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Preview: Busan IPark vs FC Anyang


Busan takes on FC Anyang as they continue their run of games at the Gudeok on Saturday. Busan will be looking to keep the pressure on Gyeongnam as they seek the automatic promotion place while Anyang will be looking to keep in the playoff spots. Anyang comes in on a mediocre run of form of 1 win, 3 draws, and 1 loss. Busan comes in on a slightly better run of form with 3 wins and 2 draws since their loss to Gyeongnam. However, those wins have not been entirely convincing. Will Busan pull another win out of their hat, or will they drop points and lose ground?

Photo courtesy of Busan IPark homepage

Last Time We Met

In the first meeting of the season, Busan ran out with all three points thanks to a goal from Kim Moon-hwan following a Heo Beom-san corner.

Busan Team News 

Things have been relatively quiet on the Busan teams news. Danny Morais returned from injury, while Lee Jeong-hyeop will likely remain out for a little while longer with his injury. The biggest news (which actually came out just before the match against Daejeon) was that midfielder Heo Beom-san had left the club to begin his mandatory military service. Heo was one of the few midfielders that was rarely rotated by Cho Jin-ho, so his departure leaves a significant hole in the midfield.

The main question, as is tends to always be, is how will Cho line up the Busan attack with Lee Jeong-hyeop likely out for a little bit longer? Cho went with Lukian last week against Daejeon, but the Brazilian forward was ineffective and hauled off at the break. If Cho holds to form, he'll likely sit Lukian and go with a "smaller" option up front. Lim Sang-hyub remains a possible option if Cho wants mobility, while Jeon Hyeon-cheol (who came on for Lukian last week) remains a more "hybrid" option. Choi Seung-in rarely features (but is often on the bench), but he is a third possibility if Cho doesn't stick with Lukian.

The other problem/question remains central midfield - further complicated by Heo's departure. Lee Gyu-seong, last week's goal hero, is still Busan's only true central midfielder. Cho has often tried to go heavy on attackers - evidenced last week by starting Ko Kyung-min, Lim Sang-hyub, Kim Moon-hwan, and Park Jun-tae. But, that has often not worked out so well with Busan being unable to control games and being put under significant pressure. Cha Young-hwan has often been drafted in as a holding midfielder of sorts to help out.

Possible starting XI?
One final interesting interview came out recently with Cho on Yonhap News. Cho reiterated that the hope is still for automatic promotion - despite the 8 point gap with Gyeongnam. Cho pointed to the remaining two matches against Gyeongnam as chances to close the gap (he's right of course, but we've been pretty iffy against Gyeongnam lately). The most interesting point though is that he expressed disappointment with the foreign players, likely Lukian and midfielder Romulo (and maybe Yasuda?). With the summer window opening soon, Cho mused that he is considering changing the foreign players.

Anyang Team News

There will be no reunion with former defender Yong Jae-hyun as the defender was shown a straight red last week in Anyang's match against Suwon FC. Anyang's Jung Jae-hee will be a dangerman for Busan to watch out for. The Anyang player has notched six goals thus far, putting him third in the scoring charts (one behind injured Lee Jeong-hyeop). Kim Min-gyun is another one for Busan to keep an eye on. The midfielder has recorded four assists this term, placing him joint top of the standings (along with one Heo Beom-san).

Prediction

Busan has been less than convincing lately, but against teams not named Gyeongnam, we've still been able to secure results. I suspect that will be the case again today at the Gudeok. Expect things to be close and for both teams to have their chances. But, I think Busan will pull it out in the end. 1-0 to the home side.

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