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Preview: Daejeon Citizen Vs Suwon FC

Daejeon Citizen's Park Inhyeok celebrates scoring against Busan IPark in K League 2 Round 17
Monday Night Football is back with Daejeon Citizen taking on Suwon FC at Purple Arena in K League 2. Daejeon's tentative tilt at the top four is still on, despite the draw to Busan last time out and slipping to seventh. A win for Ko Jongsoo's men would put to bed the disappointments of last week's 97th minute Busan equaliser. Suwon FC, meanwhile, are now two wins on the spin but have never won at Daejeon. A win on Monday would see Kim Daeui's side go above Daejeon in the table.
(image via K League)

Overview 

Via Soccerway.com

Last Time Out

Daejeon played out a six-goal thriller with promotion hopefuls Busan IPark at the Asiad last Sunday night, suffering the heart break of conceding deep into stoppage time. The spoils were shared with the score ending 3-3 in a game which had no shortage of drama. The Purples took the lead through young midfielder Kang Yunsung who found the bottom corner with a daisy cutter from over 25 yards out, his first in professional football. A second soon followed when striker Park Inhyeok capitalised on a misplaced header from Kim Myungjun before rounding Busan goalkeeper Koo Sangmin.

However, just before half time Busan pulled back a much-deserved goal when Han Jiho latched onto a Kim Chiwoo cross at the far post. Busan came out the brightest in the second period and managed to peg Citizen back when Ko Kyungmin scored within just two minutes of the restart, turning on the edge of the box before firing the ball into the corner past a stranded Lim Minhyeok.

Busan then thought they had bagged a third when Ko Kyungmin converted from inside the box but replays showed that the central midfielder was offside when the ball was played and so, with the help of VAR, the goal was chalked off.

If a two-goal comeback and a disallowed VAR goal wasn't dramatic enough, things kicked up a notch when Busan were awarded a penalty and had a second chance to turn the game completely on its head. Kim Yesong tripped Moon Kihwan inside the area and so up stepped Ko Kyungmin to convert. However, Citizen custodian Lim Minhyeok had other ideas and parried away his penalty to keep the score at 2-2 with 73 minutes on the clock.

Two minutes later and it was Daejeon's turn for a VAR assisted penalty. Romanian forward Aurelian Chițu was tripped by an on-rushing Koo Sangmin. The contact appeared to be on the edge of the box but, nevertheless, and despite Busan's protests, the penalty was given. Chițu stepped up and converted calmly to restore the Purples' lead.

The game wasn't over, though, as in the seventh of an initial five minutes of added time, Busan found a dramatic late, late equaliser. A corner from the left was sent in by Kim Chiwoo which landed at the feet of Shin Youngjun who found the back of the net from close range.

Highlights: here

Suwon FC picked up a vital win away to Seoul E-Land last Saturday to see Kim Daeui's men move within just two points of Daejeon and four points away from fifth. Baek Sung-dong got the only goal of the game late in the second half, his first of the campaign. A sloppy pass from Kim Tae-eun was not picked up by E-Land centre back Kim Jaehyun who was too slow to react. Baek nipped in, advanced towards goal and took the ball around Kim Youngkwang before finding the back of the net.

The win was marred, however, by the injury to influential centre back Adrian Leijer. The Australian was injured in a clumsy challenge from E-Land defender Kim Jaehyun who fell onto Leijer's right calf whilst attempting to challenge for the ball with Suwon's Kim Byeomyoung. Kim Jaehyun launched himself into the air without any control nor without any apparent effort to challenge for ball fairly, instead forcing Leijer to go off injured.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Earlier in the campaign Daejeon picked up a vital 2-1 away win over Suwon thanks to goals from Park Inhyeok, his first for the club, and Uzbek midfielder Shohruh Gadoev. Matteus Alves pulled one back for Suwon in time added on but it was the Purples who picked up the points.

