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Preview: Seoul E-Land vs Suwon FC

K League 2 Preview: Seoul E-Land vs Suwon FC

We may only be moving into round five of the 2019 K League 2 season, yet things are already seeming like more of a repeat of last year for Seoul E-Land. Still looking to find their first win of the campaign, the Leopards sit bottom of the league table. Saturday brings new beginnings for the side however, with their first of many home games being held at Cheonan Stadium, almost 95km away from their home in Jamsil. With Seoul entertaining an in-form Suwon FC in their temporary ground, can they finally get their season started or will it be more of the same for the Leopards?



Overview
Via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land, coincidentally, were very close to their new home last week, as they traveled down to face Asan Mugunhwa in the Yi Sun-sin Stadium. Technically a derby of sorts now, due to distance, E-Land will hope to quickly forget what unraveled early on Saturday evening.

In a rainy and cold first 45 minutes, Asan dominated from the kick off. They worked well on pressuring E-Land. However, Asan struggled to string some important key passes together, failing to find the final man to make a goal scoring opportunity. Seoul continued to defend, and it wasn't until the 40th minute until their was an Asan breakthrough. A penalty was awarded to Asan, and Oh Se-hun converted with ease. Mugunghwa went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

The second half brought more of the same from the converting police side and they were once again awarded a second penalty of the game in the 69th minute. A handball from outside the area was contested with VAR, and reversed from a free kick to a penalty. Ko Moo-yeol made it 2-0 for Asan, and there was no going back for the Leopards.

Seoul did come out with a response however, as they played a bit fiercer and there began creating a number of E-Land chances in Asan's third. Things got better in the 72nd minute as well for Seoul, as they were awarded a penalty for a handball, the third of the game. Wesley Alex made it 2-1 for the Leopards.

Seoul continued to push for an equalizer, and Alex soon had the ball in the net once again, however it was ruled for offside.

Seoul's all out attack made them suffer late in the game however, as they failed to defend a well placed strike from Park Min-seo in the 84th minute. Asan found themselves comfortable winners in the end.

Full Time : Asan Mugunhwa 3-1 Seoul E-Land

Suwon fared a lot better in their fixture on the weekend, as they traveled to Daejeon to face the citizens. The game was at A stalemate until the 82nd minute, when An Byong-jun broke the deadlock for Suwon.

Suwon continued to grow in confidence, and doubled their lead at the death, with a goal from Chrisom Egbuchunam.

The win was the second of the season for Suwon, and their third in a row including the FA Cup game midweek. Possibly not the best time for Seoul to face the inform side.

Full Time: Daejeon Citizen 0-2 Suwon FC.

Previous Meetings

The 2018 season saw both teams claim two wins over one another, both one home and one away. They met in the opening round last year, with a 1-0 win to Suwon, to start their campaign with a win. Suwon also took the second of four meetings, as they eased past Seoul when they faced them in the capital

Early September saw Seoul E-Land go down to Suwon and win 2-0 against the side, their first win against Suwon away since 2015.

The final encounter was on the last game of the season when Seoul ran out 1-0 winners in a close game between the two sides.

When the two sides met last year, it was always a close encounter. As three of the games ended 1-0, it's clear that the games have only one or two chances to get an opportunity to win the game.

Seoul and Suwon play defensively against one another, and its normally a defensive error which leads to goals being scored in the tie.

With both teams improving on their attack this year, and looking more powerful up top, we may see more goals scored between the two teams.

Team News

Seoul came out with a 4-3-3 against Asan on the weekend, with the three midfielders packed close into the center of the pitch. Up top saw a start for Wesley Alex, who was entrusted with the lead striker role. Robson Duarte and Douglas Coutinho were on the bench and came on in the second half.

When all three Brazilians come onto the pitch, the tempo of the game rises for E-Land, which creates more runs for the Leopards in the oppositions half. This is something we saw in the 15-minute spell on the weekend when it was all Seoul in the game.

A doubt for the tie, however, is captain Ahn Ji-ho, who was substituted off after taking a knock in the first half.

Masuda was once again, creating long ball passes for E-Land and controlling the center of the field for the side within the game. The Japanese veteran has been a critical player for the side in the league, and will more than likely get the nod in the game against Suwon on the weekend

The Adversary

Last Wednesday’s FA Cup third round were truly fruitful for the visiting team. Suwon FC’s new signings Chisom Egbuchulam and An Byong-jun fired three in the net during the FA Cup match-up against Chungju Citizen, proving that the two were now ready to be shone in the league stage.

Also, manager Kim Dae-eui, who was lamenting from the poor performance of his artillery found the perfect solution to utilize his talented squad. A formation change was a huge factor to his tactical resolution. 4-2-3-1, which was used for the first three of his league games only saw one goal in total from his offensive players.

However, after adopting the 3-5-2 formation in the past two games, fans were rewarded with eye-pleasing goals from the attackers. Chisom made three goals, whilst the North Korean national An Byong-jun netted two in the past two games. It was clear to see that the formation and tactical changes saw a better route and pattern for the Suwon’s attackers to build chemistry with one another.

The 3-5-2 formation adopted by manager Kim saw two wing backs being deployed as the side midfielders. The wing-backs had to cover a wide range of the flank but were able to provide outnumbered-dominance wherever they were contributing, be it defense or offense. Thus, creating more chances for the two strikers and consequently bringing three points back to Castle Park.

By Lee Young-sub

Prediction

It is hard to say what will happen with Seoul E-Land. It always is. They turned it on in the FA Cup against Bucheon and put on a great performance in the second half and extra time. They could put the defeat to Asan down to fatigue, as a few key players did play in the tie.

Seoul had slowly been improving each game before the knock back last week. However, as stated earlier, Suwon are in form and look as if they can take something in any game they play at the moment. Seoul are perhaps also without a strong back four leading into the tie with the absence of Ahn Ji-ho.

The first game in Cheonan for the Leopards might bring a fresh start and a desire to go and take the game to Suwon, and try to collect all three points from the encounter.

Predicted Score: Seoul E-Land 1-1 Suwon FC

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