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scouting

Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs FC Anyang

In form teams Jeonnam Dragons and FC Anyang will battle it out for the chance to be top of the league in this Saturday's early K League 2 kick-off at the Gwangyang Football Stadium. Joshua Higgins previews the match.


Recent Form

Jeonnam Dragons DLWWW
FC Anyang LDWWW

The Dragons have catapulted themselves up the league table with a string of wins thanks to a combination of their organized defence, and bringing on fresh legs late on in the game to terrorize a tired back line. The winning goals from the last three games were timed in the 90th, 84th, and 89th minute, cementing manager Jeon Kyung-jun's belief that his tactics are working, with Alex and Balotelli in particular benefiting from the late substitutions while they work on their match fitness.

Anyang are surprising everyone with their recent form, picking up 10 points from their last four games, including wins over Seoul E-land and Busan IPark, winning half of their eight games so far this season. In fact, the Violets have almost already matched their win total for the whole of last season, after picking up only six wins in 2020.
FC Anyang will certainly be wary of Jeonnam's ability to score late on in the game, and Alex and Balotelli's link up play has been only been improving over the past few games, which could mean we see a quite defensive display from the Violets, but they have been a cautious team of late so this tactic could suit them well, especially against a Dragons team who struggle to break down defensive sides and tend to do better on the break. 

The Dragons will be hoping they can draw out and separate Anyang's back three from their midfield, so that the likes of Lee Jong-ho, Alex, and Samuel can drive into those spaces. Both these teams are building their season on defence, so we likely won't see a cavalier attitude from either side, but an early goal could open up the game enough to see some end to end football, especially late on.


FNR

Who to Watch

Alex Martins Ferreira


Jeonnam's Alex has been in fine form and his fitness has improved dramatically after spending the 2020 season without a club. The Brazilian's ability to open up defences, as he did against Busan for Balotelli's winner, may prove crucial in this game. 

Alex was brought to the Gwangyang Stadium to address the lack of goal threat Jeonnam suffered in the 2020 season, after failing to adequately replace Bruno Baio, who left for Daejeon at the end of the 2019 season. 

Despite never playing in Korea before this season, Alex has plenty of experience in Asia after plying his trade in both Japan and China, and seems to have adapted well to life on the south coast. Manager Jeon Kyung-jun will be hoping he can provide a bit of magic when the Dragons need it most, something they sorely missed last season when they finished outside the playoff places by only one point, mainly down to their inability to create meaningful chances for their forwards.



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