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Preview: Busan IPark vs Suwon FC

Preview: Busan IPark Vs Suwon FC K League 2 Round 12
Busan IPark are aiming to win three games in a row for the first time this season after impressive victories over Ansan Greeners and Seoul E-Land. Their visitors at the Gudeok Stadium on Monday evening are Suwon FC, a team hotly tipped at the start of the season to challenge for promotion, but who have endured a frustrating start to their K League 2 campaign. 

Match: Busan IPark vs Suwon FC
Venue: Gudeok Stadium, Busan
Kickoff: Monday 21st May, 7.30pm

Last Time Out

Busan IPark come into the game on the back of a comfortable 2-0 victory over Seoul E-Land last weekend. Young Brazilian playmaker Rômulo gave the home side the lead with a confidently dispatched penalty past Kim Young-gwang after Kim Moon-hwan went down in the box at the end of an excellent mazy run. The decision looked soft, but Busan deserved their half-time lead after dominating proceedings.

Seoul E-Land rarely threatened to get back into the game, and Busan came out even stronger in the second half. Substitute Han Ji-ho opened his account for the season with a brilliantly taken goal, driving a low shot in off the post from a tight angle after Rômulo's pass sent him clear of E-Land's defence. Busan spurned several chances to increase their lead, with Alemão Junior denied by Kim Young-kwang and Kim Jin-gyu seeing a thunderous effort disallowed for offside. Substitute Park Joon-gang was unlucky not to cap off a wonderfully marauding performance from right-back with a goal, first seeing a shot cleared off the line by a defender, before dragging a second effort wide late on when well placed.

Suwon FC, meanwhile, ended a run of three straight defeats with victory at home over Ansan Greeners, 22 year-old striker Bae Ji-hoon scored his first professional goal midway through the first half to decide the tie and move Suwon up to eighth in the table.

Previous Meetings

Suwon and Busan have met once already this year, with Park Se-jin scoring the only goal of the game to hand victory to Suwon. The result was even more impressive for the home side because they played most of the second half with ten men following a red card for Matheus Alves.

In their four meetings last season, both teams tasted victory once with narrow 1-0 wins, while the other two games ended in 2-2 draws.

Team News

Busan's Jonathan Balotelli was taken off injured last weekend for Busan, so his replacement on Saturday, Han Ji-ho, could return to the starting line-up. Alternatively, there could be a recall for speedster Lee Dong-jun, who started the season well but has been an unused substitute in the previous two games. Winger Kim Moon-hwan is likely to keep his place at left-back in the continued absence of Kim Chi-woo, following two buccaneering performances in the victories against E-Land and Ansan. The midfield trio of Rômulo, Lee Jae-kwon, and Lee Gyu-seong should remain unchanged after another impressive performance in the middle of the park.

For Suwon FC, Australian central defender Adrian Leijer made his long-awaited return from a foot injury, playing out of his skin in Suwon's 1-0 win over Ansan Greeners last week. The former Melbourne Victory man has been a big miss for Suwon and will be relied upon to keep Busan's at bay come Monday. However, striker Kim Dong-chan remains a doubt with a calf strain whilst Bruno is also likely to miss out through injury.

Who To Watch


Suwon FC have plenty of talent in their squad, but so far this year they have not quite clicked. After an excellent 2017, fans will be looking for winger Baek Sung-dong to up his game and provide the spark for a charge up the table. The diminutive midfielder notched up eight goals and four assists last year but is yet to get off the mark in 2018. A member of Korea's bronze medal winning squad at the 2012 London Olympics (alongside the likes of Ki Sung-yeung and Koo Ja-cheol), Baek is still only 26 and has a lot to offer this team. However, consistency has eluded him so far this season and Suwon will need him to be at his best in games like this one.

Prediction

Matches between these two promotion-chasing teams tend to be tight affairs, and there has been little between them in recent games. Both have blown hot and cold so far this year, with Busan in slightly better form. However, Suwon ended their losing streak last weekend and I expect their results to start improving. This will be another tight one.

Busan IPark 1-1 Suwon FC


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