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Daejeon Citizen - Suwon Samsung Bluewings Preview

Are Daejeon Citizen to become the Korean Peninsula’s first yo-yo club?

This weekend sees Daejeon make trip north to Gyeonggi-do to take on Suwon Samsung Bluewings, a game which is, historically, a derby. 

Folklore dictates that these two sides are fierce rivals but, in reality, the two clubs are so far apart that, through the eyes of Suwon supporters at least, it could be assumed that Daejeon aren’t taken too seriously.
Who: Suwon Samsung Bluewings FC vs Daejeon Citizen FC
When: Sunday 26th April 4pm
Where: Suwon World Cup Stadium, Suwon, South Korea
K League Classic Round 8
Broadcasts: T Broadcast Suwon, Naver, Daum, Afreeca TV

There is such a stark contrast between the two clubs that the once heated rivalry has petered out to little more than just another match for Suwon. 

Daejeon fans will be desperate for their side to notch their first win of the season against their conglomerate-owned rivals. 

For Suwon, it’s just another three points at stake in their bid to break through the glass ceiling and mount a serious challenge for the K League Classic title. 

For Daejeon, this term, it’s merely about staying in the division and avoid the “yo-yo club” tag.

The 2013 K League season saw Daejeon fall through the trap door and into the newly spawned K League Challenge. 

A new coach with fresh ideas, coupled with some luck in the transfer market, saw Daejeon make an instant return to the top flight. 

Brazilian striker Adriano lead the way for Citizen, netting 24 goals – enough to ensure himself as the league’s top goal scorer.

Now, back in the big time, Daejeon are struggling. A sluggish start and some turgid performances have left them playing catch-up with less than 10 games played. 

Yet to register a win, Daejeon’s trip to Big Bird will surely be all about damage limitation. Suwon’s last home league game was the 5-1 demolition of FC Seoul, whilst Daejeon are yet to find the net away from home thus far.

If Daejeon are to beat the drop, it will be through points taken from other teams circling the drain, not against the Champions League-chasing heavyweights. 

However, it has to be said that in the last three games, although Daejeon weren’t able to pick up their first win of the season, there has been an upturn in terms of their performances. 

A spirited performance against Ulsan three weeks ago saw Daejeon pick up their first point of the campaign in a 1-1 draw, before a trip to FC Seoul saw them leave the capital unlucky after a narrow defeat thanks to a late FC Seoul winner. 

Last weekend’s visit of Pohang Steelers saw Citizen hit the woodwork on three occasions during a plucky performance.

Although it is much too early to be drawn to league standings, a win for Daejeon would see them draw level on points with fellow-strugglers Busan I’Park. A hefty gap between the two sides at this stage could further worsen Daejeon’s survival chances. 

Likewise, a win for Suwon could see the gap shortened on league leaders Jeonbuk Hyundai.

Previous Meetings

Daejeon’s last meeting with Suwon was in July 2013 where the Bluewings triumphed with a 3-1 win at Big Bird. 

Goals from Jeong Dae-se, Ristic, and an own goal from Lee Woong-hee gave Suwon a three goal cushion in side half an hour before Joao Paulo notched a consolation for the visitors.

Things weren’t exactly much better in the reverse fixture either, despite Daejeon taking the lead. 

Picture: 20th April 2013, Daejeon Citizen 1-4 Suwon Samsung Bluewings

Lee Woong-hee was on the scoresheet again, but this time in the correct end. 

The now FC Seoul defender put Daejeon ahead after just eight minutes only to see a brace from Jeong Dae-se on 18 minutes and 26 minutes respectively turn the game on its head. 

Ristic made it three on the stroke of half time before Jeong Dae-se completed his hat-trick in injury time.
Daejeon’s last win against Suwon dates back to May 5th 2012. 

Belgian striker Kevin Oris put Daejeon ahead after 23 minutes before Montenegrin striker Radnoncic levelled just after the half hour mark. 

But, Oris was on hand again to seal the points for Citizen with a dramatic last-minute winner. 

Anything remotely similar that result would leave the Daejeon faithful utterly delighted.

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