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Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Ansan Greeners

Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Ansan Greeners K League 2
Unbeaten in four Daejeon Citizen welcome now manager-less Ansan Greeners to Purple Arena this Sunday, looking to keep their top four hopes alive. After nine straight defeats in all competitions, a run which has left the Green Wolves propping up the K League 2 table, the club's first ever manager Lee Heungsil stepped down. Can the Greeners fight back or will the Purples make it five unbeaten? Columnists Paul Neat and James Walsh preview Sunday's match.
(image via K League)

Overview

from Soccerway


Last Time Out

Bucheon 1995 1-1 Daejeon Citizen

A spot kick each ensured that the spoils were shared when Daejeon Citizen made the trip north to Bucheon on Monday night. The visitors fell behind in the 31st minute when centre back Yoon Shinyoung was adjudged to have impeded Bucheon strike Gong Minhyeon in the penalty area. The referee pointed to the spot and centre back Nilson Jr. duly stepped up to roll the ball past Park Junhyeok in the Daejeon goal.

However, in the second half, the Purples were awarded a penalty kick of their own when Gadeov was brought down on the edge of the six yard box by Jung Junhyun. Uzbek international midfielder Sanzhar Tursanov attempted to play in fellow countryman Shohruh Gadeov with a dinked ball over the top but the 26 year-old was brought to the floor when attempting to pick up the rebound after his initial attempt was mopped up by Bucheon custodian Choi Cheolwon. Tursanov placed the ball on the spot and fired emphatically into the bottom corner, sending the 'keeper the wrong way in the process.

Highlights: here

Ansan Greeners 0-1 Asan Mugunghwa

Ansan were beaten by a solitary goal to nil against Asan Mugunghwa last Saturday evening thanks to Ahn Hyeon-beom’s fine strike midway through the second-half. The former Ulsan Hyundai forward, who plies his trade at Jeju United, showed excellent feet in creating the chance to power past Greeners’ goalkeeper, Hwang Seong-min, at his near post. The hosts endeavoured to find an equaliser, the closest the home side came to bringing parity was through midfielder, Dong-hyeon Hong, whose curling effort struck the bar with away goalie, Park Ju-won, beaten all ends up. However, the away team held on to go top of the K League 2.

Highlights: here

by James Walsh

Previous Meetings

Daejeon Citizen have never beaten Ansan Greeners in six attempts with three defeats and three draws. In fact, the Greeners picked up their first ever win against Daejeon, a 2-1 victory at the Wa~ Stadium on the opening day of the 2017 season. Bakhodir Nasimov put the Greeners in front on 10 minutes before Lee Hoseok levelled for the Purples with a debut goal just after half time. However, in the 90th minute, Han Geonyong sent the Wa~ into raptures with a late, late winner.

The most recent meeting was at Purple Arena in early June when the two teams played out a 1-1 draw. Kwon Youngho put Daejeon ahead on 37 minutes before Raul Tarragona levelled just past the hour mark. It turned out to be an evening of mixed fortunes for Raul as the Uruguayan was dismissed just six minutes after finding the equaliser.

Sunday's clash will be the third meeting this season, the second in Daejeon. In April the Greeners came back from behind to win 3-2 at home before a aforementioned 1-1 draw.

Team News

Daejeon Citizen will have Aurelian Chițu available for selection again after the Romanian forward was forced to sit out the 1-1 draw to Bucheon through suspension. Chițu is proving to be a key player for Ko Jongsoo having bagged six goals so far and so his return will be welcome boost heading into Sunday's match. Former Jeju United midfielder, Park Suchang, who operated as the lone striker on Monday, may make way for the former Viitorul forward. The scorer of Citizen's equaliser on Monday night, Shanzhar Tursanov, will be hoping that his leveller against Bucheon will be enough to ensure him a place in the starting lineup for the first time.

Lee Heung-sil’s final team selection raised eyebrows at the weekend. Ansan’s recently departed head coach started with foreign attacking trio Fidel, Raul Tarragona, and Seku Conneh all on the substitutes’ bench, and instead opted to play winger, Choi Ho-joo, in a centre-forward position, a role that the ex-Pohang man is unaccustomed to. The Greeners are expected to make changes to their offensive line-up with one of their overseas three coming into the side to partner Lee Chang-hoon up front. Defender Park Junhee is suspended, however, after the former Pohang Steeler picked up his third yellow of the season during the 1-0 defeat to Asan last time out.

by James Walsh

The Adversary

The visitors are in turmoil, having lost eight league matches in a row, whilst only scoring two goals in the process, which both came in the same game at Anyang earlier this month. Confidence is at rock bottom amongst the Ansan players, who are presently lacking real attacking intent and threat going forward, as well as any genuine defensive resolve.

by James Walsh

During Ansan's eight-match losing streak the Greeners have had their fair share of possession and, despite scoring just twice, have averaged 13 shots per game with an average of eight on target. During the defeats to the league leaders, Asan Mugunghwa, second place Seongnam, FC Anyang, and Seoul E-Land, the 2016-founded club had upwards of 50% possession. The problems, therefore, stem from a lack of firepower. Last season Raul Taragonna was Lee Heungsil's talisman, relied upon to find the back of the net when needed. The Uruguayan bagged 15 league goals last term, an impressive haul for a striker new to the K League and playing for a team marooned in the lower reaches of the table. This season, Raul has just three from eight starts with injuries hampering his and Ansan's campaign. Seku Conneh has managed two goals from 22 appearances, Choi Hojoo four from 15, Lee Geon three from fifteen, and Hong Donghyun has two from 20 appearances. With 20 goals scored, the Greeners have the least potent attack in K League 2.

Who To Watch

Choi Hojoo

Choi Hojoo (L) in action against Seoul E-Land (Image via K League)
One positive to come out of the Greeners’ loss to Asan was the return of attacker, Choi Ho-joo, from injury, albeit as an unorthodox ‘number nine’. The former Steelers’ player started the season with a bang with four goals and an assist, including the decider against Suwon FC at the Wa~  in April, and a match-winning brace versus FC Bucheon 1995, which also came at home later in the same month. He is a skilful and quick winger who can play on either flank, and will ask questions of the Daejeon defence if he is deployed in his natural position out-wide at the weekend.

by James Walsh

Prediction

After three games on the road where Daejeon picked up two wins and a draw, the Purples return to home comforts for the visit of Ansan Greeners. The seven points picked up from games away to Anyang,E-Land, and Bucheon will have given Ko Jongsoo's side a much-needed confidence boost heading into the last two months of the season. If the Purples are serious about challenging for the top four then three points against a beleaguered Ansan Greeners side will be considered as an absolute must. However, after the departure of Lee Heungsil and the appointment of Lee Youngmin as caretaker, Citizen will have to be wary of the new manager bounce affect.

Prediction: Daejeon Citizen 2-0 Ansan Greeners


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