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Preview: Gyeongnam looking for a change in fortunes against an in form FC Anyang


Gyeongnam FC welcomes a high-flying FC Anyang outfit to the Changwon Football Center on Saturday evening.  The hosts come into the clash in indifferent form only winning twice in their last seven matches in contrast to their opponents who are in a rich vein of form, only losing once in nine games.  A win for the visitors could move them top of K League 2 if other results go in their favor.  Seol Ki-hyeon's men have to hit form soon or their chances of a playoff berth will slip away from them.  Anyang will be looking for maximum points to remain in the hunt for automatic promotion into K League 1.  K League United's Gyeongnam FC's columnist James Edrupt previews the clash.

Match: Gyeongnam FC vs FC Anyang
Venue: Changwon Football Center. Changwon.
Kickoff: Saturday, July 31st, 2021; 20:00 (KST)

Recent Form

Gyeongnam look all over the place defensively

Gyeongnam suffered a narrow 2-1 reversal away against Chungnam Asan last Sunday evening.  The Reds should have picked up a battling point but for a last gasp penalty miss by leading marksman Willyan.  It was Seol Ki-hyeon's men who took the lead as early as the seventh minute through the unlikely source of right-back Chae Gwang-hoon whose cross lopped in over Park Han-geun.  The hosts were to strike back just five minutes before the interval through midfielder Kim Kang-guk for his first-ever professional goal.  It was a goal he won't forget in a hurry either.  A sublime strike into the top corner from the edge of the box as the ball bounced up knee-high.  The winner came from center-back Han Yong-su for his second goal in consecutive matches just four minutes into the second half.  Han got in between the Gyeongnam backline and powered in a header from six yards after a free-kick was swung into the box.  The drama was not over yet and in stoppage time Hwang Il-soo was fouled in the area and a spot-kick was awarded to Gyeongnam.  Brazilian midfielder Willyan stepped up but saw his effort saved by man of the match Park Han-geun.  The win for the hosts meant they drew level on points with Gyeongnam on 26.

FC Anyang remain in good spirits despite a loss at home

The Violets suffered only their first loss in nine last time out against an in-form Daejeon Hana Citizen outfit.  Daejeon had the majority of possession in the first half and the Purples created numerous opportunities all of which they squandered.  The visitors' pressure was to pay off when their captain Park Jin-sub rammed home a spot-kick on forty-nine minutes after wing-back Lee Jong-hyeon was bundled over in the box.  The hosts piled on the pressure and eventually got a leveler through substitute Jeong Jun-yeon with just nine minutes left on the clock.  Jeong leaped highest from a deep swung-in corner and nodded the ball in from close range.  However, Daejeon were to have other ideas when leading goal-scorer Park In-hyeok headed home the winner on eighty-six minutes from four yards out.  A chance he couldn't miss being left unmarked in the penalty box.  FC Anyang will feel disappointed with the result but will remain positive as they put in a good display despite the loss.   

Team News

Both of Gyeongnam's recognized center backs in Lee Kwang-seon and Kim Myeong-jun came off injured last time out so it's unclear if either of them will feature on Saturday.  The latter came off after only half an hour, which is a cause for concern.  They will be assessed during the week.  Long-term absentee Lim Min-hyuk has been on the bench the last few games but has looked very lively when on the pitch.  Lim will be hoping for a starting berth very soon.  With key player Hernandes out for three to four weeks due to personal reasons, other players in the squad will have to raise their game to fill his boots.  New signing Yu Kang-hyun started and looked very promising.  He tired in the second half and was replaced, but Yu looked good making his first start.  Manager Seol Ki-hyeon is under immense pressure due to their poor performances and at times strange team selections.  Seol will be hoping that come Saturday evening his team go out there and at least show the Gyeongnam faithful they can live with the big boys in this league.  

Gyeongnam FC's manager Seol Ki-hyeon is a man under scrutiny right now

FC Anyang have had the luxury of having a week off due to covid reasons.  So the majority of the squad will be well-rested and raring to go this Saturday.  They are in third place on 36 points with ten wins, six draws, and five losses.  Their success has been a team effort and also a distribution of the goals throughout the squad.  Jonathan Moya has seven, Kim Kyung-jung has five, and Nilson, who is a defender has bagged four.  With Acosty just getting fully match fit they are always capable of scoring goals from all over the park.  Gyeongnam leak goals (28) so the Anyang forwards will be chomping at the bit to get at the hosts' backline.   Anyang play attacking, quick paced football and have 29 goals in 21 games, one of the best goals per game ratio in the league.  Manager Lee Woo-hyung will want his team to be on the front foot and dominate from the first whistle.  Lee will know Gyeongnam aren't in a good place at the moment and he'll be looking to bring back three points north to Anyang.  

FC Anyang gaffer Lee Woo-hyung will be wanting his in-form side to boss proceedings on Saturday

Who to Watch

Baek Sung-dong

If there is ever a time for Baek Sung-dong to show his worth to Gyeongnam FC it's now.  In truth, his performances have never dipped this campaign yet others around the winger have dramatically.  His experience of being in the professional game for years needs to come to fruition.  In terms of the chances he creates for others, this has always been in his game.  The problem lies with the decisiveness of his finishing in and around the penalty area.  Baek has to become more clinical to pull Gyeongnam out of the mire.  He undoubtedly has tonnes of ability, it's now he needs it to come to the fore.  He is the focal point of all Gyeongnam's attacks.  The diminutive Baek needs to talk and help his teammates through this tough time they currently find themselves in.  

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