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playoffs

Preview: Daejeon Citizen Vs Seongnam FC

Daejeon Citizen Vs Seongnam FC Preview
Daejeon Citizen will welcome K League 2 league leaders Seongnam FC to Purple Arena this Sunday evening, looking to get back to winning ways after four games without victory. The Magpies, though, mean serious business this season and have lost just three times in 2018. Having already lost to the Seongnam three times this year already, twice in the league and once in the FA Cup, the Purples will perhaps feel as though a win over Nam Ki-il's men is long overdue.
(image via K League])

Overview

via Soccerway


Last Time Out

Asan Mugunghwa 2-2 Daejeon Citizen

Citizen picked up a well-earned point away to Asan Mugunghwa last Saturday after falling behind early on. Central defender Lee Hansaem put Asan in front with just four minutes on the clock with a strike that proved to be enough to send the hosts in at the break with the lead. However, Daejeon's top scorer Shohruh Gadoev levelled just after the hour mark before defender Hwang Jaehoon, with a deflected effort from outside the box, gave Ko Jongsoo's side the lead. The Purples were unable to hold on though and Lee Hansaem scored his and Asan's second in the 81st minute to salvage a draw.

Highlights: here

Seongnam FC 1-0 FC Anyang 

A slender win over FC Anyang preserved Seongnam's place at the summit of the K2, thanks to a Kim Minhyeok strike in the 27th minute. From the left hand touchline a diagonal ball made its way to Lee Dawon whose flick-on found the feet of Moon Sangyun. The Magpies number 10 laid the ball out-wide to Choi Byungchan who, after steadying himself, whipped a cross in towards the far post where Kim Minhyeok rose above to head into the far corner. With Asan drawing at home to Daejeon, Seongnam moved back into first place.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Seongnam have won the last three meetings between these two sides, twice in the league and once in the FA Cup. The most recent was a 4-2 win at Tancheon with goals from Yeon Je-un, Moon Sangyun, Muralha, and Jung Sungmin for the Magpies, Gadoev and Chițu for the Purples. The last meeting that took place at Purple Arena ended in a 2-1 Seongnam win, Jung Sungmin from the spot on 26 minutes gave Nam Ki-il's side the lead before Chițu levelled on 57. Seongnam found a winner just four minutes from time through Seo Bomin to see the travelling fans head back to Gyeonggi Province with smiles on their faces.

Daejeon haven't beaten Seongnam since 2013, a 1-0 win at the tail end of Daejeon's first relegation season, thanks to a freak Hwang Jiwoong goal in the second half. From the 46 meetings, Seongnam have 31 wins, Daejeon just five.

Team News

Daejeon will have midfielders Ahn Sanghyeon and Park Suchang back from suspension after the pair sat out the away draw to Asan Mugunghwa last Saturday. Goalkeeper Kim Jinyoung remains the Purples' only major long term absentee although club captain Oh Jangeun is also likely to be sidelined. Former Seongnam goalkeeper Park Junhyeok was signed to help add cover for Lim Minhyeok after Kim Jinyoung's knee injury but is expected to be on the bench for the visit of his former employers.

Seongnam have goalkeeper injuries of their own with the highly-rated Kim Dongjun still out, Kim Keunbae has deputised in his absence. At the other end of the field, Niger international Olivier Bonnes, who recently joined from Gwangju, could be in-line to make his Seongnam debut. Nam Ki-il has no suspensions to be concerned with but Choi Jungi, Yeon Je-un, Park Taejun, and Cho Byungchan are all just one yellow away from a one-match ban.

The Adversary

When Daejeon last played Seongnam, the Magpies had a four point lead at the top of the K League 2 table. A mini blip, which saw Nam Ki-il's men drop points at home to FC Anyang before losing two on the bounce saw them slip to second. The Magpies are now battling it out for top spot with Asan Mugunghwa and sit just a point clear of the police team heading into this weekend's round of fixtures.

Coach Nam has had the tendency to utilise a 4-3-3 or 3-5-2 system and did so in the wins over Daejeon already this season, a 3-5-2 in the FA Cup in March and 4-3-3 for the two league victories. Since the 4-2 at Tancheon Nam Ki-il stuck with the 3-5-2 but following defeats to both Asan and Busan the former Gwangju boss has switched to either a 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 formation.

Seongnam's top scorer this term, with five goals to his name, is 29 year-old Jung Sungmin who returned from Asan Mugunghwa prior to the 2018 season. Moon Sangyun is the joint top assist maker in the K2 with six assists.

Seongnam Lineup vs Bucheon 1995 (A) (Image via K League)


Who To Watch

Moon Sangyun (R) in action for Seongnam vs Anyang in R18 (Image via K League)
With three goals and six assists midfielder Moon Sangyun will be one for Daejeon to keep an eye on come Sunday. Moon has featured in every game for the Magpies this season with 16 starts and three substitute appearances thus far. The former Jeju United man scored against the Purples in the Magpies' 4-2 at Tancheon when these two teams last met. Moon offers a great deal of versatility having played as an outside forward, central midfielder in a midfield four, or on either side of a midfield three. Against Anyang last weekend Moon operated from the centre of midfield and had a hand in the build-up that allowed Kim Minhyeok to see his first goal for the Magpies nestle in the back of the net.

Prediction

Seongnam are top of the table and have lost just three all season. Daejeon, on the other hand, have slipped to eighth after failing to add to the win over Bucheon before the World Cup break. Since then, the Purples have three draws and one defeat for their endeavours and so will be rank outsiders for Sunday's match. Daejeon have shown that they have the fight and determination to pick up points against good sides, away wins of Bucheon and Asan for example, but have a tendency to concede late on. Away win.

Daejeon Citizen 1-3 Seongnam FC




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