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Preview: Ansan Mugunghwa v Seoul E-Land

Why are Ansan now named after a train? Have the Police taken over the railways?
The prawn-sandwich brigade might all be distracted by the goings-on at Suwon on Saturday but fans of 'proper' football will know there's only one super match taking place at 3pm on Saturday and it's going to be at the Ansan Wa~ as first plays second in the K-League Challenge. Ansan have been going like a train since they changed their name to Mugunghwa and whatever happens they'll still be top of the league come Saturday night as they have a four-point cushion over their rivals. E-Land are still unbeaten in the league though so this should be a pretty good matchup between the two sides.

Previous Meetings:

The meetings last season in this one were pretty even with three of the four ending in draws and the other one being won by a single goal. There have also been a fair few penalties in meetings of the two sides so it might not be a surprise to see a spot-kick awarded in this one again.

18/4/15 Ansan 2 - 2 Seoul E-Land
Ko Kyung-min, Shin Hyung-min; Joo Min-kyu(2)

This was the game where Joo Min-kyu announced himself to E-Land fans with a pretty impressive double either side of two goals from Ansan one of which was a hotly disputed penalty.

28/6/15 Ansan 0 - 1 Seoul E-Land
Joo Min-kyu

Joo Min-kyu was the hero again here as he gave E-Land the win with the only goal of the game in what had been a fairly even encounter.

E-Land celebrate their win at Ansan last Summer
29/8/15 Seoul E-Land 2 - 2 Ansan
Johnson, Joo Min-kyu; Choi Young-jun, Seo Dong-hyun

All the action in this one came at the end of the match. Cho Young-jun had opened the scoring for Ansan in 62 minutes but Ryan Johnson (remember him?) scored his one and only goal for the club to make it 11 after 82 minutes. A 93rd minute penalty from Seo Dong-hyeon looked as if it had won it for Ansan but within seconds of the restart Joo Min-kyu had levelled things.

23/9/15 Seoul E-Land 1 - 1 Ansan 
Tarabai; Seo Dong-hyeon

The late show once again as a late goal and an even later goal split the difference between the two sides in their final meeting of the season. Seo Dong-hyeon bagged an 82nd minute effort but Tarabai picked up a soft-ish 95th minute penalty to rescue a point.

Line-ups and Key men:

E-Land gave a few fringe players a run out midweek but I expect to see them back to full strength in this one. That should see Tarabai and Joo Min-kyu re-instated to the starting eleven. Joomes got off the mark last week against Goyang and apologised to his team-mates for leaving it so long into the season. He seems to enjoy scoring against Ansan so he might be key again in this one.  Presumably the 4-3-3 will remain but Belusso is apparently suspended for this one so there will be a question on whether Ahn Tae-hyun, Cho Woo-jin or Kim Min-je takes his place. I'd be tempted to go with the latter to see if it can help with width and delivery into the box but his goal midweek might be enough to convince Rennie to go with Ahn.

Gyeongnam didn't really know what hit them last weekend but Ansan looked on top form
For Ansan, Ko Kyung-min and Seo Dong-hyeon are gone but that hasn't stopped them banging in the goals with 12 so far in six matches. There doesn't appear to be one main goalscorer in the side with the goals being spread out across the team. Last week's 5-0 win against Gyeongnam had five different goalscorers. There don't appear to be too many weaknesses in their team so it's going to be a tough match for E-Land.

Prediction:
Will Ansan's fan be singing at full-time?
It's been pretty hard to separate these teams so far and I doubt that there will be much between them on Saturday either. Form probably slightly favours Ansan and they definitely looked impressive in demolishing Gyeongnam last weekend. E-Land have looked less convincing in their matches but nevertheless have notched up some decent results, especially against the bigger teams in the division. They're not conceding too many goals which is definitely important but the strikeforce is still to really hit its stride so far. That being the case I'm going to plump for a 1-1 draw.

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