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Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Bucheon FC 1995

Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Bucheon FC 1995 K League 2
Daejeon Citizen will see out the regular K League 2 season with back-to-back home fixtures as Ko Jongsoo's men look to book their place in the playoffs. First up is the visit of once playoff hopefuls Bucheon FC 1995 this Saturday. Three defeats on the spin has perhaps taken the shine off Daejeon's bright season but the Purples need just a point from their last two fixtures to guarantee a playoff berth. Bucheon, meanwhile, have an outside chance themselves after last week's win over Suwon FC. A win at Purple Arena on Saturday may set up a grandstand finish to the campaign in a week's time.
(image via K League)


via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Seongnam FC 2-0 Daejeon Citizen

An insipid Daejeon Citizen second-half performance allowed the Magpies to pick up all three points at Tancheon Sports Complex last Saturday and keep Nam Ki-il's hopes of automatic promotion well and truly alive. Purples gaffer, Ko Jongsoo, made a few changes to his starting lineup, including a first start of the campaign for goalkeeper Park Juwon. Park had returned from Asan Mugunghwa after completing his military service but had been playing understudy to former Magpies 'keeper Park Junhyeok. In midfield, Shin Hakyoung got the nod over Gadoev, Tursanov started on the left wing.

The hosts thought they had taken the lead when Seo Bomin's corner kick made it's way into the far corner but, despite the celebrations, the goal was chalked off after what was adjudged to be a foul on the goalkeeper. VAR to Daejeon's rescue.

A goalless first half it may have been but it didn't take long before the deadlock was broken after the restart. On 47 minutes, Moon Sangyun danced his way through the Daejeon defence before coolly finding the bottom corner. Ten minutes later and the Magpies were two up, Kim Minhyeok was a glancing header from Seo Beomin's right-footed cross. A vital win for the Magpies, the Purples' third defeat on the spin.

Highlights: here

Bucheon FC 1995 2-0 Suwon FC

In what proved to be his last match in charge, Bucheon caretaker gaffer, Kim Daesik, picked up his second win since taking temporary charge when his team saw off the challenge of Suwon FC in a 2-0 home win. Last time out, Willian Popp had ended his four-month goal-scoring drought with an equaliser against Ansan Greeners. The Brazilian made it three goals in two by bagging a brace to see off the challenge of Suwon FC.

The deadlock was broken on 67 minutes when Popp latched into a loose ball in the box before firing emphatically into the back of the net. Then, in the dying embers, Popp scored his and Bucheon's second of the evening from the spot. Lee Jungchan's advance towards the penalty area was brought to an abrupt halt and, in the eyes of the VAR, unfairly. The referee pointed to the spot and Willian Popp stepped up to convert, finding the top corner with aplomb. The win gives Bucheon an outside chance of making the playoffs with five points separating eighth and fifth.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The two teams began their respective 2018 campaigns with this exact fixture back on Saturday 3rd March. On that crisp afternoon at Purple Arena, Willian Popp bagged on his Bucheon debut after finding the back of the net with just 13 minutes on the clock. Citizen centre back Yun Jungseong levelled on 34 with a goal that looked to be enough to see the spoils shared. However, with just seven minutes of normal time remaining, Gong Minhyun ensured that it was the visitors who got off to a winning start with his close range strike sending what was then Jung Gabsuk's team back to the capital area with the lion's share of the spoils.

Kim Dongchan celebrates scoring against Bucheon, June 2016 (image via K League)
Since the opening day defeat, Daejeon have remained unbeaten against Bucheon this term having picked up a 2-0 win in early June and a 1-1 draw in mid-August. A Park Inhyeok brace on the 9th June sealed Daejeon's first away win over Bucheon since 2014 before Shanzhar Tursnanov's spot kick cancelled out Nilson Junior's in a 1-1 draw on 20th August. Daejeon's last home win over Bucheon was in June 2016 when goals from Kim Dongchan and Gustavo Sauerbeck sealed a 2-0 win.

Overall, there have been fifteen meetings between Daejeon Citizen and Bucheon FC 1995, eight at Bucheon Civic Stadium and seven at Purple Arena. Daejeon have five wins to Bucheon's six and four draws. At Purple Arena, both teams have been the victors on three occasions each.

Team News

Daejeon Citizen will be forced into making at least one change to their starting XI with Park Inhyeok ruled out through suspension. The former Hoffenheim forward picked up his ninth booking of the campaign during the 2-0 away loss to Seongnam last Saturday which may allow Shohruh Gadoev to deputise. Midfielders Kang Yunsung, Shin Hakyoung, Shanzhar Tursnaov, as well as full-back Hwang Jaehoon are all one more booking away from a one-match ban.

