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Preview: Bucheon 1995 vs Busan IPark

Preview: Bucheon 1995 vs Busan IPark

Although the FIFA 2018 World Cup is just on the horizon, the K League 2 is still in full swing. This weekend we see Bucheon 1995 welcome Busan IPark for a Saturday evening kick-off, where it will be 2nd place taking on 4th place in the division. Even though there is still a long way to go in the league, this game could be very important for each teams' position, come the end of the season.
(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Last week, we saw Bucheon 1995 take on Ansan Greeners in the Sunday evening kick-off with the game ending in a 1-1 draw, with goals in each half. Ansan drew first blood in the fixture with Shin Il-soo slotting home the ball in the 21st minute. The game was very mixed, though there seemed to be a lot more pressure from Ansan in the first half.

In the second half, Bucheon got back into the encounter, and an accidental cross in the 60th minute ended up in the back of the net, making the game level once more. Lee Hyun-seung’s over hit cross lobbed the Green Wolves' keeper and ensure the points would shared.

Busan IPark had similar fortunes last weekend when they took on Asan Mugunghwa. However, Busan left it a lot later than Bucheon did to take a point from the fixture. Asan initially took the lead in the 53rd minute by Han Eui-gwon with only an injury time goal from Ko Kyung-min saving Busan from an away loss, and handing them their second consecutive draw.

Previous Meetings

This fixture will be the third time the two sides have met this season, with one match being in the league, and the other in the FA Cup. The cup game was the first meeting between the two this year, where home team, Busan IPark ran out 2-1 winners.

The league meeting between the two sides, ended in favor of the second placed side. William Popp scored the only goal of the game in the 22nd minute to end Bucheon’s run of three straight league defeats. The 1-0 victory was a ray of hope for Bucheon at the time, as the side was free falling in the league after their three poor previous outings.

The fixture was met with an attendance of 1,655 for the Saturday evening kick off in late April. Bucheon have had a strong fan base both at home and away this season, and are one of the highest in the K League 2. If the same attendance can be met this time around, then it will only favor the home side more in the tie.

Team News

Bucheon 1995 go into the game with no suspensions, but five players are only one card away from a match ban. One of the five players is former Busan IPark player Brazilian William Popp, who has been vital for the side this season.

Popp has been Bucheon’s main man with six goals to his name, and will be vital for the side if they are to pick up any points on Saturday.

Busan also have no-one suspended for the fixture, although they also have three players in Kim Moon-hwan, Hong Jin-ki and Jonathan Balotelli who are one caution away from a game in the stands.

Busan will heavily rely on midfielder Rômulo to make an impact in the game. He has played every minute in the league so far and has bagged IPark two goals in the process. Busan will also start with 24-year-old defender Kim Myung-joon, who has missed only one game due to suspension.

Bucheon will hopefully want to add to their poor goal record at home this season, only three goals at Bucheon stadium, compared with 16 goals on the road. Bucheon also have an issue with conceding, letting in 18 goals in only 13 games.

Busan have a lot better record when it comes to goal difference, netting in 16 goals and only conceding 10. Looking at the stats for both sides, it is worth noting that Bucheon’s first draw of the season only came on the weekend, and their seven wins have them propped up in 2nd place.

Prediction

Apart from Seongnam, who are currently six points clear at the top of the K League 2, the division looks wide open, and only three points separate 2nd and 5th position. If Busan can manage to get a victory from the tie, and Asan fail to win against Suwon, then they will see themselves catapulted up into 2nd position.

Bucheon however, made an improvement on the weekend against a good Ansan Greeners side. It was a much better performance by the team after their embarrassing 3-0 loss at home to Seoul E-Land the game weeks prior.

I predict that the match will be very end-to-end. Busan will throw more caution to the wind, as a win will be very profitable for their season. Bucheon will have a home advantage however and also won the last fixture between the two sides. It has to be said that it is a very tough game to call under the circumstances of the table and the current form of the two sides, but I can be confident there will be at least a goal from both sides.

Prediction: Bucheon 1995 2-2 Busan IPark

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