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Preview: Bucheon FC 1995 vs Seoul E-Land

K League 2 Preview: Bucheon FC 1995 vs Seoul E-Land

On Monday night in the K League 2, two teams that both lost their previous matches will face each other in an attempt to get their seasons back on track. 7th place Bucheon FC 1995 require a win to stay in the hunt for a spot in the promotion play-offs after suffering their biggest defeat of the season. Bottom of the table Seoul E-Land, meanwhile, are looking to end a dismal run of eight defeats in their last nine games in all competitions.

Last Time Out

When Bucheon FC 1995 travelled to unbeaten league leaders Gwangju FC last weekend, they always knew it was going to be a tough task to come away with any points. However, Bucheon had shown signs of improvement in recent weeks and could have been forgiven for believing that they were able to secure a shock result, especially since they made it to half-time with the scores level at 0-0. Their resistance could not hold, though, and Gwangju soon found themselves 3-0 up after defender Lee Eu-ddeum opened the scoring in the 55th minute, and Felipe extended his lead at the top of the league's scoring charts with goals in the 58th and 72nd minutes. Felipe's twelve goals this season contrasts with Bucheon's Ecuadorian forward Marlon de Jesus, who finally scored his first goal for the club in his eleventh appearance by pulling a goal back in the 79th minute. Any hopes of Bucheon pulling off the most unlikely comeback of the season were dashed by Gwangju forward Willyan's goal in the 85th minute, which finished the game at 4-1. Although it was a negative result for Bucheon, they will be happy that they were able to almost match the league leaders in terms of possession (49%) and shots (eleven compared to fourteen).

On one of last weekend's two Monday fixtures Seoul E-Land hosted Jeonnam Dragons in what was a battle of the table's bottom two sides. This was as good a chance as any for E-Land to reach double digit points and to go within touching distance of ninth place. E-Land were unable to take this chance however, and in a game that can hardly be considered a classic they lost 1-0 due to a 30th minute goal from Jeonnam's Brazilian striker Bruno Nunes, scoring only his second goal of the season. This result caused Jeonnam to leapfrog Daejeon Citizen into 8th place and only two points behind Bucheon, while E-Land are now five points behind Daejeon in what is becoming their worst season in their history. E-Land may have finished bottom last season, but that was at least with a respectable 37 points and ten wins, meaning that the club will need a massive turn around in form to even come close to reaching that. Even the club's most passionate supporters will no doubt say this is unlikely and that things are probably not going to change for the Bucheon game. All that the club's fans can ask for now is that the players begin to play with some passion, something that has been clearly lacking all season. 

Previous Meetings

Currently Bucheon and E-Land are separated by three places and nine points in the table. This is similar to last year, but the gap between the two teams has widened, as in 2018 the clubs finished the season with Bucheon only two places and two points ahead of E-Land. The close finish last year is further demonstrated in their results against each other, as they split the four matches evenly with two wins apiece with the away side always the victor. These trends have continued into this season, with each team winning one of the two matches they have played this season, and the away side being the victor on both occasions.

E-Land struck first this season, winning the FA Cup match between the clubs back in March 3-1. This has proven to be one of the only highlights of the season for E-Land, especially since they failed to make the most of their cup run and were eventually knocked out by National League side Daejeon Korail. Bucheon got revenge against E-Land when they played in the league back in April, winning 2-1 in a match that ended a run of six games without a win. Bucheon are the clear favourites for the match, but given the even history between the two sides and the successes of the away side in this fixture, E-Land may be able to head into this game with a more positive attitude than they have done in the majority of the games they have played this season. Bucheon will have to be wary to avoid a repeat of their March cup result.

Team News

In one of the biggest formation changes of the season for Bucheon, 4-4-2 was used in the game against Bucheon. The logic behind this decision is probably that they saw it as their best chance of having enough men back to defend against Gwangju's attacks, while also providing a strong attack to threaten Gwangju when possible. This formation did have its successes, especially in the goalless first half, but the decline in performance in the second half shows that Bucheon are not totally comfortable with it and will likely revert back to either 4-5-1 or 3-5-2 against E-Land.

As the defeat to Gwangju was the largest of the season, there will be some fans calling for first-choice goalkeeper Choi Cheol-won to be dropped in favour of Lee Yeong-chang, who impressed in one of the two matches he has played this season. However, as  Gwangju are the strongest team in the league and E-Land are bottom, Choi may be given another chance to redeem himself.

Striker Marlon de Jesus started on the substitutes bench against Gwangju due to his goal drought, with Lee In-kyu and the in-form Kim Ryun-do in the starting line-up. Marlon replaced Lee in the 51st minute and scored his first goal for the club later in the game, meaning that he could find himself in the starting eleven against E-Land if the coach believes his form could continue to improve. Other than these selection dilemmas, Bucheon have a full squad at their disposal. This means that they are in the best possible shape to face E-Land.

The Adversary

In their loss to Asan Mugunghwa on the 2nd June E-Land went with a 4-3-3 formation, and despite losing 2-0 at home in that match E-Land went with the same formation against Jeonnam, with the slight improvement of only losing 1-0. Four changes were made for the Jeonnam game, with Won Ki-jong and Lee Hyun-sung joining the attack, while Byun Jun-Bum and Kim Tae-hyun came into the defence. The match was overall a lot more positive for E-Land and there were moments in the second half where it looked like they may score an equaliser. This may result in E-Land naming a largely unchanged line-up against Bucheon. One possible change, however, may involve Douglas Coutinho, who came on as a substitute for Won Ki-jong in the 46th minute against Jeonnam after being absent for the previous two matches. The Brazilian is the club's top scorer this season with six goals, and he is arguably E-Land's biggest hope for salvaging a good result from the game against Bucheon.

Who To Watch

Robson Carlos Duarte has been putting in some impressive performances on the left side of the front three in recent games, although he has not yet scored this season. He will be hoping that Douglas Coutinho's potential return to the starting eleven does not come at his expense and instead the E-Land coach plays their full Brazilian attacking trio, including Wesley Alex, on Monday. Alex and Coutinho have already proven themselves as competent goalscorers, registering over half of E-Land's total for the season between them. Working alongside them could prove to be Duarte's best shot at getting into some good goalscoring form, and the trio together could end up being tough to handle for teams such as Bucheon if the coach goes ahead with starting them all together.


On paper, Bucheon look like the favourites, and it looks like that will translate into success on the pitch. Bucheon have not exactly set the league alight with their performances, but E-Land's dire form should give them confidence. E-Land can only hope that the trend for the visitors to succeed in this fixture continues, but this looks like the most likely match for that spell to be broken.

Bucheon FC 1995 2-1 Seoul E-Land

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