For the trip to Tancheon, Ko Jongsoo made a number of changes to his starting lineup. Park Juwon was given the nod to start in goal for the Purples having made his return from Asan Mugunghwa, favoured to former Magpies stopper Park Junhyeok. Shin Hakyoung also came in to central midfield with Tursanov shifted to the left-wing ahead of compatriot Shohruh Gadoev in the absence of the injured Kim Seungseop.

After such a lacklustre display, Ko may feel the need to wield the ax. Options available to him could be to revert Park Sooil to central midfield instead of Shin Hakyoung and start Park Jaewoo at full back. Hwang Jaehoon was culpable for both Seongnam goals at the weekend and could be dropped in favour of Kim Yesung, Jang Wonseok, or Park Myeongsoo.

Daejeon Citizen Starting XI vs Seongnam FC R34

The Adversary

Last weekend's win over Suwon FC lifted Bucheon up to eighth, ten points behind Daejeon but just five points behind Gwangju in fifth. To make the playoffs, Bucheon need back-to-back wins to see out the season and for the teams above them to drop points, Gwangju in particular.

Under Jung Gabsuk, Bucheon won just eight matches in 28 matches, with five of those eight victories coming in the first five rounds of the current campaign. Since Coach Jung's departure, Bucheon won just twice under caretaker gaffer Kim Daesik in seven outings, drawing twice and losing three. Prior to Saturday, when Bucheon displaced Suwon FC in a 2-0 home win, their only other maximum under Kim was a 1-0 away win over bottom-placed Seoul E-Land. Since 16th September when Coach Kim took over, Bucheon have scored six goals and conceded seven.

Tactically, Kim had been setting his side up in a 4-2-1-3 and a 4-1-2-3 for the last two outings, the 2-0 win over Suwon and 3-1 away loss to Ansan, after reverting from a 3-4-3 that was deployed in four out of the previous five matches beforehand.

In order to find a winning formula, Kim had tried a number of players in different positions. Jang Soonhyeok has operated anywhere along the back three or four, Nilson Junior as either a centre back or holding midfielder, Kim Junyeop has a left back, left wing-back, left midfielder, right winger, right-sided forward, Ahn Taehyun as a right back, right wing-back, right winger or left winger, Lee Hyunseung as either a central midfielder or centre forward, Choo Minyeol has a right or left winger as well as a central midfielder, Park Kun as a centre back of holding midfielder, whilst Willian Popp has been tried anywhere along the front three.

Quite like Daejeon have been this term, Bucheon are somewhat of a second-half team. Two thirds of all goals scored have come in the last 30 minutes of matches, 35% between 60 and 75 minutes, and 27% in the last fifteen. Only 32% of Bucheon's goals have come in the entirety of the first half and only two goals have been scored in the first fifteen minutes after half time.

It was announced earlier in the week that Song Sunho had returned as manager of the team and is expected to take charge for the first time on Saturday against Daejeon.
Bucheon starting XI vs Suwon FC R34

Who To Watch

Bucheon FC 1995 - Willian Popp

The acquisition of striker Willian Popp was heralded as a shrewd bit of business when he was announced as the West Gyeonggi Province outfit's marquee signing of the winter. Having bagged 18 goals in the red of Busan two years earlier, K League fans were vastly familiar with the 24 year-old Brazilian.

However, much like his current employers Bucheon, the 2018 season hasn't really gone to plan for Popp. But, after netting Bucheon's equaliser in an eventual 3-1 defeat to Ansan Greeners, Popp ended a four-month barren spell in front of goal. A brace against Suwon FC last weekend meant three goals in two games and moved Popp on 10 goals for the season and joint third in the K League 2 scoring charts.

Popp has made the most shots out of any other player in the K2 with 85. For comparison, leading scorer Na Sangho is joint fourth with 64, Seongnam's Seo Bomin is second with 73. In terms of shooting accuracy, Popp has hit the target on 41 occasions, three more than Park Inheok of Daejeon Citizen in second. Having scored against Daejeon already this term, and once for Busan in a meeting at Purple Arena in April 2016, Daejeon's back four will have to be wary of the on-loan Avispa Fukuoka man come Saturday.


Following the Seongnam defeat Daejeon manager Ko Jongsoo admitted that none of his players put in a good enough performance. Changes to the Purples starting XI will be expected, then. Daejeon will be determined not to lose this one and, because Ko Jongsoo doesn't set his team up to only play for a point, it should be an interesting spectacle.

Bucheon, however, have just re-appointed Song Sunho has the new manager after departing two years ago. The Reds are unbeaten in their last two and star striker Willian Popp will be keen to add more to his 10-goal tally. That said, Daejeon should have enough to get the three points if they can put in a much better showing than they have done during the last three outings.

Predicted Score: Daejeon Citizen 2-1 Bucheon FC 1995

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