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Preview: Seongnam FC vs Daejeon Citizen

Preview: Seongnam FC vs Daejeon Citizen K League 2
Second host fourth in K League 2 when Daejeon Citizen make the trip north to take on Seongnam FC on Saturday. Just one victory from their last seven outings has meant that the Magpies' once-firm grasp over second spot has loosened somewhat with the gap between third down to just two points. The Purples, meanwhile, make the trip to Tancheon having lost their last two after going through all of August and September unbeaten, a run of 11 matches. A win for either Seongnam or Daejeon would be seen as a much-needed boost with the playoffs just around the corner and automatic promotion seemingly still to play for. 
(image via K League)

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Asan Mugunghwa 1-0 Seongnam FC

Seongnam's hopes of winning the K League 2 title were all-but ended last Sunday when the league leaders, Asan Mugunghwa, scored late on to win 1-0 at Yisunsin Stadium. Cho Sungjun's 87th minute header, nodding home from point blank range, gave the Police all three points as Park Donghyuk's side march towards the title.

Lee Myeongjoo's corner from the left-hand side was only partially cleared by Seongnam's Lee Chaemin. Lee's header only made it as far as the back post where Kim Ryundo guided the ball back across the face of goal where Cho Sungjun was waiting to nod home and seal the win for Mugunghwa. Cue delirium on the Asan bench.

Highlights: here


Daejeon Citizen 0-1 Busan IPark

After a 11-match unbeaten run, Daejeon Citizen fell to their second defeat in a row last Sunday when Busan IPark left Purple Arena with the lion's share of the spoils. Brazilian playmaker, Rômulo, found the net from an acute angle in the 71st minute with a goal that proved to be enough to earn the south coast side all three points.

Rômulo picked the ball up in the centre of the park, before playing it Kim Hyunsung. Kim's shot was deflected out but only as far as the Busan number 10 whose low cross sneaked into the net at the near post. Daejeon goalkeeper, Park Junhyuk, was caught flat-footed and could do nothing by help guide the ball over the line and into the inside of the side netting. The defeat meant that the Purples dropped to fourth, two points behind Busan.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Daejeon Citizen have not beaten Seongnam in nearly five years, a run that has spanned over 12 meeting between the two sides. The Purples' last win over Seongnam, a 1-0 victory, at Purple Arena dates back to November 2013 when a goal from winger Hwang Jiwoong early into the second half sealed a vital win in the Purples' bid to avoid the drop. However, the last time the Purples picked up all three points at Tancheon was in September 2012. On 15th September that year, Lee Changhoon put Seongnam in front with just seven minutes on the clock, only for Ji Kyungdeuk to level before Kevin Oris turned the game in its head and wrapped up the points for the visitors.

Seongnam and Daejeon have met four times already this year having also played out an FA Cup tie in March, Muralha netted the only goal of the game to send the Magpies through to the fourth round. Daejeon's most recent trip to Tancheon resulted in a 4-2 loss. On 26th May, Yeon Jaewoon put Seongnam inside the first five minutes before Gadoev levelled 15 minutes later. Moon Sangyoon and Muralha found the net with strikes on 46 and 59 minutes respectively to give the Magpies a two-goal cushion, Jung Sungmin then made it four on 66 before Daejeon's Aurelian Chițu narrowed the deficit with just four minutes remaining.

In total these two teams have gone head to head on 47 occasions in all competitions. Seongnam have 32 victories to Daejeon's five and 10 draws. Of Citizen's five victories, three have come away from home.

Team News

Goalkeeper Kim Dongjun remains as Seongnam's only major absentee, the Korean international goalkeeper has missed the vast majority of the campaign through injury. Magpies gaffer Nam Ki-il has no suspensions to concern himself with but a number of key players are just one scribble in the referees notepad from missing the next match, namely: Eder and Kim Jungghyeun who both have five bookings for the season, as well as Yeon Jewoon, Lee Hakmin, Ju Hyeonwoo, and Kim Minhyeok.

Daejeon Citizen will have midfielder-turned-fullback Park Sooil available for selection again. The K League 2's joint-leading assist maker sat out the visit of Busan IPark through suspension and is expected to start at right full-back in place of Park Jaewoo. Winger Kim Seungseop is a major doubt after being stretchered off during the defeat to Busan last time out. Shohruh Gadoev is likely to start on the left-side of Daejeon's front three in place of the former Korea University winger.

Daejeon starting lineup vs Busan IPark R34

The Adversary

Since Seongnam and Daejeon last met in round 20, Magpies manager Nam Ki-il has set his side up in three different formations: 3-5-2, 4-2-3-1, and 4-3-3. The 3-5-2 has been used for four matches, two of which were victories, one ended in a draw and one in defeat. The 4-2-3-1 was used just once, a 2-1 away win over Seoul E-Land in round 26, and 4-3-3, which Coach Nam has opted for for Seongnam's last seven matches.

During the last seven matches Seongnam have won just once, drawn four times and lost on three occasions, picking up seven points from a possible 21 available. The same amount of points were accumulated whilst using the 3-5-2 but in nearly half as many matches. The last time these two sides met, Seongnam were set up in a 3-5-2.

Seongnam lineup vs Asan Mugunghwa R33

Who To Watch

Seongnam FC - Moon Sangyoon


Magpies midfielder Moon Sangyoon found himself on the bench for the trip to Asan but has been a key player for Seongnam this season, racking up 31 appearances - 25 of which came from the start. The former Jeju United man is Seongnam's most productive midfielder, too. Moon is second only to Busan IPark's Rômulo in terms of key passes made with 64 compared to the Brazilian's 66, averaging an 2.1 key passes per match, and has six assists to his name, joint second in the league.

Daejeon Citizen - Shohruh Gadoev


No single player has had more attempts on goal for the Purples than Uzbek international forward Shohruh Gadoev. The 26 year-old, who arrived at Purple Arena in mid-March has had 63 shots at goal, the fourth most in the division, 26 of which have been on target. Gadoev has eight goals to his name for Citizen and is the club's second-top goal-scorer behind Aurelian Chițu.

Prediction

Neither side will be feeling particularly confident heading into Saturday's match given how their most recent games have panned out. The Magpies falling to a late winner away to Asan to all-but seal the title for the police team will have smarted. Likewise, for Ko Jongsoo's Daejeon, a two-month, 11 match unbeaten run was brought to an abrupt end with two straight defeats. Saturday's contest may come down to who feels they need the points the most.

With Asan unable to win promotion, second place would be enough to go up automatically. Anything less than a win for the Magpies could see them slip to third and headed for another stab at the playoffs. For Daejeon, a playoff berth is more or less secure and simply arresting the slide might with a point on the road will be seen as a good result. That said, Ko Jongsoo said in the press during the week that he and his team are determined to put an end to the Seongnam jinx.

Predicted Score: Seongnam 1-1 Daejeon Citizen


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