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Preview: Gangwon FC vs Gwangju FC


After ten league matches without a win, relegation-threatened Gangwon FC will be desperate to start reversing their poor form when they host Gwangju FC. The visitors have won three out of their last five, however, and with top half in their sights, will certainly make Friday's game a difficult task for the Bears.


Recent Form

It's not going well for Gangwon. The Bears have gained just two points in their last five games, remain the division's lowest scorers with a total of twelve goals across their twenty matches, and are without a league win since April. Nevertheless, new manager Yoon Jong-hwan is showing signs of implementing a more proactive style for the provincial club, and with new additions now at his disposal, a change in fortune cannot be ruled out.

On the other hand, Gwangju are going about their business steadily. With three wins, one draw and one loss in their last five, they sit in seventh place, only two points away from Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in fourth. Last time out, the Griffins were narrowly defeated 1-0 by Ulsan Hyundai, but they will remain confident for this week's clash against Gangwon based on recent performances.


Team News

Thanks to having a fully fit squad on hand, Yoon Jong-hwan can pick his preferred eleven without stress. Marko Tući may be in line for his first start on Friday, while other new additions Yago Cariello and Yun Il-lok could make their debuts for the club.

For Gwangju, they too have a relatively healthy squad, with nobody a major injury concern. Notably, Beka Mikeltadze may get a chance to make his debut.

Head-to-Head

This is a fixture which doesn't really favour either side involved. There have been 10 draws across the 23 meetings between the clubs, with Gangwon triumphing on six occasions, and Gwangju seven. Having said that, the Bears have only emerged victorious twice in their last ten league matches against the Griffins, though both of those were at home.

What to Watch

Can Gangneung be Gangwon's lucky charm?

After only winning once at their Chuncheon home this year, Gangwon will be hoping that Gangneung can be the location where their season gets back on track. The Bears have already won there this campaign - a penalty shootout victory in the FA Cup over Chungbuk Cheongju FC - so a fresh start in the coastal city in K League 1 competition could be just what the players need. Plus, now there's a new manager in charge, this change of scenery comes at an opportune time.

Will Gwangju extend their unbeaten away run?

Perhaps surprisingly, Gwangju's last two league defeats have came when playing at home. For Lee Jung-hyo's men are enjoying a mini-unbeaten run on their travels, with two draws and one victory in their last three away games. Given Gangwon have the second worst home form in K League 1, the Griffins could well extend their promising form on the road this Friday.

Who to Watch

Lee Jeong-hyeop


It's obvious Gangwon need goalscorers. And, while Lee Jeong-hyeop doesn't exactly provide the clinical edge the Bears are seeking, his strengths were showcased not long ago against Suwon FC. There, the 32-year-old netted his first of the season, then remained a strong presence in attack by linking the play and involving himself in duels. As new attacking additions such as Yago Cariello start to get bedded into the club, Lee Jeong-hyeop needs to show more of the same qualities going forward, with any potential upturn in his form something that may conceivably give Gangwon a short term boost in their survival hopes.


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