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Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Jeonnam Dragons

Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Jeonnam Dragons K League 2 Round 12
Struggling in the lower reaches of the K League 2 table, Daejeon Citizen welcome Jeonnam Dragons to Purple Arena this Saturday tea time, hoping to record a first win since mid-April. The Dragons themselves are in the midst of a sticky patch of form having picked up just four points from their last five matches including three straight defeats. 

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land 1-1 Daejeon Citizen

The Purples had to settle for just a point in Cheonan away to temporarily relocated Seoul E-Land last Sunday. Aurelian Chitu had given the visitors an early lead, beating the offside trap from Hwang Jaehoon's through-ball on the half-way line. The Romanian, with just Kim Youngkwang to beat, threaded the ball in between the legs of an on-rushing 'Glory Kim' in the eleventh minute.

Citizen looked as though they were heading for three points but Douglas Countinho restored parity with just seven minutes remaining - the Colombian pounced on a loose ball before finding the back of the net emphatically. The game wasn't quite over though as Daejeon were awarded a penalty in the dying for handball, VAR aiding in the decision. Sanzhar Tursanov stepped up but blazed his spot kick wide.

Highlights: here

Jeonnam Dragons 1-2 Suwon FC

Suwon FC piled the misery on a lukewarm Jeonnam Dragons side in Gwangyang last Saturday. The Dragons took the lead in the first minute, Han Seungwook finding the back of the net after steering in Jung Jaehee's cross from the right. However, 21 minutes later Suwon FC leading scorer Chisom Egbuchunam found an equaliser for Kim Daeui's men, the former Falkenberg striker fired home Baek Sungdong's cross from just over six yards.

The visitors to Dragon Dungeon went on to find a winner four minutes after the hour mark through Estonian international striker Henri Anier who nodded home Kim Byungoh's cross at the far post. Jeonnam remained second from bottom, Suwon up to third.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

In round two, Daejeon made the long trip south to Gwangyang to pick up their second win in as many games, cruising to a 3-1 win. A Park Inhyeok brace followed fledgling defender Lee Jisol's close range opener for the Purples before Bruno pulled one back in injury time.

Daejeon's last home game against the Dragons was an FA Cup fourth round clash in 2017. The match was played away from Purple Arena due to the U20 World Cup at Boeun Stadium, east of Daejeon. Robert Feczesin gave Jeonnam the lead on 27 minutes before central defender Jang Junyoung levelled just shy of the hour mark. However, a Vedran Jugović strike in the 72nd minute proved to be the winner.

Jeonnam's last league visit to Daejeon dates back to October 2015 when both teams were in K League Classic (K League 1). Wingback Kim Taebong scored the only goal of the game in the 82nd minute to give the Purples and unlikely victory.

Overall, these two teams have met on 37 occasions with Jeonnam picking up 16 wins to Daejeon's 12 and nine draws. In Daejeon, Citizen have eight wins to Jeonnam's six and four draws.

Team News

Daejeon Citizen will be without centre back Lee Jisol and forward Kim Seyun due to their pair's involvement with the Korea squad ahead of the U20 World Cup. Ahn Sanghyeon missed the 5-0 drubbing to Busan a fortnight ago through injury but came on as a substitute away to E-Land and so should be fit to start. Midfielder Park Suchang is one booking away from a suspension.

Daejeon Citizen lineup versus Seoul E-Land, K League 2 R11

The Adversary


Things have gone from bad to much much worse for Jeonnam with the official departure of midfield stalwart Vedran Jugović. In just over three seasons with the Dragons he proved vital to shielding an often porous defense and was fantastic at moving the ball forward to spark the attack. Having played well over 2,000 minutes in each year with the team, there is now a massive hole to fill in a midfield that has struggled to find consistency or any kind of efficiency this season. Manager Fabiano Soares has switched from his preferred 4-3-3 to a 3-4-3 in the past two matches seemingly in an effort to create more clearly defined roles in a flat four man midfield with the outside men making most of the overlapping runs, but it's yet to provide results. Regardless of who's in there, it's hard to see Jeonnam improving on their near league worst defense without Jugović to martial things. The only silver lining for Jeonnam is that Daejeon have also struggled up front and midfield should be able to help the defense enough to at least limit the damage.

-Ryan Walters

Jeonnam Dragons lineup vs Suwon FC, K League 2 R11.


Who To Watch

Daejeon Citizen - Ahn Sanghyeon


Daejeon captain Ahn Sanghyeon in action against Seoul E-Land in K League 2 R11.
Defensive midfielder and club captain Ahn Sanghyeon sat out the home defeat to Busan IPark two rounds ago through injury but returned to the fold last time out. The 33 year-old, who is in his second stint at Purple Arena, is the most experienced outfield player in the squad with well over 200 appearances to his name. So far this term Ahn has made nine starts from 10 appearances overall and has 83.6% passing accuracy overall. In terms of passes into the final third, the former Seongnam midfielder has a 83.5% accuracy rate whilst forward passes in general are at 73.6% and 52 interceptions, averaging at just over five per match.

Jeonnam Dragons - Park Junhyuk

Park Junhyeok spent six months at Purple Arena in 2018.
Goalkeeper Park Junhyuk made the switch from Purple Arena to Dragon Dungeon over the winter following a short spell with Daejeon Citizen. Park, who won the FA Cup with Seongnam in 2014, was previously playing for FC Pocheon in K3, the fourth tier, whilst completing his military service. However, due to an injury to Kim Jinyoung, Daejeon gaffer Ko Jongsoo brought in Park as a stop gap until Park Juwon returned from Asan Mugunghwa. The former Daegu, Jeju, and Seongnam stopper was the Purples' number one during their incredible two and a half month unbeaten streak. Since making the move south, things haven't quite gone to plan for Park with Jeonnam sitting in ninth place but will be keen to impress on his return to Daejeon.

Prediction

Neither Daejeon Citizen nor Jeonnam Dragons head into Saturday's match in the best of form. Daejeon will no doubt be determined to get back to winning ways after coming so close against Seoul E-Land last time out. Jeonnam, meanwhile, know that three points would see them leapfrog the Purples and into eighth place. At home Ko Jongsoo's side will be the slight favourites but, having failed to keep a cleansheet in their last four matches. Score draw.


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