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Gyeongnam face a tough away trip against an improving Gimcheon Sangmu


Both Gimcheon Sangmu and Gyeongnam FC will be brimming with confidence come what kick-off time on Sunday afternoon.  The two sides recorded well-earnt victories in the previous round of fixtures over Chungnam Asan and Bucheon FC 1995 respectively.  It wasn't pretty from Gimcheon but they battled hard for three points on the road, whereas Gyeongnam raised a few eyebrows with an eye-catching display scoring three goals and putting in an assured performance.  This contest has the potential to be a cracker.  KLU's Gyeongnam FC columnist James Edrupt looks at what could be in store in this one.


Match: Gimcheon Sangmu vs Gyeongnam FC.
Venue: Gimcheon Stadium. Gimcheon.
Kickoff: Sunday, May 2nd; 2021; 13:30 (KST)

Recent Form

Gyeongnam playing their way in to form

Seol KI-hyeon's men swept aside a poor Bucheon FC 1995 outfit by 3 goals to nil last time out, with all three goals coming after half-time.  Much maligned striker Lee Jeong-hyeop opened his league account for Gyeongnam rifling home with his left foot on 49 minutes.  Substitute Brazilian winger Hernandes then turned on the style bagging himself a brace with goals after 76 and 90 minutes to ensure the hosts bagged all three points.  Gyeongnam as a result leap-frogged Bucheon who fall to the bottom of K League 2.

Could Lee Jeong-hyeop and Hernandes fire the Reds up the table?

Gimcheon are building some nice momentum

The Army outfit came out victorious in a tricky away clash with in form Chungnam Asan 2-1.  Gimcheon came out of the blocks well and opened the scoring after only four minutes.  24-year-old striker Lee Keun-ho, in only his second appearance with the goal, after he was first to react to a knockdown in the box.  Midfielder Kim In-gyun leveled matters for Asan as half time was approaching with a textbook downward header.  However, Gimcheon's pressure was too much for Asan rearguard to withstand, and with just eighteen minutes remaining youngster Oh Hyeon-gyu finished with aplomb after being slipped in by a deft Kang Ji-hoon through ball.  The win for Gimcheon means they have won three out of their last four matches and look to be hitting their stride as we approach the hotter months of the season.

The Gimcheon squad is just starting to gel



Team News

Gimcheon Sangmu

Manager Kim Tae-wan will have to do without the services of Lee Myung-jae who will serve the second game of his three-match suspension.  Moon Seon-min, Kwon Kyung-won, and Park Yong-woo have all been injured since the beginning of the season and are unlikely to play for the club before returning to their respective K League 1 clubs this summer.  There could be a familiar face for all those concerned with Gyeongnam FC if right back Woo Ju-sung plays for Gimcheon.  The one-club man is in his second season with the military outfit after starting his career at The Reds in 2014. 


Gyeongnam FC

Manager Seol Ki-hyeon dropped Brazilian winger Hernandes to the bench last weekend against Bucheon FC 1995.  After a lackluster first-half display, the pacey winger was introduced at half-time and proved his manager wrong by scoring twice.  He tormented the Bucheon backline for the half he was on the pitch.  He will be hoping for a starting berth this Sunday.  Midfield enforcer Lim Min-hyeok who had just forged a promising relationship with Jang Hyeok-jin looked like he got a nasty-looking injury against Busan IPark a fortnight ago.  He could be set to miss a few more weeks until he can return to action.  Striker Lee Jeong-hyeop opened his league account for Gyeongnam last time out and he will be looking to continue that form into the clash.  The Reds have no other injury or suspension concerns going into the contest.


Who To Watch

Gimcheon Sangmu

Jung Seung-hyun

Jung Seung-hyun (center) will be busy keeping Gyeongnam's front men quiet

The 6 foot plus central defender is the first name on the manager's team sheet.  Jung's reading of the game is superb and the Ulsan Hyundai man will be key this Sunday.  Jung is an Asian Champions League winner only last December. The commanding defender comes with a wealth of experience at this level.  More recently Jung plied his trade over in Japan, where he signed with J League 1 side Sagan Tosu in 2017.  After two seasons he moved to fellow J League 1 side Kashima Antlers.  He moved back to his native Korea in 2020 and signed with the club he started his career at Ulsan Hyundai. 

He will be issued with the task of keeping Lee Jeong-hyeop quiet throughout the clash.  He is always a threat from set plays and has one goal to his name this campaign, a consolation effort away against Jeonnam Dragons in a 2-1 defeat.  


Gyeongnam

Hernandes

Hernandes (2nd left) made an instant impact off the bench with a brace


The Brazilian attacking winger/attacker really had the bit between his teeth against Bucheon last Saturday.  He was bitterly disappointed at being dropped from the starting eleven so he felt he had a point to prove to his manager Seol Ki-hyeon.  The athletic, powerful Brazilian was just too much to handle for the Bucheon rearguard.  With confidence high, the former Jeonnam Dragons man will be hoping to continue that form into Sunday's contest.  The partnership with fellow striker Lee Jeong-hyeop looked like it was just starting to click.  It'll be interesting to see how this develops over the next few matches.  They will both need to be on top of their game if they are to get any joy out of Gimcheon's defense Sunday afternoon.  If there is anyone on the Gyeongnam team to produce a piece of magic from somewhere it could be from the Brazilian.


Prediction

Gimcheon and Gyeongnam produced very promising displays last weekend.  Both squads have quality throughout so it'll be a tight and competitive contest.  Looking at where both sides are in the K League 2 standings they would want to be higher up the table.  After an indifferent start from both these clubs to their 2021 campaigns, a very close contest is in store this Sunday.  With home advantage, however, Gimcheon Sangmu may just have too much quality in key areas and edge it, but not by much.




FNR










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