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Preview: Gwangju FC vs Gangwon FC


Gwangju FC host Gangwon FC in their supporters first opportunity to witness live football in the confines of their new home. The Yellows come into the game on the back of two positive performances on the road, while Gangwon visit having slipped down to seventh after no wins in four K League 1 games. 

Last Time Out

Pohang Steelers 1-1 Gwangju FC

In a rain-sodden Steelyard Gwangju looked to have pulled off an upset but were denied by Go Young-joon strike. The match went underway in questionable circumstances with the conditions at best undesirable but also dangerous. Felipe gave the Yellows the lead from the spot on the hour mark but Gwangju's concentration deserted them with moments to spare. Doo Hyeon-seok claimed his first minutes since May.



FC Seoul 2-0 Gangwon FC

Han Seung-gyu dominated the midfield and added to Jung Han-min's first-half strike to seal all three points as Seoul begin life without Choi Yong-soo. Youngster Choi struck from outside the box just before the break and in truth Gangwon never really looked competent in making a comeback.


Previous Meetings

Gwangju will desire revenge of sorts having seen Gangwon knock them out of the FA Cup as recently as July by a 4-2 scoreline. Three days earlier in the league and the Yellows took another hammering up on the East Coast to Kim Byung-soo's free-flowing outfit. Three score draws preceded this in 2017 before Gwangju's last win over Gangwon in 2014.

Team News

Neither team has any suspension worries heading into Sunday's game but both managers do have selection headaches to ponder. Lee Eu-ddeum will be hoping to prove his match fitness in time to make a first start for the Yellows since early July. He is integral for Park Jin-seop when it comes to quality on set pieces. Han Kook-young is still to feature for Gangwon since his nasty looking head injury sustained in the draw at home to Sangju Sangmu. He is undoubtedly vital in terms of the speed of Gangwon's transition from defence to attack. 

What To Watch

Han Hee-hoon a calming presence 

Since making his debut in mid July, former Daegu man Han Hee-hoon has been employed in a couple of positions already despite making just four appearances. Unfavoured at the start of the season, winter signing Han is yet to taste defeat in the three away games he has featured in so far. Either playing in a central midfield trio with more offensively-minded players such as captain Yeo Reum or in a central defensive role following the suspension of regular Rustam Ashurmatov, the 30-year-old's experience has been invaluable. With the Uzbek defender returning to contention for a starting berth, it will be interesting to see whether Han gets dropped to the bench or if his handling of Stanislav Iljutcenko last weekend will work in his favour.

Change of tact for Gangwon?

Kim Byung-soo's tactics have drawn plenty of plaudits from K League fans this season but question marks are bound to appear when despite this pleasing play his side have dropped in the bottom half of the table. With the split quickly approaching, it appears all is to play for in terms of sixth place. Most worrying for Gangwon fans will have been their side's performance in defeat to Seoul last time out. The usually bright attacking trio of Cho Jae-wan, Kim Seung-dae and Ko Moo-yeol didn't work many options and it could be time to opt for another formation with two up front.

FNR


Prediction - Gwangju FC 2-1 Gangwon FC

Gwangju FC look comfortably set away from relegation with only twelfth place heading down this season. The relief was palpable following a huge victory away to strugglers Incheon United a couple of weeks ago, before the rain helped level the gap in quality between them and Pohang last weekend. With all their big hitters back fit, Gwangju should have enough to see off a Gangwon side whose only away league win also came at Incheon this term.

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