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Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Bucheon FC 1995


In one of Round 24's two Monday games in the K League 2, two bottom-half sides that failed to win last weekend do battle against each other. Daejeon Citizen need a win to lift themselves off the bottom of the table and return to the 9th place that they have held for most of the season. They host a 7th placed Bucheon FC 1995 side that have not won in a long time, but secured an important point last week to keep themselves in the hunt for a play-off place.

Last Time Out

Daejeon Citizen travelled down to the south coast last Sunday to face a second placed Busan IPark that has been pursuing league leaders Gwangju FC all season. This was always going to be a tough task for Daejeon, but they would have come into the match with some confidence. Despite their lowly position Daejeon had defeated top-half side Ansan Greeners 2-0 away from home just one week before, so the most optimistic Daejeon fans would have had some belief they could do the same against Busan. For a while it looked like it was certainly possible for Daejeon to come away with something as they entered half-time with the score at 0-0. 

The score did not remain the same for long though, as three second-half minutes turned the match into a 2-0 win for Busan. In the 58th, 30 year-old midfielder Park Jong-woo opened the scoring for Busan with an impressive curled free-kick into the top right corner of the goal. Shortly afterwards in the 61st minute Busan doubled the scoreline with a tap in from a corner by 22 year-old midfielder Lee Dong-jun. This result put Busan only five points behind Gwangju in the table, while Daejeon remained in 9th place. This did not last, however, as on Monday night Seoul E-Land secured their third consecutive victory with a 2-1 over Suwon FC, a result that saw Seoul leapfrog Daejeon in the table.

Watch highlights of the match here. 

Things were not looking good for Bucheon last Saturday as they prepared to face the best team in the league one week after losing to the worst. A 1-0 away loss against Seoul E-Land was certainly a low point for Bucheon and having already lost 0-1 and 4-1 to Gwangju in previous matches this season, another defeat was expected. Gwangju opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Felipe powered a header into the goal from a corner. However, Bucheon were right back in the game when Marlon de Jesus's first time shot from the edge of the penalty area flew in off of the bottom right-hand post in the 30th minute. The score ended at 1-1 at the final whistle and as a reward for keeping the first placed team in the league at bay Bucheon's goalkeeper Choi Cheol-won was rewarded with a place in the K League 2 team of the week.

The even nature of the match can be reflected in the stats. Bucheon had 49% possession and both teams had a total of 12 shots, with Bucheon having eight compared to Gwangju's six. Bucheon have now only picked up three points in their last five games, but all three points have been draws against the league's top three sides. If Bucheon can churn out those sorts of performances on a regular basis and earn some victories against lower-placed opposition, then they could be spending the rest of the season climbing the table.

Watch highlights of the match here.

Previous Meetings

Bucheon and Daejeon have played a total of 18 matches against each other and there have been five draws and a largely even split of victories, with Daejeon slightly leading as they have recorded seven wins compared to Bucheon's six. The nature of Bucheon's six wins seems to highlight one of the only stand out statistics of the fixture. While Bucheon have won three matches home and away, they have scored eleven goals at home in total compared to only four goals away. Bucheon won all three of their away matches versus Daejeon by only one goal, with the highest scoring of those being a 2-1 away win in March 2018. Bucheon clearly do not travel well to Daejeon, so if Daejeon can secure their defence then this could be a good chance for them to put a smile back on to the faces of their home fans.

Daejeon have also been the dominant side in this fixture so far in 2019, something that they cannot claim against too many other clubs. They won the first match between the two clubs this season back in April, with their top scorer Aurelian Chitu scoring the game's only goal in the 80th minute to secure a 1-0 home win. The second game was in Bucheon in June and while Daejeon got off to a flying start from a first minute goal by forward Park In-hyeok, this did not last as Bucheon's own top scorer Kim Ryun-do equalised in the 41st minute. Bucheon have not tasted victory over Daejeon since that victory in March last year and Daejeon will no doubt have an unusually high level of confidence going into this game compared to most of their other fixtures. 

