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Preview: Seongnam FC Vs Daejeon Citizen


Match Preview: Seongnam FC Vs Daejeon Citizen K League 2 Round 13
Fresh off a run of three consecutive wins, Daejeon Citizen will be eyeing up a fourth when Ko Jongsoo's men take on Seongnam FC this Saturday evening. Although the Magpies are the league leaders, the Purples will be brimming with confidence ahead of the trip to Tancheon, particularly after Seongnam's defeat to Ansan Greeners last week. However, Nam Ki-il's side are unbeaten at home in 2018 and the Magpies haven't seen their feathers ruffled in their own nest since August last year.
(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Seongnam's unbeaten start to the season was brought to an end by this year's K League 2 surprise package Ansan Greeners thanks to a 2-1 defeat at the Wa Stadium. After a goalless first 45, Lee Geon bagged a brace with strikes on 51 and 64 minutes to see the Green Wolves put their noses in front. A 90th minute consolation strike from the spot by Jung Sungmin halved the deficit for Seongnam but it still proved to be one for sorrow for the Magpies.

Highlights: here

Daejeon, however, made it three wins on the bounce with a determined away win over promotion favourites Asan Mugunghwa. Former Seongnam midfielder Ahn Sanghyeon scored the only goal over the game, finding space on the edge of the six-yard box to sweep in an in-swinging Park Sooil corner in the 49th minute. By that point, however, the game could have had a different complection altogether as, early in the first half, on-loan FC Seoul midfielder Ju Sejong saw his spot kick expertly saved by Daejeon 'keeper Kim Jinyoung in what proved to be a pivotal moment in the game.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

In 2018 the Magpies and the Purples have already met twice already, once in league action and once in the FA Cup. The most recent was in the league at Purple Arena where Daejeon fell to a 2-1 defeat in round eight, conceding in the 86th minute and throwing away what looked like a hard-fought point. Jung Sungmin converted a 26th minute penalty after Yun Junseong up-ended Seongnam wing-back Lee Jimin. Jung Sungmin stepped up and sent Daejeon custodian Kim Jinyoung the wrong way.

Just shy of the half hour mark, Romanian forward Aurelian Chițu got the Purples back on level terms with what was his first goal in a Citizen shirt, the 27-year-old glanced in a superb Park Suchang cross from deep, finding the bottom corner with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

But, despite Daejeon's endeavours, Seo Bomin broke Daejeon hearts with an 86th minute Seongnam winner to make it Daejeon one, two for joy for the Magpies. Park Sooil was dispossessed in midfield then Seongnam's Lee Dawon, on a as a sub, laid the ball into the path of Seo Bomin who rolled the ball into the bottom corner to condemn Daejeon to their second successive defeat.

In the FA Cup third round tie at Tancheon the Magpies booked their place in the next round with a 1-0 win over Ko Jongsoo's Daejeon. Former Pohang Steelers midfielder Lulinha with the only goal of the evening, firing past Lim Minhyeok in the Daejeon goal in the second period.

Daejeon have not enjoyed a particularly pleasant record against Seongnam. The Purples haven't beaten Seongnam in their last 10 attempts and beaten Seongnam since November 2013. The Purples' last win at Tancheon was a year earlier, a 2-1 win on 15th September 2012.

Team News

Seongnam will of course be without their first choice goalkeeper Kim Dongjun after the Korean international was ruled out for up to six months with a ligament injury picked up earlier in the season.

For Citizen, club captain Oh Jangeun is said to be nearing a return to full fitness after taking his place amongst the substitutes for the Purples' win over Asan last time out. The former Seongnam midfielder had been out of action since late March prior to Saturday's substitute appearance.

No fewer than five Daejeon players are just one caution away from a one-match ban: centre back Yun Junseong, forward Aurelian Chițu, vice captain and defensive midfielder Ahn Sanghyeon, midfielder Park Suchang and Club Captain Oh Jangeun.

Former Seongnam winger Filip Hlhovsky appears to be frozen out somewhat at Purple Arena. Hlhovsky played during the 2-1 league defeat to Seongnam earlier in the campaign, as well as the 1-0 FA Cup reverse in March. Having only made three league starts since his January move from Tancheon, question marks will remain over his long term future at Purple Arena.


The Adversary

After missing out on promotion via the playoffs last year, the Magpies top the table and look to soar back into the top tier by winning automatic promotion. At present Nam Ki-il's's side sit four points clear of Bucheon 1995 heading into Saturday's game and will be determined to at least maintain that margin of safety come Saturday.

At home, the Magpies remain unbeaten this term and have just one defeat on their own patch in their last eighteen, a run stretching back to August last year. Prising points out of the the Magpies' talons at Tancheon has proven to be a difficult feat to achieve, only last year's K League Challenge Champions were able to do that during the aforementioned 18 game stretch.

At home Coach Nam has utilised a 4-3-3 or 3-5-2 system. The most recent home fixture, the 2-1 win over Suwon FC, saw the Magpies take to the field in a 4-3-3, as was the case against Gwangju in round two and against Asan in round five. The 3-5-2 has been seen for 2-1 win over Bucheon in round seven as well as the 2-1 FA Cup win over Daejeon.

In Seongnam's last two wins, both the 4-3-3- and the 3-5-2 have been used. For the latter, full backs such as Lee Jimin or Seo Bomin, who also operates as a striker, as well as Lee Hakmin push into midfield to make a five whilst in possession with another centre half dropping in to make a back three.

Centre back Jeon Jewoon, full back Lee Hakmin, winger Moon Sangyun, utility man, skipper and joint top scorer Seo Bomin have featured in all 12 of Seongnam's league games this term whilst number nine Jung Sungmin has four goals from seven starts.

Seongnam FC line up for their most recent home win, 2-1 vs Suwon in R10


Who To Watch

Seo Bomin (R) scored in the reverse fixture at Purple Arena. Image via K League

Club Captain Seo Bomin is somewhat of a jack of all trades for Seongnam, appearing as a full back, wing back, left midfield, outside forward on either side of a front three, or as a striker in a front two. Seo, who joined from Pohang Steelers over the winter, has started all 12 of Seongnam's games this term, scoring four times. From those 12 starts, the former Gangwon man has operated as from left back four times, left midfield twice, the outside forward of a front three on four occasions, and as striker in a front two on two occasions.

Two of his four goals have come from left back, having bagged a brace in the 2-1 win over Suwon FC, two as a striker in a front two having found the net in the win over Bucheon, and the other against Daejeon in the reverse fixture. Whether playing up front or at the back, Seo Bomin is a threat and, if selected, will be one to watch.

Prediction

This match will be seen as quite a tough one to call. Daejeon have won three on the spin, two of which have come away from home, whilst Seongnam have just one defeat all season and sit at the summit of K League 2. Last week's defeat to Ansan Greeners has shown that the Magpies are beatable but, back in front of their own fans, Nam Ki-il's men will be looking to get back to winning ways and will be seen as the slight favourites. That said, a draw ought not to be too farfetched.

Seongnam FC 1-1 Daejeon Citizen



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