The last two times Daejeon and Suwon met at Purple Arena the result went in Citizen's favour; the most recent being a 2-0 win in August 2017 when Hwang Inbeom and Cristian Dănălache  got themselves on the scoresheet.

At home, Daejeon have picked up five wins out of five against Suwon and have the edge overall, too. The Purples can boast of six wins to Suwon's three and one draw. However, Suwon did pick up a win over Citizen in September 2017, a 3-2 home win with a brace from Baek Sung-dong and a Mo Jaehyun strike for Suwon, Kim Chanhee and Park Daehoon for Citizen.

Team News

Daejeon will continue without first choice goalkeeper Kim Jinyoung whilst the former Pohang Steeler recovers from a knee injury; Lim Minhyeok will continue to deputise. Citizen have no suspensions of which to speak of but Park Inhyeok, fellow striker Aurelian Chițu, midfielders Ahn Sanghyeon, Park Suchang, Oh Jangeun, and Park Sooil are all one more caution away from a one-match ban. From which only Oh Jangeun is unlikely to be in the team come Monday night.

For Suwon, Adrian Leijer will be out with a calf injury. The 32-year-old is expected to be out for around a month. Midfielder Min Hyunghong is back from suspension, whilst new signings midfielder Kwon Yonghun, defender Cho Byungkuk, defender Jang Seongjae and midfielder Lee Sangmin could make their debuts.

The Adversary

The 2018 season isn't going quite how many predicted for Suwon FC. Signings such as Kim Dongchan and Alex Lima over the winter, not to mention a new contract for Adrian Leijer, seemed to be a statement of intent from the 2015 playoff wins. Of course, this will still have been the case but, fledgling gaffer Kim Daeui hasn't quiet been able to find the right formula as of yet and Suwon in desperate need of someone to score goals for them. Kim Dongchan was tasked with exactly that but the 2016 K League Challenge MVP has been suffering from recurring calf injuries and so has just one goal to his name thus far. Suwon's leading scorer, Alex Lima, only has two and only seven different players have managed to get on the scoresheet for Suwon in 2018.

Tactically, Suwon will be expected to line up in a 4-3-3. Jung Woogeun lead the line in the 1-0 wins against Anyang and Seoul E-Land but may drop to the bench in favour of Baek Sungdong and will most likely be flanked by Bruno and Bae Jihoon. Lee Kwangjin departed for Gyeongnam and so Alex Lima returned to the fold against E-Land, playing on the left side of the midfield three. Park Sejin is likely to start in the absence of Adrian Leijer.

Predicted Lineups

Daejeon Citizen




Suwon FC




Who To Watch

66 Park Sooil - central midfield

Park Sooil has started 13 games for Daejeon this season. (Image via K League)
Daejeon's fledging midfielder Park Sooil wasn't expected to be involved in the first time quite so soon into his career at Purple Arena but has become a mainstay of Ko Jongsoo's starting XI this term. The 22-year-old who signed from National League side Gimhae is in his debut season as a K League player and has become integral to how Citizen play. Daejeon's number 66 has five assists to his name already this year and is joint top of the assist charts in K League 2 with Asan Mugunghwa's Cho Seongjun. Park possesses good technique, an eye for a pass and can break up play when needed.

Prediction

Daejeon have an excellent home record against Suwon having won all five games played in Daejeon, four at Purple Arena and one at the Hanbat which sealed the K League Challenge (K2) title in 2014. Ko Jongsoo's were the victors when these two sides last met and so will perhaps feel as though they will have the upper hand come Monday night. Adrian Leijer is a huge miss for Suwon, without the combative centre half in Kim Daeui's back four the height of Park Inhyeok may prove tough to deal with. The last gasp equaliser for Busan last time will have hurt Daejeon at the time but, on reflection, a point away from home against one of the division's promotion favourites will be considered a good result. Home win.

Daejeon Citizen 2-0 Suwon FC




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