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Preview: Ansan Greeners Vs Busan IPark

Preview: Ansan Greeners Vs Busan IPark K League 2 Round 10
Ansan Greeners welcome Busan IPark to the Wa Stadium this Sunday with both sides aiming to bounce back from a disappointing Round nine in the K2.
(Image via K League)

Match: Ansan Greeners Vs Busan IPark
Venue: Wa Stadium, Ansan
Kickoff: Sunday May 6th, 15:00 KST

Last Time Out

Ansan's impressive early season form looked set to continue as they led ten-man Seoul E-land at the Olympic Stadium. The Green Wolves took an early lead through Park Jinseop, the midfielder who signed over the winter, netted his first goal for the club.

Seoul E-Land defender Kim Taeeun was shown a straight red on 70 minutes however, the Greeners' problems with in-game management came back to haunt them again, allowing Cho Jaewon in to equalise with ten minutes left on the clock. A goalkeeping error from Hwang Sungmin allowed Cho to bag an injury time winner, leaving Ansan four points off the K2 summit.

Busan I'Park had a similarly miserable round eight, losing 1-0 at Bucheon courtesy of K2 top scorer William Popp's 22nd minute strike. It leaves Busan with just a one win in five and out of the play-off places. Busan lie in sixth, three places behind third placed Ansan. There must be some pressure building on Busan IPark coach Choi Yoon-gyeom after three defeats from four games. They're sitting seven points behind the league leaders and on current form they don't look capable of seriously challenging for promotion.

Previous Meetings

Ansan gained a suprise draw at the Gudeok in March when a Raul Tarragona penalty in injury time cancelled out a Choi Seungin spot kick. Busan will be looking to improve upon that result when they visit the Wa Stadium. Ansan Greeners have failed to defeat Busan IPark in five attempts.

Former Ansan favourites from the Mugunghwa era could feature for Busan. Ansan Foreign Supporters Club (AFSC) 2014 player of the season Ko Kyungmin has appeared regularly from the bench for Busan, while Han Jiho was a key player in Ansan Mugunghwa's 2016 title winning season.

Team News

Expected Ansan line-up: GK Hwang Sungmin, DF Lee Injae, Choi Sungmin, Park Jun-hee, MF Jang Hyukjin, Hong Dong-hyun, Choi Myunghae, Park Jinseop, Shin Ilsoo, FW Choi Hojoo, Seku Conneh, Raul Tarragona.

The Adversary

Last week's defeat to Bucheon was narrow but damaging. It was the third game in April in which they failed to score and, as a further kick in the teeth, the winning goal was scored by Willian Popp, a former Busan player who they failed to re-sign after a short spell in Japan. Popp tormented his former employers, running in from the flanks and turning up in dangerous positions before scoring an inevitable goal.

Busan's new forward Jonathan Balotelli, meanwhile, looked lively and capable but also very wasteful. After scoring as a substitute on his debut two weeks ago, the Brazilian made his first full start and he took six shots at goal on a busy day. On more than one occasion, however, teammates were left holding their hands out in frustration with his apparent single-mindedness. Balotelli has pace, skill and goals in him, but he'll need to link up with his teammates better if Busan are to make the most of their possession and chances.

Busan will know what to expect from this Ansan side after their evenly matched game at the Gudeok Stadium in March. Although Busan have more quality in their squad, Ansan look more of a unit. Squad rotation is fine at times, but it still looks like Choi Yoon-gyeon hasn't worked out who his best team is, and it shows in the performances. I expect Busan to improve as the season progresses, but on current form you'd have to back Ansan for a home win. 


by Busan IPark Columnist Tom Marcantonio

Prediction

Busan are having a blip in form after looking strong in the opening games. Runners-up last year, IPark fans will be expecting their club to challenge for promotion back to the K1 after their relegation in 2015. Ansan have been over-performing by pre-season expectations, and the wobbles in games have been increasing in recent rounds, despite some excellent results. With goalkeeper Lee Heeseong still out, Choi Seungin will be looking to add to his tally for the season against an Ansan backline that has been caught out at times this season. At the other end, in-form striker Choi Hojoo will also be looking to continue his goalscoring form.

Score Prediction: Ansan Greeners 1-1 Busan I'Park

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