Shengelia on target after Jung Hyeon-cheol had given Gyeongnam the lead. That year, Gyeongnam won the other three meetings.

Overall, there have been 31 encounters between the two teams. Daejeon have just seven wins to Gyeongnam's 12 and 12 draws. In Daejeon, from 14 matches, Daejeon have five wins to four for Gyeongnam and five draws.


Team News

Daejeon are likely to be without Connor Chapman through injury after the former Incheon and Pohang defensive midfielder picked up an injury during the win of Asan. Centre back Lee Woong-hee is due a return but Hwang Do-yeon could well keep his place in the heart of the Purples' defence alongside either Lee Jung-moon or Lee Ji-sol - two of Hwang Sun-hong's U22 options. Kim Ji-hun put in an impressive display against Asan and is likely to keep his place at right back. Wing-back Lee Kyu-ro is a long-term doubt with a fractured shoulder while Park In-hyeok remains suspended and is not due a return until September with four matches remaining on his 10-game ban. However, there could be a debut for Brazilian forward Edinho.

Daejeon Hana Citizen lineup vs. Chungnam Asan, K League 2 Round 13.
For Gyeongnam, Seol Ki-hyeon doesn't have any suspensions to worry about but defenders Bae Seung-jin and Lee Kwang-seon are both one yellow away from a one-match ban. Last time out, backup goalkeeper Hwang Sung-min was given the nod between the sticks due to an injury to Son Jung-hyun. Hwang kept a cleansheet last time out and is expected to keep his place. Brazilian winger Negueba has made five appearances for the Reds this term but only three from the start. The 28-year-old was was an unused substitute against Anyang last week, as was Australian defender Nick Ansell.

Gyeongnam FC starting lineup vs FC Anyang, K League 2 R13.


The Adversary


Despite being tipped as one of the favourites for automatic promotion before the campaign began, Gyeongnam FC sit in seventh place having notched just three wins. Under fledgling gaffer Seol Ki-hyeon, the Reds are, however, on a run of three unbeaten with two draws and a win. Baek Sung-dong is Gyeongnam's top scorer in 2020, the former Suwon FC man bagged the winner at home to FC Anyang last time out. Hwang Il-su, who looked set to join Daejeon during the winter, is among three players all on two assists for the Reds along with on-loan Ulsan wing back Choi Jun and midfielder Jang Hyeok-jin.

Gyeongnam have made the third-fewest number of shots in K League 2 but boast of the second-best shooting accuracy with 39.5% of all attempts on goal finding the target. Daejeon rank first in this regard with 44.4%. The Changwon-based side have largely been set up in a variety of different formations with Coach Seol seemingly searching for a winning formula. A 4-4-2 has been used for 25% of the time, followed by 3-4-3 (14%), 4-2-3-1 (13%) among others. When these two sides met in Changwon in June, the Reds were set up in a 4-4-2 initially but the dismissal of Ha Sung-min with just nine minutes on the clock lead to a reshuffle.

Eulji Lewis  

What To Watch

Daejeon's leaky defence vs Gyeongnam's shot-shy strikers



In terms of recognised, out-and-out strikers, Gyeongnam have the likes of Luc Castaignos, Park Gi-dong, and Uroš Đerić on their books, among others, but between them have mustered a mere four goals. Gyeongnam's goals-for tally isn't bad with 16, but a lack of cutting edge may be what costs them this term. Daejeon, meanwhile, don't seem to have too much trouble in finding the back of the net. Brazilian forward Andre has 10 to his name so far and the team as a whole have 22. But it is at the other end where the Purples have struggled a bit. It will be interesting to see if Gyeongnam can take the initiative and make the most of Daejeon's inexperienced back line, or whether the Purples can continue with the apparent 'we'll score one more than you' approach.

Prediction

Two of Gyeongnam's three league wins this term have come against FC Anyang - the league's basement side. Thus far, under first-year gaffer Seol Ki-hyeon, the Reds haven't quite lived up to expectations. Daejeon have to a degree, despite their insistence on going a goal behind. If Daejeon can build on last week's win over Asan then Hwang Sun-hong and his men should be able to pick up the win.

#KLUPod: Preseason Prediction Check In


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