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Preview: Bucheon FC 1995 vs FC Anyang

K league 2 Preview: Bucheon 1995 vs FC Anyang

This Sunday sees a match between two teams that had differing fortunes on Wednesday night. Bucheon FC 1995 will be looking to bounce back after having a point snatched away from them against the league leaders. FC Anyang, meanwhile, are in an enviable run of form after securing a third successive win and placing themselves in contention for promotion.

Last Time Out

Bucheon were a side that were going into Wednesday's game against Gwangju in high spirits. After suffering two successive defeats, Bucheon secured themselves a satisfying 2-1 away victory against Seoul E-Land in the previous game. Although 1st placed Gwangju are a much tougher opposition, Bucheon would have hoped to have come away with some points at home considering they were riding high in the league themselves. Unfortunately for them, after holding off wave after wave of Gwangju attacks Bucheon succumbed to a 0-1 defeat after conceding a 94th minute goal to Gwangju midfielder Yeo Reum with a powerful close-range finish at the near post. While Gwangju were the more dominant team, achieving 67% possession and registering over twice as many shots as the hosts, Bucheon will feel hard done by as they had defended well for the whole match and they arguably deserved at least a point. The result means that Gwangju remain undefeated while Bucheon slip to 7th place, although they are still in contention for the promotion play-offs as only three points separates the teams in 3rd-8th place.

The team leading that pack of promotion chasers is 3rd place FC Anyang, who have looked like they have regained the form that was visible in the 4-1 away win against Busan IPark in their opening match of the season. After appearing to lose their way following that match, Anyang have improved considerably and have won their last three league games, an enviable run of form in this unpredictable division. The latest of those victories was a 2-1 away victory against now 6th placed Suwon FC on Wednesday. After a goalless first half Anyang took control of the game with a quick brace from 21-year-old striker Cho Kyu-sung in the 55th and 59th minutes, taking his tally for this season to three goals. Suwon managed to pull a goal back in the 82nd minute through their North Korean international forward An Byong-jun, also scoring his third goal of the season. Anyang are now looking like a more complete team and are in a good position to challenge for promotion, but the closeness of other teams in the league shows that any mistakes could see them fall down the table, just like Bucheon. 

Previous Meetings

Bucheon and Anyang have played once this season so far and it ended in a 1-0 victory for Bucheon back in March in the second round of matches of the K League 2. In a hard fought game that featured five yellow cards Bucheon came away with the win thanks to a 42nd-minute goal from defender Lim Dong-Hyuk. After this game both teams went through difficult periods of only achieving losses and draws, though it appears that Anyang has successfully recovered. There is more of a question mark over Bucheon, however, and their inconsistency has meant that nobody is quite sure whether they should be labelled as genuine promotion contenders or as a mid-table side that achieves some good results on occasion.

If Bucheon want to be considered as the former, then a good starting point would be to improve on last year's results against teams like Anyang. In March last year Bucheon won 3-0 away from home in the opening fixture between the two clubs, but then Anyang went on to win the following three matches between them. As there is a good chance that Bucheon and Anyang will be not too far apart in the table at the end of the season, the chance to take points away from each other is a big opportunity for both clubs to secure their positions in the top half of the K League 2.

Team News

Bucheon experimented with a 3-5-2 formation in the victory against Seoul E-Land last weekend after spending several weeks tinkering with versions of the 4-1-4-1 formation. Despite this success the coach decided to revert back to the 4-1-4-1 formation to counter Gwangju's more attacking style of play. Considering their defeat on Wednesday, the question of the formation will be one of the biggest one's facing the club. Is the one-off success of 3-5-2 enough to justify bringing it back, or has the repeated use of 4-1-4-1 run its course?

In terms of the players that will be on the pitch on Sunday, the biggest will concern the forwards. While most of the defenders and midfielders in the starting eleven have been secure for weeks, their has been a lot more rotation up front. Against Seoul E-Land Kim Ryun-do and Marlon de Jesus formed a partnership, whereas against Gwangju Marlon became a lone striker and Kim was positioned on the left-wing. In previous weeks Bucheon even experimented with playing defender Kim Jae-woo up front, which saw some success as he scored against Ansan Greeners in the 2-1 home defeat back in April. Other forwards have been used in this campaign too, so while it may be easy to predict the majority of Bucheon's line-up it will be hard to guess what their attack will look like on Sunday.

The Adversary

By FC Anyang correspondent Paul Bettridge

With another win secured using the new formation and structured counter-attacking style, Anyang will continue to use their width and fast turn of pace to cause opposition defences issues during stages of transition. This was shown in their last outing versus Suwon FC, which was correctly predicted to be a 2-1 result. The most important player to this counter-attacking system being Cho Kyu-Sung who scored twice.

The vital role of Alex who I was critical of in the three-game losing streak, has now changed with him now being the second most valuable player in the unbeaten streak that has seen Anyang progress in the cup, and into the top three in the league. His position in the midfield is key to how Anyang will like to play. With his role as first to receive the ball for counter attacks, and his long passing range making Anyang able to spread the play in a variety of ways, a surprise for most teams.

Last time at the Bucheon stadium, Bucheon ended Anyang's unbeaten start to the season 1-0. However, they were very fortunate with goalkeeper moments and misplays by Anyang. Although both teams have not changed much, it seems unlikely we will see a repeat scoreline with momentum and now a clicking system being in place. Anyang look like a very deadly team, their style is aggressive and hard to match if Bucheon try and go for the win. The game should play out similar to the first encounter with an edgy first half, but over time with players fitness’s fading it should mean that Anyang's expansive style of football takes an advantage.

Who To Watch

After his performance on Wednesday night and in recent matches, the player to watch from Anyang is Cho Kyu-sung. Alex Monteira de Lima may be the club's top scorer, but Cho has youth on his side and has scored all of his goals this season in the past three games. Together they are part of a dangerous forward line for Anyang and have contributed a huge amount to their club's current form. Cho in particular is growing as each week passes and by the end of the season he could surpass Alex as the team's main striker. Bucheon will have to be careful to avoid being the latest side to concede against this young prodigy.

Prediction

Both sides have played well recently and Bucheon will be looking to rebound from their agonising defeat on Wednesday. Anyang are the league's in form team and are on the heels of Gwangju and Busan. Expect a closely fought encounter with a chance for plenty of goals, but no side to come away as the victor.

Bucheon FC 1995 1-1 FC Anyang

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