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Preview: Bucheon FC 1995 vs Daejeon Citizen

K League 2 Preview: Bucheon 1995 vs Daejeon Citizen FC

At 7pm on Saturday two K League 2 teams that experienced differing fortunes in their last matches face each other. The hosts Bucheon FC 1995 secured an away victory that saw them overtake their opponents into 6th place. Daejeon Citizen, meanwhile, remain in 9th place after losing to one of this season's promotion contenders. With only four points between the two sides, this match could prove crucial to both sides chances of turning this into a successful season.

Last Time Out

After recording two draws and two defeats in their previous four matches, Bucheon FC 1995 were finally able to achieve their fourth win of the season with a 1-0 victory away at Ansan Greeners. Both teams were coming into the game looking to win as they were both in danger of slipping away from the promotion play-offs due to their recent mixed form. The two sides close positions in the table were mirrored in the stats, with Bucheon achieving 51% possession and registering twelve shots to Ansan's thirteen. Ansan dominated in terms of shots on target, as they had seven in comparison to Bucheon's three.  Ansan failed to convert any of them due to Bucheon's brilliant defensive performance. Bucheon's goalkeeper Choi Cheol-won, returning after being dropped for two games, was awarded the Man of the Match award due to his outstanding shot stopping and he was joined in the K League 2 team of the week with Bucheon right-back Ahn Tae-hyun, who also put in a commanding display at the back for the away team. The game was decided by an own-goal scored in the 49th minute by Ansan's Lee In-jae. While this is always the most unfortunate way to decide a result, Bucheon will be happy to come away with a win that takes them to within three points of the playoff places.

Coming into the match against Suwon FC, Daejeon Citizen had not won since April and desperately needed points to stop their drift towards the bottom of the table. They were unable to come away with anything on their travels, however, as they lost 2-0 to remain level with 8th placed Jeonnam on twelve points. Suwon scored in both halves, with An Byong-jun scoring in the 27th minute and Chisom Egbuchulam doubling the result in the 82nd minute. Egbuchulam is now the league's joint 4th highest scorer with six goals, something that Daejeon will no doubt be envious of considering that their entire squad has only managed nine goals between them this season, the lowest in the league. If Daejeon are to trouble Bucheon they will have to find goals from somewhere.

Previous Meetings

Daejeon, with their long history in the K League 1, have traditionally been the more successful of the two sides. Since their relegation to the K League 2 after the 2015 season, however, Daejeon has alternated with Bucheon in terms of league positions. Last season Daejeon finished in 4th place compared to Bucheon's 8th, but this season Bucheon appear to be the more in form club. Despite this, on the pitch Daejeon are clearly the more successful team and have won three of their last five matches against Bucheon, alongside one draw. Bucheon's only victory in this period was the opening day 2-1 away win last season, meaning it has been well over a year since they tasted victory against Daejeon. In fact, Daejeon's last win in the league this campaign was the 1-0 home win against Bucheon back in April, the only goal coming courtesy of an 80th minute strike by their Romanian forward Aurelian Chitu. Daejeon may have under performed this season, but they seem to have a mental edge against Bucheon that could lead them to securing some much needed points. Bucheon will have to be wary and not allow their previous results to effect their performance on the day.

Team News

Nilson Junior has returned to the Bucheon first team after his suspension and was a key player in their victory against Ansan. In that match Bucheon finally managed to achieve a victory using the 4-5-1 formation that in previous matches has been largely unsuccessful. Whether Bucheon keep this formation against Daejeon is another matter, as they typically have been tempted to play a 3-5-2 formation against weaker opposition. Bucheon have a dilemma at hand as to who plays in goal, due to the fact that both of their goalkeepers have put in mixed performances this season but have played well recently.

One thing that may or may not have contributed to their win is the fact that Bucheon have switched the captaincy to midfielder Park Gun, who has been a consistently good performer this season. Bucheon have fortunately avoided many injuries or suspensions this season, but have seemed unable to capitalise on this stability this season and always seem to be a team in transition in some way. This may effect them against Daejeon, though they should be confident coming into the game on the back of a victory.

The Adversary

After starting the season brightly with two wins in their opening two matches, Daejeon have only been able to pick up one win and three draws since then, losing seven league matches and exiting of the FA Cup on penalties to Dankook University. As a sign of how bad things have gotten Daejeon sacked there manager Ko Jong-soo prior to the defeat to Suwon FC and have installed scout Park Chul as the caretaker manager.

While his reign did not get off to the best of starts, we will now start to see the full effect of his coaching abilities now that he has had a full week to prepare for the Bucheon game. It is possible that he will shake the team up and take some risks, meaning that there standard 4-1-2-3 formation could be open to continued change. In terms of the players Shin Hak-young remains injured but could possibly return on Saturday, while top-scorer Aurelian Chitu continues to be left out of the squad for unknown reasons. There is not much to be positive about with Daejeon at the moment and Bucheon will have every right to think they can capitalise on this. 

Who To Watch

Daejeon have experienced many problems this season, but it has been their lack of goals that has been the biggest contributor to their lack of points. Their defensive record has not been too dissimilar to other teams in the league and is by far not the worst. Their goalkeeper Park Ju-won has been one of the main reasons for this and has been hard done by due to the performances of some of his teammates. He has been an impressive shot-stopper for Daejeon for many years now and he could be the deciding factor as to whether Daejeon can secure any points against Bucheon.

Prediction

Bucheon have been inconsistent all season but should have a positive mindset after their win against Ansan. In Daejeon, Bucheon have found a team that is less stable than them and it is not often that Bucheon are the favourites going into a game. Daejeon can at least look to their recent record against Bucheon for some hope, but with all things considered the home side should be comfortable winners.

Bucheon FC 1995 2-0 Daejeon Citizen FC

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