Team News

After being suspended for the loss to Seoul E-Land, last weekend saw the return of key players Marlon and Ahn Tae-hyun to the starting line-up for Bucheon. Aside from Marlon's goal, the performance of the whole team improved dramatically with the two of them back in the side, and the coach will no doubt be happy to have them available for the Daejeon game.

29 year-old midfielder Cho Beom-seok has returned to the club following his loan spell at Asan Mugunghwa. Cho was an integral part of Bucheon ever since he signed for the club in 2016 and his return makes up for the fact that Bucheon were not very active in the transfer window. Both players that have been signed this summer are loan signings of Jeonbuk players, with 21 year-old defender Yun Ji-hyuk following attacker Lee Si-heon to Gyeonggi Province. Lee has made four appearances since joining at the beginning of July, while Yun has yet to make his senior team debut. After being named on the bench against Gwangju, this could be an ideal game for him to make his debut.

Bucheon saw two players leave the club in July, with one of them potentially facing his old employers on Monday. 27 year-old attacker Lee In-kyu signed with Bucheon from Gwangju this winter, but after only a few months at the club he left to join Daejeon Citizen for an undisclosed fee last month. Lee started in all 16 matches he played for Bucheon and he looks to have instantly fit into the Daejeon squad as he has played in every minute of his four appearances. Following him out of Bucheon, 33 year-old midfielder Jin Chang-soo signed for Ansan Greeners after falling out of favour at Bucheon. He too looks to have settled in at his new club as he scored on his debut in a 2-0 home win over Busan in July. 

The Adversary

Daejeon were one of the busiest teams in this summer transfer window in all of Korea, with four players joining and five leaving. 24 year-old defender Park Min-gyu signed from Seoul and in similar fashion to Lee In-kyu he has played in every minute in his four appearances for Daejeon so far. The two of them look like they could potentially be key players for the rebuilding of Daejeon, while 19 year-old Kim Chan seems fairly promising since joining on loan from Pohang until the end of the season. 31 year old Brazilian striker Ramazotti has seen the least action of the new signings so far, as he has only played a total of 12 minutes in a Daejeon shirt. He has had a very nomadic career but his most prolific spell was in Asia 2015-17, when he scored 55 goals in 71 games in the Singapore Premier League for Brunei side DPMM FC. If that form can be translated to Korea then he will be a dangerous player, though the K League 2 is a step up from Singapore.

Among the many players that have left Daejeon this summer, the most high profile have been the departures of their Uzbekistan duo Shohruh Gadoev and Sanzhar Tursunov. While they are indeed good players, the two midfielders failed to fully adapt to Korea and could not consistently keep their places in the starting line-up, although Gadoev was more impressive last season when he scored eight goals in 32 games. Both players have returned to their homeland to ply their trade for FK Bunyodkor, who currently sit in fourth place in the Uzbekistan Super League.

What To Watch

The battle between the two clubs top scorers could be a key catalyst for any goals in this match. Aurelian Chitu and Kim Ryun-do have six goals each, though Chitu is the man in the better form. He has scored two goals in his last four matches, including in the recent win at Ansan. Kim's last goal was in July in the Bucheon's previous victory, the 3-0 away win at Suwon. One of the reasons that Kim has not scored is that the coach has been starting him on the bench in recent weeks, though he has regularly been brought on. He is still an asset to the team and Bucheon get results whenever he scores, so if he does play Daejeon ought to be worried.

Prediction

Bucheon have been losing against lower opposition but getting points against the best teams in the league recently. Daejeon have lost more times, but they have tasted victory more recently. Bucheon have not strengthened hugely in the summer, but it is too early to see if Daejeon have bought correctly. It could be a close game, but in all likelihood Daejeon will remain bottom of the table after this match.

Daejeon Citizen 0-1 Bucheon FC 1995



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