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Preview: Seoul E-Land vs FC Anyang

K League 2 preview: Seoul E-Land vs FC Anyang

A new chapter in Seoul E-Land's life began last Saturday as they welcomed Suwon FC down to Cheonan for their first game in their new temporary stadium for the 2019 K League 2 season. The game saw two goals in the first four minutes, one for either team, followed by 86 minutes of chances from both sides in an entertaining draw. Seoul need to continue to push for their first win, however, and they will welcome FC Anyang to the Cheonan stadium this weekend. Last year saw Seoul pick up their first three points of the season against the purple outfit. Could lightning strike twice by the time Sunday evening rolls around?



Overview

Via Soccerway 

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land looked to have got a new lease of life as they faced Suwon on the weekend, yet it took the visiting team only 90 seconds to have the ball in the back of E-Land's net. Some defensive errors met with a well-worked strike from Baek Sung-dong saw Suwon take the lead.

Fans were led to believe that it was a new dawn, yet it appeared to be the same situation for E-Land. They would be wrong however in believing so. Seoul responded instantly when a deflected shot by Duarte was met by Continho, who scuffled the ball past the line to make it 1-1 with only four minutes into the game.

The fans were in full voice in the stadium, integrating the Seoul faithful with the new Cheonan spectators in chanting together for the team. Their efforts looked as they were paying off as Seoul continued to look for a second goal in the game and they had the ball in the net in the 11th minute. Seo Gyeong-Ju slotted the ball from a long through ball. Whilst E-Land celebrations continued, the referee went to VAR and disallowed the goal due to offside.

Kim Youn-kwang was on hand to make some good saves from Suwon corner kicks in the first half, but the first half closed out with Seoul looking the more promising team.

The second half began with more Seoul attacks and they had the ball in the net again, Kwon Ki-Pyo scored with a nicely worked shot to make it 2-1. However, Coutinho was in the line of play and was offside when the initial pass was made, so it was pulled back for offside. It was a fair decision by the linesman, but frustrating for many fans in the ground.

Seoul and Suwon both pushed for a winner in the game, but it didn’t come, and the 1-1 prediction from last week came true.

Full time: Seoul E-Land 1-1 Suwon FC

Highlights can be found here

FC Anyang had a tougher task in the last round, as they faced off against league leaders, Gwangju away from home.

With Gwangju still undefeated this year, and Felipe on fire for the side, FC Anyang would have their cards stacked against them in this fixture. In saying that, it was FC Anyang who drew first blood in the tie. An own goal from Kim Jin-hwan put the away side 1-0 to the good.

FC Anyang's Palacios levels the game and gives them an important point against Gwangju in the K League 2
Gwangju pushed on in the game. They showed that they are serious contenders for promotion this year and responded with a goal from Park Jung-Soo to make it 1-1 The Gwangju player was left completely umarked from a free kick and Anyang paid for their defensive error.

In the 55th minute, it was the league’s top goal scorer Felipe once again to make it 2-1 for the home side. It was set to be plain sailing for Gwangju from there on in, yet FC Anyang found a second wind, and in the 85th minute, Palacios equalized to let the two teams share the spoils.

Full Time: Gwangju FC 2-2 FC Anyang

Highlights can be found here

Previous Meetings

FC Anyang, from head to head results against Seoul will fancy their chances on the weekend. Seoul have always struggled against them, with only one win and three losses in the 2018 K League 2 season.

In saying that, the Leopard's only win was Seoul's first win of the campaign, as stated before, when they picked up a 1-0 victory in Jamsil, courtesy of a Jeon Soo-hyun own goal.

The next fixture in the purple arena was a scrappy affair. The home side ran out 2-0 winners, even after being reduced down to 10 men in the first half with Choi Jae-Hoon picking up his second yellow within 43 minutes. The last goal that night was scored by Wesley Alex, who will be facing his former team on the weekend.

The last two games saw Anyang win 1-0, with the last encounter seeing Seoul's Kim Chang-wook given the marching orders early in the second half. There is no love lost between the two sides when they face one another and a sort of rivalry has been spawned between the two in recent games. Expect to see some meaty challenges in this fixture if the past is anything to go by.

Team News

Seoul E-Land came out with a new formation from what has been seen in prior fixtures. They set up in a 4-5-1, with two central defensive midfielders in Heo Beom-san and Byeon Jun-byum. Countiho was on the left and Duarte was on the right wing, with the final Brazilian Alex up top.

The Seoul E-Land team and formation, which was set up against Suwon FC in round 5 of the K League 2. Photo Credit (www.facebook.com/seouleland)

Defensively Seoul could have a task on their hands now, as it has been revealed that captain Ahn Ji-ho has had to get screws put into his knee from the injury against Asan Mugunghwa. The Korean defender will likely be out for some time.

Regardless of the early slip up from Seoul, they did manage to pull together the back four and play a strong defense against an ever charging Suwon attack.

Seoul looked for long balls and played out to the wings against Suwon, looking for a Brazilian on either side, who were quick to press the ball forward whenever they got possession.

Coutinho was promising in the game and attempted an overhead kick numerous times throughout the game. As a very athletic player, fans could be treated to a few fancy goals this season from the new signing.

The Adversary

With very similar openings to the season, FC Anyang travel to Seoul E-Land's temporary home for a clash of the bottom half. Despite E-Land having yet to secure a win in the league thus far, they’re still an opponent for Anyang not to overlook. In the last three matches, they share identical results with two draws and a loss.

Stylistically, both teams come into this relying on foreign forward talent to create chances with E-Land having Anyang’s former top goal scorer in Alex in their team. It’s hard to say there is much to split the foreign talent since it’s so early, but E-Land should have a game plan in this clash with having a more direct long ball approach to creating chances, which has shown to be an Anyang weakness. ‘Aerial ability’, which was identified in my confident prediction last time out with Gwangju as the team's weak point, saw Felipe score which with his head.

This would be enough to slightly sway Seoul E-Land’s chances of at least netting a goal through their own style. Anyang have proved to be a very gritty team so far this season and can upset sides with their ability to counter-attack. Anyang have scored more this season (+4) and conceded less (+1) than that of E-Land and this could be an important factor to consider when it’s looking to be a high scoring match. With all of Anyang’s foreign players scoring or creating, they’re on track to be one of the most efficient attacking teams in the league. This should all help Anyang’s game plan of counter-attacking opponents’ mistakes, with their wide overlapping centric formation.

I’m predicting Anyang’s counter approach to create many chances for Anyang to score and with E-Land’s clear defensive weakness worsened with injuries, it will be a possible goal fest. It’s unlikely they will be able to hold the clean sheet, but Anyang should have enough to scrape a victory. I envisage a player who goes by ‘Alex’ will score, but it’s most likely to be the Anyang version.

Written by Paul Bettridge

Prediction

Seoul E-Land have been playing a lot better in recent weeks, bar the game against Asan. Their position in the league or points tally really doesn't give justice to how they have set up and played. In saying that, it is only the start of the season still, and there is plenty of time for teams to drop off, and Seoul to try and climb the table.

Seoul will set up against an Anyang side who are only two points ahead of them in the table. Anyang looked impressive against Busan in their opening game of the season when they ran out 4-1 winners, but apart from their FA Cup win, they have not be able to recreate the same magic of opening day.

If Anyang are looking to be serious contenders for a play-off position this year, they will look at this game as a must win, even this early into the season. Yet Seoul have constantly been knocking on the door and asking questions of teams in recent weeks. This could be a tough one to call based on the history and the form of either team.

Predicted Score: Seoul E-Land 2-2 FC Anyang

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