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Preview: Seoul E-Land vs Daejeon Citizen

Preview: Seoul E-Land Vs Daejeon Citizen
Unpredictable is the only way to describe Seoul E-Land in 2018, a team who have taken points off big teams in the K League 2 yet still find themselves bottom of the table. This week they welcome Daejeon Citizen to Jamsil, where a win could see the Leopards overtake the Purples in the table. Daejeon will also be looking to end a poor run of form, as they have failed to pick win in their last five games. A win in what will likely be a close game could really help either team for the remainder of the year.
(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land traveled down to FC Anyang in the hope of leapfrogging the home team with a win. Temperatures were soaring well over the mid-30s and the heat took a real toll on the two teams.

Neither side had any real chances on goal in the first half and it looked really sluggish, to say the least. In Chang-soo played centre back Ivan Herceg in central midfield, a new position for the Croatian who joined from Gyeongnam.

Six minutes into the second half, Seoul E-Land defender Kim Jae-hyun made two mistakes, first slipping and giving the ball away for an Anyang counter. Anyang pressed with the mistake, causing his second error by deflecting a cross onto the feet of Jung Hee-woong for him to slot home the only goal of the game.

It was a poor performance from E-Land, and they really need to get their ideas together if they have any chance of progressing in the league this year, they looked uninterested and content to be 1-0 down heading into the final moments of the game. It was an important game for them to take points off the team just above them, and they failed to do so.

Highlights of the goal can be found here

Daejeon Citizen had the tough ask of facing off against Seongnam in the last game of the weekend. Citizen held a strong Seongnam team off until the 81st minute, that was until Lee Hyeon-il took a long range shot and the ball to rocketed into the net.

The goal came all the way from Seongnam’s half with a through ball that met with Lee Hyeon-il. The 23 year-old managed to beat his defender and make the most of a lot of tired Daejeon legs as the Purples failed to track back in the build-up to the goal.

Although, Daejeon walked away with nothing in that game, they did give Seongnam a good go and had a decent performance for how far down the league they are compared to the Magpies.

Highlights of the goal can be found here.

Previous Meetings

The last time we saw these two teams line up could have been the start of the implosion of Seoul E-Land this season. The game was played back in mid-march, and saw Seoul reduced to nine men. The first red card was in the 55th minute, with a dangerous tackle from Ahn Ji-ho leaving the referee little choice but to give him his marching orders. The second came from a second yellow card from Choi Han-sol, the foul also resulted in a penalty.

Pedro Henrique converted the subsequent penalty in the 76th minute and it was the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win for Daejeon. This was the start of E-Land’s discipline problems earlier this year, yet they have managed to reduce the number of bookings and dismissals.

Team News

Seoul E-Land have have no suspensions going into another round of games. They will hopefully also see the return of Argentinean striker Diego Bielkiewicz; the forward has been injured for a number of weeks but hopes to be ready when Daejeon come to town.

In Chang-soo seldom keeps the same formation or line up so its hard to predict what will happen but his 4-3-3 at the weekend, with Ivan in midfield, just did not work. A more successful formation could see him resort back to the 4-1-4-1 which he used against Ansan Greeners. Ivan was in the central defensive midfield role, and with his height and presence, won most of the balls in the air, giving him the opportunity to pass the ball out wide.

Kim Jae-hyeon is a regular for E-Land this year, but his performance didn’t really reflect any consistency on Saturday. He will hope to put the FC Anyang game behind him, and push forward and have a solid game against Daejeon.

Citizen have no suspensions to speak of either but do have a number of players who are just one more caution away from a one-match ban: striker Park Inhyeok, midfielders Kang Yunsung, and Park Sooil, Oh Jangeun, forwards Kim Chanhee and Chițu as well as goalkeeper Lim Minhyeok. Lim Minhyeok had been the preferred choice to deputise for the injured Kim Jinyoung but former Seongnam custodian Park Junhyuk was called upon for the visit of his former employers on Sunday.

by Paul Neat

The Adversary

Daejeon Citizen have had an indifferent season thus far and seem to have let there respectable mid-season form fade away. After round 10 Citizen were sixth and just two points off the playoffs but, following a mini purple patch during which Citizen picked up three wins on the spin up to round 12, Ko Jongsoo's men have won just twice. Since the World Cup break the Purples have lost two and drawn two but will head into Saturday's clash with Seoul E-Land knowing that anything less than a victory simply not be enough if they are to get their playoff push back on track. CEO Kim Ho and manager Ko Jongoo have assembled the basis of a good team but a lack of character and the innate ability to ship goals in the last 10 minutes of matches has seen the Purples slip to eighth and just two points above the bottom two. Whilst with their noses in front or level, Daejeon have kissed goodbye to 13 points by conceding in the last 10 minutes of matches. Had the Purples had have been able to hold on to those points then Citizen would be heading into Saturday's game whilst sitting in third place.

Tactically, Ko Jongsoo has either gone for a 4-1-2-3 or a 3-5-2 formation with Romanian forward Aurelian Chițu as the central striker with Park Inhyeok on the right and either Kim Seungseop or Shohruh Gadoev on the left in the 4-1-2-3. In the centre of midfield, youngster Park Sooil has become a key member of Citizen's attack and is amongst the K2's leading assist makers with six. Away from home or not, Daejeon need to get something from this game and so an attacking line up is to be expected.

by Paul Neat

Who To Watch

Striker Park Inhyeok (L) and midfielder Park Sooil (C) with Aurelian Chițu (R). (Image via K League)
Park Sooil and Park Inhyeok are two players that are most likely to feature on Saturday and two individuals who have become integral to the way Citizen play. Both Parks joined over the winter, Park Sooil from Gimhae City and Park Inhyeok from Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim. With the latter, two good feet, bags of technique and a physical presence has seen the Korea U23 international play as an out-and-out striker or as an outside forward. Park Sooil, meanwhile, began the season in the reserves but worked his way into the first team for the home fixture with Busan IPark in round four and has been largely ever present since. Park Inhyeok has four goals, including a brace over Bucheon in the 2-0 away win, whilst Park Sooil has six assists to his name.

by Paul Neat


Prediction

As stated before, Seoul are becoming more and more challenging each week to predict what type of team will turn up. They remind me of a yo-yo which likes to stay as close to the ground as possible but suddenly burst back upwards.

Seoul will go into the game desperate for a win; in failure to do so, and if Anyang also win, a defeat will see them three points behind anyone next to them at the bottom.

Daejeon did play well at the weekend and they will look to get their second win against the Leopards in 2018. It will be a tight game and really one too close to call.

Prediction: Seoul E-Land 1-1 Daejeon Citizen

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