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Preview: K League Challenge Round 17


When each of the ten teams in the second tier field this weekend The K League Challenge will have almost reached its halfway point. Although the top two teams are seemingly vying for the automatic promotion spot all to themselves, there are plenty of contextual games taking place over this course of the weekend. Can Daejeon Citizen and their star striker Cristian Danalache (pictured above) build on last Monday's win over Suwon FC? Will Anyang leapfrog Sunday's opponents Bucheon back into the playoffs? All that and more in your comprehensive K League Challenge round 17 guide.

Image from Facebook.com/dcfc1997




Saturday 17th June

Daejeon Citizen (10th) Vs Ansan Greeners (8th) 19:00

Hoping to make it two wins on the spin for the first time in 2017, Daejeon Citizen welcome Ansan Greeners to Purple Arena on Saturday evening. Citizen picked up a much-needed win on Monday night, their first since round 3, and now have their sites set on newly-formed Ansan Greeners. Ansan themselves have been enduring a tough time of late, having not recorded victory in their last five and as a result sit third bottom of the K League Challenge.

Columnist Paul Neat previews this one here.

Suwon FC (7th) Vs Seoul E-Land (9th) 19:00

Hoping to bounce back from Monday's defeat to Daejeon Citizen, Suwon FC welcome Seoul E-Land to Suwon Sports Complex. Suwon are still determined to make the playoffs but as a result of their seven-game win-less run, are now four points adrift of fourth place. A win for Suwon would put them back within a point of the playoffs, at least for 48 hours until 6th-laced Seongnam and 5th-placed Anyang take the field on Monday night. E-Land have just one win in five, and thus a win would help the 2015-founded outfit move away from the bottom of the table.

Prediction: Suwon FC 2-0 Seoul E-Land

Sunday 18th June

Asan Mugunghwa (3rd) Vs Gyeongnam FC (1st)

Unbeaten Gyeongnam make the trip north to Gyeonggi Province to take on the police side, Asan Mugunghwa. Whilst Asan are sitting in the much-coveted playoff positions, only six points separate third from sixth and so if Song Sunho's pick up a positive result against the automatic promotion , favourites, it would go along way in their bid to reach the promised land of the K League Classic. Gyeongnam suffered a mini wobble last week in the sense that they actually found themselves 2-0 down away to Ansan Greeners. A late fightback from the league leaders saw the Roses pick up an point to preserve their unbeaten record in the league this campaign.

Prediction: Asan Mugunghwa 1-1 Gyeongnam FC

Monday 19th June

Busan IPark (2nd) Vs Seongnam FC (6th) 19:00

Unbeaten in their last seven in all competitions, Busan IPark take on a resurgent Seongnam FC at the Gudeok Stadium. Busan had the chance to make up some ground on league leaders Gyeongnam last week after their South Gyeongsang Province neighbours drew to Ansan Greeners. Alas, Busan also drew 1-1 with Anyang, and so the gap remains eight points. If Cho Jinho's side are to pick up all three points come Monday, they will have to do so without star striker Lee Junghyup who is said to be another couple of weeks away from a return to action.  Seongnam make the trip south on the back of seven-game unbeaten run. So, despite the sluggish start to the campaign, the Magpies are now within three points of the playoff spots, a feat that looked somewhat unlikely only a couple of months ago.

Prediction: Busan IPark 2-0 Seongnam FC

Bucheon 1995 (4th) Vs FC Anyang  (5th) 19:30

These two sides swapped places last week following Bucheon's win over Seoul E-Land and FC Anyang's draw with Busan IPark. And, they could do so again; if Kim Jongpil's Anyang side can pick up just their second away victory of the season. Such a feat would be easier said than done as Bucheon have only lost three on their own turf this campaign. But, said defeats came successively and as recent as mid-to-late May so Anyang, with just one defeat in seven, will see the game as winnable.

Prediction: Bucheon 1995 2-2 FC Anyang

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