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Preview: FC Seoul vs Gwangju FC

Preview: FC Seoul vs Gwangju FC K League 1 Round 2
FC Seoul will look to bounce back form their opening day defeat by overcoming newly promoted Gwangju FC this Sunday in K League 1 Round 2 at Seoul World Cup Stadium. Gwangju also suffered defeat last time out and so will be keen to pick up their first K League 1 win since 2017.

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Gangwon FC 3-1 FC Seoul

Despite taking the lead through Park Dong-jin, FC Seoul fell to a 3-1 defeat away to Gangwon FC last Sunday. Seoul never seemed to recover from the injury to centre back Kim Nam-chun, who took a hit to the face in an aerial battle with Kim Young-bin, and endured a torrid second half.

Neither Ko Kwang-min nor Kim Won-sik were able to get near Kim Ji-hyun for Gangwon's equaliser, as the 2019 Young Player of the Year slid in to make it 1-1. That was before Cho Jae-wan turned the game on its head with an early contender for goal of the season, a cheeky back-heeled effort from inside the box. Then, just a few minutes later, with Seoul pushing to find an equaliser, Gangwon hit Seoul on the counter with 'Linebreaker' Kim Seung-dae sealing the win.

Highlights



Gwangju FC 0-2 Seongnam FC

A quickfire Yang Dong-hyun brace served as a rude awakening for newly promoted Gwangju FC last Saturday night. The veteran striker, who was making his first K League appearance since 2017, found the back of the net just four minutes into his Magpies debut, heading home Yoo In-soo's cross from the left, six yards out. Just seven minutes later though and Seongnam were two-goals-to-the-good, Kim Dong-hyun slipped the ball into the feet of Yang who, turned and steered the ball into the bottom corner - typical of the 34-year-old.

Post-match Analysis: here

Highlights

 

Previous Meetings

Sunday's meeting will be the first since September 2017, the season Gwangju were relegated to K League 2. The most recent encounter ended in a 4-1 FC Seoul win at Gwangju World Cup Stadium; Wanderson Maceda gave the Yellows a 4th-minute lead from the spot, before goals from Yoon Seung-won and Hwang Hyun-soo turned the game on its head. A Lee Han-do own goal just before half time made it three before Osmar added a fourth on 67.

That season Seoul picked up two wins to Gwangju's one, the only meeting in the capital ended in a 2-1 Seoul victory in March that year. Cho Ju-young got Gwangju up and running on six minutes only for Park Chu-young and Dejan to convert penalties on 63 and 90 minutes respectively to seal the points for what was then for Hwang Sun-hong's side.

Overall, there have been just 15 previous meetings between FC Seoul and Gwangju FC. Seoul have 11 wins to Gwangju's two and two draws. In the capital, Seoul have never lost to Gwangju with seven wins and a draw.

Team News

FC Seoul centre back Kim Nam-chun sustained a facial injury during the 3-1 loss to Gangwon last weekend and so may be forced to sit out Sunday's visit of Gwangju. However, it has been reported in the press this week that the injury is not serious and so the 31-year-old could be available for the weekend. Seoul's second half defensive display against Gangwon will have been a cause for concern for Seoul manager Choi Yong-soo who is down to the bare bones at the back with Kim Won-gyun also a long-term doubt. The 28-year-old hasn't featured in over a year and Lee Woong-hee was sold to Daejeon Hana Citizen.

Kim Won-sik came on at half time but with Seoul's defensive performance during the second half in Chuncheon leaving a lot to be desired, Choi Yong-soo may want to rethink his options. Osmar could drop into the back three with Ju Se-jong as the holding midfielder and Han Chan-hee in central midfield. Han, as well as Brazilian striker Adriano, were involved in Thursday's pre-Gwangju press conference, suggesting that the pair will be involved. Choi also made reference to the possibility of there being wholesale changes to the team to give those hungry for first team football a runout. Park Dong-jin's impending move to Sangju Sangmu as part of his military service could pave the way for 32-year-old Brazilian to make his first K League appearance since April 2019.

FC Seoul starting lineup vs Gangwon FC, K League 1 Round 1
For the visitors, Gwangju FC, manager Park Jin-sub may also want to re-think his team selection following the 2-0 defeat to Seongnam last Saturday. Coach Park opted for 20-year-old Kim Jin-hyeon on the right flank, only to bring the first-year professional off after 37 minutes for former FC Seoul midfielder Lim Min-hyeok. Fellow midfielder Park Jung-soo may be recalled to sit in front of the back four. Meanwhile, Brazilian winger Willyan was conspicuous by his absence from the match day squad last week.

Gwangju FC lineup vs Seongnam FC, K League 1 R1

Eulji Lewis

The Adversary


Newly promoted Gwangju FC experienced a K League 1 return to forget last time out, conceding twice in the opening 11 minutes to Seongnam FC. Manager Park Jin-sub set his side up in a 4-4-2 for much of the opening day defeat to the Magpies, apart from a spell in the second half when the Yellows shifted to a 4-1-4-1 with Park Jung-soo as the holding midfielder, Lim Min-heok on the left flank and Du Hyeon-seok on the right. Away from home, and against a team that will be determined to bounce back from an opening day defeat of their own, Coach Park may well send his team out at Sangam in a similar formation.

The full back areas will be where Seoul need to keep an eye on. Right back Park Jun-hee ranked third for the number of progressive passes (passes made that are 30 metres long or more) made on the opening day with 18, and third per 90 minutes. Meanwhile, on his opposite flank, Lee Eu-ddeum boasted of the third-best progressive passing accuracy in the division from last weekend.


What To Watch

Felipe vs Seoul's Back Three


K League 2's top scorer for 2019, Felipe offers a physical presence in the Yellows' attack. The battle between Felipe and the likes of 18-year-old centre back Kim Ju-sung and Osmar will be something to keep an eye on. Seoul will have to be prepared to get tight to the full backs and stop crosses coming in for Felipe. Meanwhile, with wholesale changes possible for Seoul, but with a lack of options at the back, it will interesting to see how Seoul cope with the South Jeolla side's star man.

Prediction

Seoul will be determined to get off the mark for the season. In Thursday's press conference, Choi Yong-soo said that he does not want a repeat of the Gangwon performance and said that he may give other players the chance to earn a place in the team. Those on the fringes will be determined to put on a good display and get Seoul their first win over the season. Gwangju's lack of strength in depth may be what holds them back this season. Home win.


Where to Watch

Germany, Austria, Switzerland - Sport Digital, 11:55am Central European Summer Time

Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia - Arena Sport, 12:00noon Central European Summer Time

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