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Preview: Daejeon Citizen Vs Suwon FC

Daejeon Citizen, still rooted to the foot of the K League Challenge table, welcome Suwon FC to Purple Arena this Saturday. Lee Youngik's side could move off the bottom should they secure their second home victory over Suwon FC this season. But, Suwon themselves will be looking to get back to winning ways after seeing their recent revival was stopped in its tracks by a humbling defeat to Seongnam FC last time out. Hwang Inbeom (pictured above) scored the last time these two sides met, and so Citizen will be hoping the Daejeon-born wonderkid can be the difference maker come Saturday evening.

image via pics.dcfc.co.kr


via Soccerway.com

Last Time Out

Ansan Greeners 1-1 Daejeon Citizen, Saturday 22nd July 2017 R22

Citizen made it two 1-1 draws in as many games when the Purples saw the points shared with Ansan Greeners last time out. Not for the first time this season, Lee Youngik's side conceded in the last ten minutes to surrender a lead, this time an 80th minute equaliser away to newly-formed Ansan Geeners. Daejeon took the lead early on through their talisman and front-man Cristian Dănălache and looked to be on their way to a rare away win. But, true to form, Citizen conceded in the last 10 minutes and had to make do with a point for their endeavours. Jung Kyungho was the man to break Daejeon hearts when the 30-year-old former Ulsan Mipo Dockyard Dolphins midfielder found the back of the net from 20 yards, albeit via both posts.

Seongnam FC 3-0 Suwon FC, Sunday 23rd July 2017 R22

Twenty-four hours removed from Citizen's draw with Ansan, Suwon FC were falling to a humbling defeat to fellow playoff hopefuls Seongnam FC. Heading into the game, Suwon were a point above Seongnam and had their sights firmly set on leapfrogging Asan Mugunghwa in fourth place. However, things did not go quite to plan with a Kim Dongchan hat-trick for Seongnam putting a dent in Suwon's quest for playoff qualification. The former Daejeon Citizen forward, and last year's K League Challenge MVP, Kim Dongchan bagged a brace in the first half with goals on 10 minutes and 45 minutes before sealing his hat-trick two minutes after the restart.

via Soccerway.com

Previous Meetings

The last time these two sides faced each other, in mid June of this year, Daejeon Citizen came back from the dead not once but twice to win the game in stoppage time at Purple Arena. In a seven-goal thriller, Citizen's towering Romanian striker Cristian Dănălache scored a 94th minute winner to see Lee Youngik's men come out on top in a 4-3 win. Australian striker Bruce Djité put the visitors ahead just before half time before Levan Shengelia equalised early into the second half. Centre back Jang Junyoung put Citizen 2-1 up just past the hour mark before a Bruce Djité header levelled the game just two minutes later.

Then, in a crazy last ten minutes where a further three goals were scored, Daejeon went behind once again, this time through a Choi Wonchul strike on 80 minutes before Hwang Inbeom pegged Suwon back almost instantly. Then, despite there being a hint of offside, Levan Shengelia played in Cristian Dănălache who fired Citizen into a late, late lead with what proved to be the last kick of the game.

Prior to this, Suwon FC recorded a 3-1 win over Citizen at home in this season's only other meeting between the two sides. On a sunny Sunday April afternoon, goals from Lim Changkyun, Baek Sungdong from the spot, and a sumptuous Lee Seunghyun strike had Suwon 3-0 up before Dănălache bagged a consolation goal midway through the second half.

Overall, there have been seven meetings between Daejeon Citizen and Suwon FC, six of those coming in the league. Citizen have three wins, Suwon have two wins with the remaining league fixture ending in a 2-2 draw.

Team News

Daejeon Citizen will have midfielder Hwang Inbeom and defender Park Jaewoo back in contention after the pair missed the last two games due to their participation in the U23 Asian Championship qualifiers with the Republic of Korea U22 squad in Vietnam.

Defender Kim Taeeun missed the 1-1 draw with Ansan Greeners last time out but will be back in contention having served his one-match suspension.

For Suwon FC, Lee Gwangjin will miss out through suspension having picked up six yellow cards for the season with the sixth coming last time out during the 3-0 defeat to Seongnam. But, Suwon star man Lee Seunghyun is back from a one-match suspension of his own.

The Adversary

Suwon FC got themselves back on the playoff trail with three straight wins and a draw and, even after the defeat to Seongnam last time out, the gap between themselves and fourth place is just two points. As thus, Suwon's pursuit of further playoff glory is very much still on. In a league of tinkermen managers, the same cannot be said about Suwon gaffer Cho Dukjae who is very loyal to his system and his players. Suwon like to operate in a 4-1-2-3 formation with Bruce Djité  the focal point of the attack and the likes of Lee Seunghyun and Baek Sungdong on each flank.

However, having drawn a blank against second-from-bottom Seoul E-Land last time out Cho opted for a slightly unfamiliar 3-4-3 formation for the visit to Seongnam, using a back three that consisted of Adrian Leijer, Lim Halam, and recent signing from Gangwon Lee Hansaem.

However, given the manner in which Suwon were soundly beaten at Tancheon against Seongnam, it would not be at all surprising to see Cho revert back to his favoured 4-2-3-1 system. Certainly, this is how Suwon lined up when the two sides last faced each other in June. The system allows Bruce to feed the ball wide to Baek Sungdong and Lee Seunghyun. Lee is back from suspension and will be a big boost to Suwon this Saturday if selected.

Who To Watch

Suwon FC can boast of one of the strongest squads in the division, certainly outside the top two. Key figures for Cho Dukjae's side will always be the likes of Bruce Djité and Lee Seunghyun who have both proven to be dangerous against Citizen in the two previous games this term. Leading the line for Suwon is the Australian centre forward Bruce Djité , a player who brings much more to the team than just a goal threat.

In the system that Cho Dukjae likes his team to operate within, having a focal point such as Bruce is key. Not just because of his physical presence but also because of his decision making and ability to bring others into play. When K League United spoke with Bruce earlier in the season, the former Adelaide United hitman professed how he feels his build up play can really help Suwon make an instant return to the K League Classic this season.

He said:  "I have always been that sort of screening number 9, hold the ball up, bring midfielders and other into the game-type player. I think just general game awareness and decision making [has improved]. Especially last season in the Classic when I arrived and the team was battling so hard and we battled until the end of the season, but unfortunately we didn't make it; the job to stay in the Classic, but I think my decision making improved in that period in terms of; "do I shoot or do I pass now?", "do I take one touch or do I take two?"

For the full interview with Bruce Djité click here.


Although Suwon's defeat to Seongnam ought not to be ignored completely, the result doesn't mean that their playoff campaign has been derailed. Certainly, having had some time on the training ground to work on a few things during the break, Suwon will be looking to bounce back from the aforementioned defeat to Seongnam without delay, not to mention get revenge over Citizen for the 4-3 defeat during which Cristian Dănălache  bagged a 94th minute winner. Citizen do not have the steel to see games out and heads drop when goals are conceded. As a result, one cannot see much further than an away win for Suwon FC.

Daejeon Citizen 0-2 Suwon FC

See also: Daejeon Citizen Transfer Talk

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