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Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs Seoul E-Land

K League 2 Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs Seoul E-Land

The trials and tribulations of Seoul E-Land continue in the K League 2. The side recorded their ninth loss in a row on Sunday. After falling to Asan Mugunghwa, the Leopards will now have to pick themselves up and travel to an also lackadaisical, Jeonnam Dragons. Will it be ten defeats in a row, for a desperate E-Land side?

Overview

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Via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Asan Mugunghwa Vs Seoul E-Land

Sunday evening saw a local derby of sorts, as Seoul traveled across town from their temporary stadium to face Asan. It began to look like Groundhog Day for the Leopards, as in the 10th minute, a VAR decision resulted in a penalty kick. The same thing has transpired the past three games for Seoul in the Yi Sun-shin stadium. The biggest news coming out of the Seoul camp was the absence of goalkeeper Kim Youn-kwang, who has been a firm fixture in an E-Land side since their inception. Kang Jeon-monk stepped into to cover the goal.

Ko Moo-yeol converted, and the champions found themselves 1-0. The Jeonbuk star returns back to his home club next month and will be missed if he continues to perform this way every weekend. He made it 2-0 in the 44th minute, and left it all to do for struggling Seoul. The game was set in stone in the 68th minute, as Ko Moo-yeol bagged his hattrick. Over celebrations from Asan could be questioned, as salt was definitely rubbed into a gaping E-Land womb, a bit of class would not have gone amiss.

Feeling the pressure? Seoul E-Land have lost their ninth straight defeat in the league in the last round of the K League 2. Can they improve and finally pick up some points against Jeonnam Dragons?

Seoul did not give up, however, and super substitute, Alex tapped the ball home in the 79th minute. Seoul kept pushing, and were all over Asan in the dying minutes, in the 88th minute, VAR worked in the capital's favor. The second penalty of the game was awarded, and Kim Min-kyu made it 3-2, with five minutes of added time left. Some heroics from Kang Jeon-monk kept the side in the game, but Seoul could not get their equalizer. Some positive play from Seoul in the end, but it took them 70 minutes into the game to start playing football. Asan the victors, but they may not be as bold and brash the next time they welcome a team to town.

Full Time: Asan Mugunghwa 3-2 Seoul E-Land

[READ: What went wrong for Seoul E-Land against Asan?]


Ansan Greeners vs Jeonnam Dragons

The tie between 6th and 8th was a game with very few talking points throughout the 90. Things looked better for Jeonnam once Bruno came onto the pitch, but they were still unable to find a goal. Jeonnam's keeper Park Jun-hyuk made a stunning save in the first half to deny Hwang Tae-hyeon and Ansan their first goal.

Jeonnam did have chances, and Kim Young-wook hit the inside of the post late on from a free-kick. However, it was the home team with the smash and grab. Bang Chan-jun found himself unmarked as the ball was passed across the face of the goal. With all the time in the world, the Korean passed the ball into the net in the 94th minute and claimed all three points for the Green Wolves.

Full Time: Ansan Greeners 1-0 Jeonnam Dragons

Previous Meetings

This will be the third time the two sides meet this season. Previous games have resulted in one draw, and a Jeonnam wins away from home. The last game was a Monday night affair, as Jeonnam made the journey to Cheonnam to face the Leopards. After pressure from both sides in the first opening half-hour, it was the Dragons who got the break. Bruno Nunes made it 1-0 in the 30th minute, and the side held on with the narrow lead going into the break.

The second half slowed right down, and there were no real clear cut chances for either side. Seoul struggles to shoot when under pressure and have no confidence when opponents are present. Jeonnam held onto the lead and made it a fourth straight defeat for Seoul. They still have not won in the interval of the two teams meeting.

Team News

The big news, as mentioned earlier in the preview, was the absence of goalkeeper Kim Young-Kwang from the Seoul side this weekend. The keeper was dropped due to an injury picked up in training. Substitute keeper Kang Jeong-monk stepped up and put in a respectable performance for the boys in blue. New signings Lee Tae-ho and Choi Jong-hoan were at the center back, and right back position respectively. They steadied the E-Land ship, but the goals came from counter-attacks that Seoul could not deal with. Asan's pace saw the Leopards chasing them in their defense. Seoul will be without captain Lee Hyun-sung and Lee Kyung-ryul will be absent from the game. Both players picked up a yellow in the game against Asan, and will be unavailable.

A strange substitution for Seoul in the second half, saw Douglas Coutinho taken off after only 45 minutes of action. The Brazilian put in a good performance and was tracking back well for the side. Wesley Alex is really starting to come across as an impact substitute, scoring again from off the bench. Seoul might play more attacking in the game against Jeonnam given the club's position in the league, therefore giving Alex the nod to start.

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The Seoul E-Land team that played Asan Mugunghwa in round 20 of the 2019 K League 2. Photo Credit (www.facebook.com/seouleland)


Jeonnam will have no suspensions going into the game against Seoul and will have a full-strength side. Keeper Park Jun-hyuk was given the nod ahead of this game. His performance in the game against Ansan may reward also place him in the starting line up for the game against E-Land. Jun-hyuk made some great saves in the match against Ansan. Choi Jae-hyeon led the line, in a 4-3-3 formation against Ansan. The striker has scored three goals this season, one behind top scorer, Kim Young-wook. Lee yu-hyeon was absent in the fixture, picking up a fourth yellow card in the game prior against Asan Mugunghwa. He was maybe introduced back into the squad for the game against Seoul. Choi Hyo-jin was the captain of the side, and once again dawned the right-back position next to Lee Ji-nam.

The Adversary

A team struggling with life in the K League, Seoul E-Land have had no success since mid-April. A team struggling to score, and a rocky defense, Seoul have had the lion's share of being mocked due to their form. An ageing team, they have some promise in their foreign strike force. Douglas Coutinho started swell for the side, and Wesley Alex usually finds the net from off the bench. Their efforts do not matter however, as Seoul just leak goals. They have conceded 39 goals already this season, only 13 off last year's tally. With over 18 games left, it will more than likely be surpassed.

Seoul have no confidence on the pitch and easily give away the ball. Teams do not need to push against Seoul in battle, yet sit back, and wait for the Leopards to make a mistake. As a team in a dire situation, they are a long way off any form of sucess in Korean football.

Prediction

It is hard to tell, given the form of each side this year. Jeonnam were left in heartbreak, due to the last gasp goal from Ansan in the last round. Seoul E-Land, however, are desperate now. It has gone beyond the level of farcical, and now coming across as, quite frankly, concerning. Seoul have been improving on performances each week, but they have not yet claimed a point. As truly the whipping boys of Korea, Seoul E-Land will attempt to save some face on Sunday night.

Jeonnam Dragons 2-1 Seoul E-Land



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