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playoffs

Preview: Bucheon v Seoul E-Land

Let's see if the girls can get as many people to this article as they will to the stadium.
Fans of K-Pop girl group performances will be glad to know that Yeoja Chingu (Girlfriend) will be playing the Bucheon Stadium this Saturday at 4:45pm. As pre and post show entertainment the girls have got together with the K-League Challenge to arrange two teams to play a match. The poster seems to have got the arrangement slightly back to front by highlighting the football match over the music but we all know who the majority of the crowd will be there to see.

Apparently Bucheon reckon 'That Guy 1', 'Foreign Bloke' and 'That Guy 2' deserve a higher billing than Girlfriend
Last season Bucheon opened their season with a half-time show from Hello Venus in front of more than 13,000 (about 10% of whom actually stayed for the second half) so it'll be interesting to see if Girlfriend can draw more. They look like they added about 15,000 to the Daejeon crowd when they played there in Week 1 so we might see a new record for Bucheon this time around.

Actually focussing on the football for a minute, this will be Bucheon's first home game of the season and they go into the match having played one and won one thanks to a 1-0 victory over Chungju. Of course, in their opening game E-Land could only draw 0-0 with the bees, but followed that up with a decent 2-0 win at home to Daejeon. This should be a pretty good match-up then.

Previous Meetings:


Joo Min-kyu bagged a hat-trick on E-Land's first visit to Bucheon
Looking back at the match-ups between the teams last season we can see that E-Land had the upper hand with two wins and a draw in the four meetings. Bucheon were convincing winners in the other meet-up though so there's plenty of potential for them to take all three points.

25/4/15 Seoul E-Land 0 - 0 Bucheon

This is probably still a strong contender for the worst game of football I have ever seen as both sides struggled to create anything more than a strong sense of existential angst among players and fans alike. A brief debate ensued about whether football should be stopped but the K-League decided to persist.

3/6/15 Bucheon 0 - 3 Seoul E-Land 
Joo Min-kyu (3)

With E-Land hitting top form this was a pretty close one for 45 minutes but in the second half the visitors stepped up the pace and steamrollered their hosts thanks to a Joo Min-kyu hat-trick.

16/8/15 Bucheon 3 - 1 Seoul E-Land
Hwang Sin-yeong, Lee Hak-min, Parana; Tarabai

On the return visit Bucheon extract revenge with a pretty comprehensive victory. E-Land took a first half lead but Bucheon turned the match on it's head with three goals in the second half as E-Land struggled to cope with Lukian and Parana.

25/10/15 Seoul E-Land 1 - 0 Bucheon
Tarabai

To close out the series E-Land take all three points at home in a tight game thanks to a late winner from Tarabai.

Team News:


Everton came off the bench to snatch a winner for Bucheon last week
Martin Rennie has named the same starting eleven for the past two matches so I would expect him to go with the same side again after a reasonably impressive showing against Daejeon. That means the front three should once again be Belusso, Joo Min-kyu and Tarabai. Ahn Tae-hyun looked promising as a sub when he came on last week but I don't expect him to start games just yet. Tarabai has a decent record against Bucheon and he looked to be getting back to his best last week so he should be looking forward to this one.

Bucheon have lost Rodrigo Parana from last season and, of course, the multi-colour-booted Almir was allowed to leave. Lukian is still in the ranks and he caused E-Land a fair amount of trouble last season. Last week he was partnered with Brazilian import Waguininho but it was substitute Everton that made an immediate impact off the bench, scoring within 2 minutes of his introduction. Whether that will be enough to win him a start this time remains to be seen. In any case, it's likely that the main threat will come from the Brazilians.

Prediction:


Belusso had a pretty good record against Bucheon last season; he could be the deciding factor.
Quite difficult to call this one and I expect it to be a tight match despite the goals scored in the equivalent fixtures last season. In 270 minutes of football neither team has conceded a goal yet so I don't expect there to be a flood of scoring. One goal might be enough to edge it and it might come down to whose Brazilians get the stroke of luck on the day. I have a feeling that E-Land might just edge it and since Belusso has yet to open his account I'll go with him to bag the only goal in a 1-0 win. The Brazilian knows how to score against Bucheon as he hit the net three times last season against them while playing for Gangwon.

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