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Preview: Bucheon 1995 vs Seoul E-Land

K League 2 Preview: Bucheon 1995 vs Seoul E-Land

Seoul E-Land continued their rollercoaster of a season last weekend when they managed to pull off a home victory against Daejeon Citizen. The win lifts them off the bottom of the K League 2 table and will put them in a good position if they can manage to get a result in their next game.

That next game will be against a side that they bulldozed over in their last meeting, Bucheon 1995. Bucheon, however, are still hanging around the play-off positions, whereas E-Land are trying desperately to stay away from the bottom. The two sides both have claimed victory over each other this season, and this clash will be important for either team if they wish to further progress in the league.

(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land welcomed Daejeon Citizen to Jamsil last Saturday evening in the pouring rain, making for a very fast paced encounter. The first half started the same way as it always has for E-Land this year, with most of the chances coming from the opposition. Seoul this year have always been better in the second half of matches when compared to the first.

The Second half was when all the drama started to unfold. In the 66th minute, a reckless, studs-up tackle from E-Land’s Ko Cha-won, saw him receive a straight red card.

With E-Land now down to ten men, they surprisingly galvanised after the incident. Choi Oh-back with a cross worthy of multiple replays was met by a header from Choi Chi-won, recording his first goal of the year for The Leopards.

E-Land worked well to defend the lead, and a professional performance, minus the sending off, left them worthy winners in the tie. Seoul looked a lot more disciplined in their formation in the game, every player knew their role and didn’t drift too far out of their zone.

Final Score: Seoul E-Land 1-0 Daejeon Citizen

Highlights of the goal can be found here

Bucheon 1995 made the trip down to Asan Mugunghwa on the weekend. The game would be a tough task for the side, given that Asan would look to capitalise on Seongnam’s defeat the day prior.

The first half was mainly chances for Asan, yet they would have been scratching their heads as to how they didn’t manage to put the ball into the back of the net. Some fantastic defending from Bucheon denied Asan any goals.

Even though the majority of the first half was all Asan, the last five minutes before the break saw a flurry of chances from Bucheon, and they too will be wondering how they didn’t manage to score. Corners from both teams looked dangerous, on multiple occasions.

Bucheon went from strength to strength in the second half and denied a number of one-on-one attempts to keep the scores level. Even though Asan had a few more chances, the second half was mainly all Bucheon. As a game of two halves, it is easy to say it was a deserved point for both teams.

Final Score: Asan Mugunghwa 0-0 Bucheon 1995

Highlights of the game can be found here

Previous Meetings

The two teams have met twice now in the league, the first time was all the way back in March when Seoul E-Land were still looking for their first win of the season in the K League 2. They may have fancied their chances against Bucheon as they went into halftime 2-0 up. Two goals in two minutes from Cho Jae-wan and Choi Oh-back saw them two goals to the good in the 30th minute.

Some say 2-0 is a dangerous scoreline to have to go into the break, and that saying was none truer for this encounter. Bucheon came out on fire in the second half and scored four goals in the second 45. Goals from Willian Popp, Lim Dong-hyeok, and a brace from Jin Chang-soo made the final score 4-2 to the traveling team

Final Score: Seoul E-Land 2-4 Bucheon 1995

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Choi Oh-Back celebrates his goal against Bucheon, the last time the two sides met was back in May. Seoul E-Land ran out 3-0 winners (photo credit: www.facebook.com/seouleland) 
The last encounter was regarded as a bit an upset when they met in mid-May. Seoul E-Land traveled down to Bucheon having only recorded two wins all season, where Bucheon were still trying to push for the league.

The first half came and went with not much to talk about as the two sides played out a 0-0 draw going into the break. However, a Seoul E-Land side very rarely seen came out for the second half.

Seoul constantly kept possession and pushed forward with the ball, looking for the correct passes and timed their runs well. Their hard work and tactics paid off when Choi Han-sol made it 1-0 in the 64th minute. They went from strength to strength, when defender Ahn Ji-ho made it 2-0 with ten minutes left to play. Seoul smelt blood and only a minute after Ahn Ji-ho’s goal, saw Choi Oh-Back getting himself a well-worked goal.

A rampant E-Land shocked the league and really started to show people what they are capable of when it all comes together.

Final Score: Bucheon 1995 0-3 Seoul E-Land

Team News

With credit to In Chang-soo, he kept the same 4-3-3 formation now for the last two games in the league. He has also chosen to push defender Ivan up into a central defensive role once again.

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The 4-3-3 formation In chang-soo used against Daejeon Citizen in the last round. It has been the favored formation recently for Seoul E-Land's lineups (photo credit: www.facebook.com/seouleland)
E-Land has also placed fan favorite, Choi Oh-back in the middle of the front three. Choi Oh-back normally plays on the wings for the leopards, yet has played up and center ever since Bielkiewicz has been out of action, due to injury.

One player who certainly won’t feature on Saturday will be midfielder Ko Cha-won, who’s straight red against Daejeon suspends him from the tie. However, a returning Kim Jun-tae will most likely feature, after sitting out his one-game ban for picking up three yellow cards throughout the season.

The Adversary

It has been a frustrating year for Bucheon 1995, they started the season with five straight wins, and I really tipped them to be automatically promoted to the top flight. After their win against E-Land in March, they then went on a four-game losing streak.

Bucheon has not managed to really recreate the magic of the start of the season, and have actually only won one game in their last six. They are out of the playoff positions now, and I struggle to see them returning, especially with other teams still breathing down their necks.

Bucheon heavily relies on Brazilian Willian Popp, for their progression. The forward has featured in all but one game this season and is their top scorer with seven. If Bucheon look to get anything out of the weekend against E-Land, you can bet he will be involved.

Prediction

Seoul E-Land and Bucheon 1995 both don’t have fantastic form in the grand scheme of things this year. As mentioned previously, Bucheon has only won one in six, and Seoul just can’t get a streak of more than one win in a row going.

Both teams will be full of confidence, however, due to their good performances in the last round, and any team will be up for taking all three points. A win for Bucheon will see them stay in contention for the playoffs, where an E-Land win, will see them only four points behind the home side, and move away from the bottom.

I think from an E-Land perspective, their main goal of the game will be to continue on from the performance last weekend. E-Land don't travel well, but if they can keep up the hard press as they did against Daejoen, then anything is possible.

For Bucheon, we may see them sit back once again in the first half and let E-Land come forward. Then in the second half, work out E-Land’s areas of weakness and capitalize on them.

This fixture has proven to be an interesting one, which has seen many goals in the last two encounters. Let's hope for more of the same this weekend.

Predicted Score: Bucheon 1995 2-2 Seoul E-Land

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