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Preview: K League Challenge Round 15

Despite the international break, it is business as usual in the K League Challenge with all 10 sides in the Korean second tier in action across the weekend and into Monday next week. Perhaps one game to keep an eye on is Suwon FC's trip to FC Anyang as Bruce Djite and co look to end Suwon's run of five games without victory and propel themselves back into the playoff places. A guide to the K League Challenge round 15...

Image courtesy of Goal.com via Suwon FC

Saturday 3rd June 

Seongnam FC (7th) Vs Ansan Greeners (9th) 19:00

Seongnam's victory over Bucheon on Monday propelled the Magpies to within touching distance of the playoff mix. This week Park Kyunghoon's men welcome struggling Ansan Greeners to Tancheon, hoping to extend their unbeaten run to six games. A win for Seongnam would be huge in their pursuit of those much-coveted playoff places. Likewise, a win for Ansan, who have just one win in their last eleven games, could see them leapfrog Seoul E-Land and into 8th place.

Prediction: Seongnam FC 2-0 Ansan Greeners

FC Anyang (4th) Vs Suwon FC (6th) 19:00

After last Saturday's trip to Busan, Suwon FC's latest away trip is a little closer to home -  this time taking on a resurgent FC Anyang. Kim Jongpil's Anyang find themselves in the dizzy heights of the top four and in contention for those all-important playoff places, places which Suwon FC have their sights firmly set on.

A much-needed win for Suwon could move them back into that top four, Anyang meanwhile will be wanting to return to winning ways having seen the mini purple match come to and end with an away defeat to Gyeongnam last time out.

K League United recently sat down with Suwon FC's Bruce Djité and the Australian front man believes that his team has what it takes to go up via the playoffs once again:

"It's all about training hard, preparing well for the game. Just doing the basics right and getting back to the way we were playing at the start of the season. I think that's what we need to do to start to turn it around."

Full interview here.

Prediction: FC Anyang 1-2 Suwon FC

Sunday 4th June

Gyeongnam FC (1st) Vs Bucheon 1995 (5th)

League leaders Gyeongnam return to Changwon with Bucheon 1995 the latest side to attempt to thwart Kim Jungboo's men. Bucheon did manage to occupy third place only a few weeks ago but three consecutive defeats has seen the western Gyeonggi Province drop out of the playoff places, allowing FC Anyang to sneak into the top four on goal difference. With Gyeongnam still the only unbeaten team in the K League (Classic or Challenge), their stronghold over first place is now eight points and are on a run of five straight league wins.

Prediction: Gyeongnam FC 3-1 Bucheon 1995

Monday 5th June

Busan IPark (2nd) Vs Daejeon Citizen (10th)

In hot pursuit of Gyeongnam is Busan IPark who themselves still harbour hopes of automatic promotion. Manager Cho Jinho, formerly of Daejeon Citizen, welcomes his former side to the Gudeok for the first time since his appointment over the winter and will do so on the back of a run that has seen them lose just once in 13 outings. That, coupled with Daejeon's abysmal run of form, ensures that Busan are firm favourites.

Our columnists Lee Jae-hyuk and Paul Neat preview this one with a writers' chat here.

See also: exclusive interview with Daejeon Citizen's Levan Shengelia here.

Asan Mugunghwa (3rd) Vs Seoul E-Land (8th)

Due to Asan's Lee Sunshin Stadium and facilities being used for U20 World Cup preparations, Asan's game with the aforementioned Daejeon Citizen was postponed last Sunday. The postponement might have been seen as a good thing as the police team hit a sticky patch of form that saw them win just twice in seven outings in all competitions. Accordingly, Monday's game with strugglers Seoul E-Land might be see to be the idle opportunity to start another run.

Columnist Matthew Binns previews this one here.

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